The new program, dubbed the Meredith Engagement Dividend, raised the bar for accountability of analogue media, which historically only guaranteed things like audience reach, or soft-and-fussy metrics like "engagement."
The program also reveals how far Meredith has evolved from its roots as a conventional magazine publisher into a new age marketing services organization that utilizes mass-reach consumer titles such as Family Circle and Better Homes & Gardens as the basis of its sophisticated marketing programs.
Meredith has long utilized its powerful circulation databases to do that, but the new program goes a step farther, correlating its magazine readers with the same marketing research database many top marketers use to measure their product sales: Nielsen's Homescan service.
As part of the new offering, Meredith said it has struck a deal with Nielsen to analyze its database of 85 million consumer magazine readers to correlate the effect magazine ads have on their product purchasing behavior.
Initial research conducted by the two companies shows that advertisers in the beauty, household goods, over-the-counter drugs and food categories increased their product sales an average of 10% via ads in the Meredith titles.
The companies said the search was conducted over a 52-week period measuring the sales impact of "higher frequency" advertising campaigns that ran in Meredith magazines during 2009 and 2010.
"In addition to increasing product sales, the research also revealed that among product purchases for several brands, as many as two-thirds of buyers were new purchasers of the brand," they said in a statement.
Meredith said it would provide its new guarantee to advertisers who "commit to a minimum level of advertising impressions over a 12 month period across several Meredith titles." The commitment, it said, will be based on specific categories, with "minimum thresholds for frequency and can only be applied for marketers with national advertising schedules."