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How To Select A Magazine For Your Target Market

The primary goal in advertising is to reach your target market. But how do you know which magazine to place your ad? One way is to review the publication's BPA annual audited circulation statement.

BPA International is an independent, not-for-profit organization supported by publishers, advertisers, and advertising agencies. Its mission is to be the industry resource for verified audience data and media knowledge. The audits give advertisers the opportunity to objectively evaluate and compare publications in a given market and are based on information taken directly from the subscription qualification form.

To begin, check the statement's date to make sure it is the most current. Circulation statements are issued every six months. Then check the Field Served and Definition of Recipient Qualification. These paragraphs define what business or industry the publication will serve and what individuals within the field (presidents, owners, supervisors, engineers, etc) are qualified to receive the publication.

Section 3A - Business/Occupation Breakout of Qualified Circulation - will tell you what the target market is and more importantly, the job function of each qualified subscriber. If you are selling widgets to Quality Control individuals, a magazine that is heavily weighted toward management might not be the most prudent buy if there are several magazines that match your target market more closely.

Many publications also provide supplementary data. These audits contain detailed information of the number of buying influences, secondary and multiple products or multiple job functions of the qualified recipients. By reviewing this data you can further target your advertisement to the exact recipient.

After you have reviewed these items you should now analyze the Qualification Source Breakout (section 3b). This section is standardized for all publications and provides you with the quality of the circulation. How and when subscribers are qualified provides a look at how current the subscription list is.

The BPA can also provide the geographical breakout (section 4) of the circulation. Within this section you can determined the regional breakouts along with any international circulation.
BPA statements provide a standard for apple-to-apple comparisons between publications. While it is only one aspect that is used in selecting a media campaign, the BPA can help you access the best audience for your money.




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