Study Finds Papers, Magazines More 'Influential' Than TV, Radio

At a time when advertisers and agencies are trying to understand the connection influential consumers have with the media they advertise in, new research suggests that print media, especially newspapers, are far more effective outlets than electronic media like TV and radio.

The research, which comes from NOP World, the parent of Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI), integrated an NOP study on "influential" Americans with MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, finds that 41 percent of "influential Americans" are among the most avid newspaper readers.

Influentials are defined by NOP as "the critical 10 percent of the population who drive what the other 90 percent think, do and buy."

The finding should come as some comfort for newspaper publishers, which have been struggling to prove their relevancy to Madison Avenue amid declining newspaper circulation, especially among younger readers.

Magazines also perform well among the influential set, accounting for 33 percent of the heaviest readers of consumer magazines.



By comparison, influential Americans account for only 14 percent of heavy users of TV, and 20 percent of heavy users of radio.

NOP has been studying the Influentials market for 30 years, but this is the first time it has released data integrating the consumer break with MRI's media usage database. Last year, MRI rival Simmons Market Research Bureau integrated a similar clustering system into its database utilizing the so-called "Tipping Point" segments developed by author Malcolm Gladwell.

Marketers and agencies have grown especially interested in reaching these clusters, because they are considered primary drivers of word-of-mouth marketing that can impact how larger segments of the population think.

'Influentials' Who Are Heavy Users* Of Each Medium

Newspapers 41%
Magazines 33%
Radio 20%
Television 14%

Source: NOP World. *Heavy users = the top quintile of users according to MRI Survey of the American Consumer, Wave 51.

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