It’s a love thing

emma's new Engagement Metric reveals the special relationship between newspapers and their readers.

A special relationship exists between print publications and their readers.

It’s a deep attraction no media agency or advertiser would deny, based on the fact you pay for a newspaper and magazine and then enjoy the content – journalism and advertising – in a somewhat intimate one-to-one basis. Infographic_Engagement_DIGITAL

In this environment, the quality of engagement between the reader and their favourite title is
particularly personal and strong, particularly in comparison to the more fleeting engagements of Outdoor or Radio.

This intimacy is consistently demonstrated in the new emma engagement metric.

The model – based on a sample of 20,000 – employs both behavioural and attitudinal measures to capture every dimension of the relationship. It begins with how a reader obtained the publication, the depth and nature of their interaction with it, and then any and all actions they took as a result of reading it.

The model  is built around five axes, each broken down into “Quadrants” (or, in two cases, “Hemispheres”) so that key attributes can be identified by title.


In doing so, the engagement metric gives agency planners and brand marketers the power to better understand the true depth of the relationship a reader has with their favourite publications, and to select the most suitable environments to meet the needs of a campaign.

The Engagement Quotient

In addition to assessing engagement with conventional thousands and percentages, the model also provides the Engagement Quotient (EQ), a measure designed to better highlight the individual strengths of each newspaper and magazine.

By a process of indexing, the size of a publication’s audience is taken out of the equation and the attributes that define the relationship between a particular title and its readers are thrown into relief.

That’s Entertainment!

emma’s engagement data indicates young newspaper readers connect differently with Monday to Friday newspapers than older demographics.

More than any older age group, those aged 14-24 are likely to feel inspired when reading.

This has important implications for marketers, who know that when they reach young people through newspapers, this audience is receptive to ideas.

For those in their mid-20s and older, the pattern of connection is consistent and the trusted and relevant nature of the journalism forms the basis of their reading.

Enrichment comes to the fore with newspapers providing information and ideas that feed their work, studies and interests. Advertising is an important part of the package, and this provides marketers with a fertile environment.

The new Engagement data shows all generations are entertained by newspapers because they can reveal surprising, amusing and challenging ideas relevant to society.

It is that ‘unknown-quantity’ of a daily or weekly newspaper – the serendipitous splendour of discovery – that sets the medium apart from generally repetitive behaviours on social media, for example, which are often dictated by content filters.

Power of Discovery

During the week, readers are driven to pick up newspapers to stay ‘Informed’ and to ‘Discover’ different points of view. They also provide an opportunity for personal time out from a busy life, but not to the same degree as weekend papers.

On Sundays, while newspapers continue to ‘Inform’ and aid ‘Discovery’, the emphasis of reader motivation shifts to ‘Excitement’ and a sense of ‘Escapism’. The new data clearly illustrates that for many, reading the paper over a coffee is a deeply-ingrained Sunday ritual.

Saturday newspapers are more evenly balanced across these motivations, which is not surprising given their range of content.

They provide analysis on the events of the week, complemented by sections that offer both utility (property and cars) and escapism (travel, arts & entertainment).

The gender equation

Men are just as likely as women to have responded to newspaper advertisements by purchasing products.

emma Engagement data shows men to be more likely to buy a product promoted in a Sunday paper, whereas the opposite is true for Saturday papers.

One theory for this behaviour is the nature of parental responsibilities. For fathers, Saturday is often about sport for their children, which allows mothers some time to themselves, to exercise and/or get the family shopping done. Saturday papers, particular their inserted magazines, reflect this scenario to some extent. Savvy marketers know it is an opportunity to catch women in the moment that they are planning or doing their shopping.

For a lot of men, there is little time to shop on a Saturday but Sundays are more open and often an opportunity to do odd jobs around the home. So men are more likely to have a need to visit a shop on a Sunday, perhaps a hardware store.



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