BOCA RATON, FLORIDAPublishers and advertisers are going to greater lengths to track and measure the success of their magazines and advertisements. Measurability is so crucial, in fact, that inserting chips into magazines may become a part of the not-so-distant future, according to a panel of advertising research executives here.

“Tracking is starting to be about electronic measurement,” said panelist Dr. Julian Baim of MediaMark Research Inc. “Soon, it will be about RFID tags—putting chips in every issue of every magazine.” RFID stands for radio frequency identification, and uses specific radiowaves as an identification method.

The ability to track digital media has helped change the ways publishers and advertisers look at measuring their magazines. “Are people remembering our ads? Are they associating our brands with those messages, and are they taking action based on those ads,” asked Affinity’s Tom Robinson during the discussion. Robinson and Baim were joined by Simons’ Ken Wollenberg and moderator Brenda White of Starcom USA. “We need documentation and proof to increase spending in magazines and to justify the money people are spending now,” Robinson said.

Robinson cautioned, however, against adopting new tracking technologies simply because they are new. “We shouldn’t use technology for technology’s sake,” said Robinson. “There must be a deliverable at the end product that makes sense. What’s most important is understanding who the customer is. Be realistic in the sense of what’s needed.”