Study Finds Tech Ads Perform Better In Technology Publications Than In General Business Magazines

BOSTON, MA – MAY 22, 2001 – Technology advertisements placed in technology publications are far more likely to be read than technology ads placed in general businessmagazines, according to a recent study conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide, Inc. This is particularly true for those who "read most" of the ad, which in one case was as much as 60 percent higher in the technology publications1. According to Roper Starch, "read most" is seen as an important measure of reader involvement and is used as an indication of potential future sales.


International Data Group (IDG) commissioned the study to have an unbiased comparison of recognition and readership measurements of technology ads placed in general business versus those placed in technology publications. For this analysis, Roper Starch used their Starch™ print-ad database that contained the results of advertising performance studies conducted from January 1995 to 2000 with recognition measures of more than 8,000 technology ads. Responses were calculated based on four Starch™ recognition measures – noted, associated, read some and read most – to indicate respondents’ recollection of the ads.

Roper Starch analyzed the results of 1-page and 2-page, 2-color technology ads within four main product categories, including communications, hardware, software and corporate advertising. The 1-page, 2-color hardware and software ads received higher "read most" scores in technology publications versus general business publications. Specifically, software ads in technology publications drew 25 percent higher "read most" scores than comparable software ads placed in business publications. Communications and hardware ads appearing in technology publications received "read most" responses that were 23 percent and 14 percent higher respectively than those in business publications. Interestingly, corporate ads also scored higher in the technology publications, with 33 percent higher "read most" scores.

"With technology marketers taking a more cautious approach to ad spending this year, it is critical that a greater percentage of their budgets be directed toward targeted, highly effective advertising mediums," concludes Kelly Conlin, president and CEO, IDG. "This study confirms that advertisements placed in technology publications provide the best environment for technology advertising as they far outperform technology ads placed in business magazines. IDG’s established philosophy is that in order to reach key technology decision-makers, marketers must consider publicationsthat speak directly to this audience."

Roper Starch also examined the difference in readership scores for advertisements from 33 of the leading technology advertisers, including companies such as 3Com, Cisco, Compaq, Dell, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. Interestingly, the difference in many of the scores between technology and business publications was found to be even greater for ads from these leading technology companies. Aggregated "read most" scores of 1-page, 2-color technology ads from these advertisers is 20 percent higher for ads placed in technology publications. The difference was even higher for 2-page, 2-color spreads where "read most" StarchTM scores were 38 percent higher for ads placed in the technology publications. Of all of the categories of ads examined by Roper Starch, 2-page, 4-color corporate advertising faired the best in technologypublications, receiving 57 percent more "read most" responses.

1 57% higher "read most" scores were for 2 page, 2 color corporate advertisements for 33 leading technology advertisers.

About Roper Starch Worldwide

Roper Starch Worldwide ranks among the top 20 largest global marketing research and consulting firms. Flagship services include Roper Reports trend research, the annual Global Consumers Survey of 30 countries, and the FORTUNE/Roper Corporate Reputation Index. The company has its headquarters in Harrison, NY, and offices in New York City, Princeton, NJ, Nashville, TN, Dallas, TX, San Francisco and Newport Beach, CA, and London.

About IDG

Headquartered in Boston, International Data Group (IDG) informs more people worldwide about information technology than any other company in the world. With annual revenues of $3.1 billion, IDG is the leading global provider of IT media, research, conferences and events. IDG publishes more than 300 newspapers and magazines and 4,000 book titles in 80 countries, led by the Computerworld /InfoWorld, Macworld, Network World, PC World, CIO, The Industry Standard and For Dummies(R) global product lines. IDG offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through (, which comprises more than 300 targeted websites in 70 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related events in 35 countries, and research arm International Data Corporation (IDC) provides computer industry research and analysis through 51 offices in 43 countries worldwide. Company information is available at


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