Researching the market for new publications

Date of publication: June 15, 1981

Author: Nigel Spackman


In launching new publications use can be made of desk research, qualitative research and quantitative research. Desk research tends to be used purely to help set advertisement rates, and make estimates of circulation/readership. Existing data sources can also be useful in highlighting areas in which new publications could be launched. Qualitative research has its weaknesses but it can be very valuable in indicating potential readers' requirements, interests and opinions of competitors' weaknesses. An example is given of the way qualitative research was used in the early planning stages of a new paper. Quantitative research can help to predict sale, to identify the editorial approach with the greatest potential, to indicate the most appropriate title and to measure the effect of price on demand. Examples are given on three quantitative surveys which have been used in preparation for the launch of new publications. One of these produced an accurate forecast of sale, one was never launched, and the third one has not been launched at the time of writing.

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