AARP Offers New Research Service to Advertisers
"We did it to mainly change perceptions out in the market place of what research departments provide advertisers," says Gratz. "There is a stigma around research departments of just being a reactive necessity in the sales process, when in reality good marketing research is a proactive and powerful sales and marketing tool that can get new business."
Following on the heels of a 14.3 percent increase in ad revenue for 2005, the objective of the new "Marketing Intelligence" service is to essentially continue to increase ad revenue and will be exclusively available to advertisers. "I’m hoping re-branding the department is just a start, so advertisers will see us as a consultant, a partner and a service," says Gratz.
Costs for the various services under the new program have yet to be determined, but there will be various levels of accessibility, proportionate to ad spending. If an advertiser pulls their ad from the magazine, they will lose access to the service. "It’s meant to increase ad pages," says Gratz. "Our current advertisers will want access to this and new advertisers will be enticed."
The Marketing Intelligence program incorporates benefits that include services like First Market Intelligence, consultative information like industry trends, competitive analysis and sales projections for the 50+ market; ROI Programs that include ad effectiveness and brand awareness studies, measuring the impact of specific ads on the market; and a lead generation and direct marketing initiative, an online research panel that involves initial research questions and follow up communicated between the panel and the advertiser by AARP.
Gratz says the service is ideal for today’s marketers who want more than simply a vehicle to showcase their ads. "They want strategic marketing partners that will help them grow their business," he says. "Marketing Intelligence will be a partner and consultant to advertisers that will have a direct impact on their bottom lines."