The Buyer's Action Measure (BAM) is a patented system for measuring the range of actions taken by a consumer as a result of reading an ad in a nominated magazine or genre of magazines, or an ad for a particular product category. Results are based on surveys of 3213 individual ads. The system has been endorsed by the MFA and was voted “Best Research by a Publisher” at the 2011 FIPP International Awards.
Actions taken are broadly grouped as Investigation, WOM and Retail. The relevance and size of scores vary by product category e.g: Investigation is most relevant to travel, building, finance, appliances, furniture, telecommunications; WOM for entertainment, automotive, government, health and fitness; Retail for FMCG.
All of the scores (except the BAM score) relate to the total measured audience to provide a real measure of actions generated: a true measure of ad performance. The BAM score relates to a subset of the total measured audience defined as being ‘in the market for the product or service’: as identified by previous purchase or intention to purchase. All scores are based on Women 18+ with the exception of Men's Health and Top Gear where scores reflect actions taken by Men 18+.
Actual scores achieved may vary from the averages for two main reasons. Firstly a better than average creative execution is likely to drive scores, particularly read score, higher. Secondly, ad categories embrace a broad range of products with differing appeal and target audience size. Products which target a broader audience are likely to achieve higher action scores as more readers can respond to these ads. Similarly narrowly targeted ads may achieve lower action scores because only those readers in the market are likely to act on them. BAM scores, which measure action within the ad's target market, are usually lower for the former group and higher for more specialised products. It is important to note that ad scores typically do not vary widely from those derived by the Estimator.
Results are based on a minimum incidence of 3 responses that meet all of the criteria. In these cases the result that most closely matches your criteria should be used.
A minimum 150 respondent measures for each ad is the internationally recognised standard and 3 the recommended minimum cell size. You will note on the detailed table of scores that for each action a minimum and maximum score are provided for ads that meet your criteria, in addition to your ad’s score. A minimum cell size of 3 is also necessary to provide a range of scores.
Actions taken reflects the way that ads are used by readers. The size and relevance of scores varies widely across ad categories. Investigation is an important response for ads promoting products that require product and particularly price comparison. Ad categories that have the highest share of actions focussed on Investigation include – travel and holidays, building, renovation and construction, household appliances and furniture, telecommunications and finance. Because of their community of readers and the empathy that their environment lends to ads , magazines are a prime vehicle for creating buzz – discussion and recommendation. Word of mouth is the primary action for high interest products - particularly children’s products, health and those where selection is based on personal interaction such as shopping, entertainment and hobbies. Ad categories with the highest focus on WOM include – charity, entertainment and media, government, children’s and automotive. Finally, all of the above actions are steps along the path to purchase . The time frame which is involved in the purchase decision dictates the interaction of these scores with retail responses. Retail action is the most frequent response to magazine ads – and is especially dominant for food and beverages, retail, cosmetics, fashion, pet products and gardening products. In other words Retail is the key response for frequently purchased FMCG and clothing items.
The scores represent a spectrum of possible actions: a path to purchase. The size of scores reflects purchase incidence (ads for more frequently purchased products are more likely to generate action) and product category (the response to an ad largely depends on the product being advertised).
Ad category scores are the most robust and demonstrate the type of actions that a specific ad will generate in magazines. It is a measure of channel performance and category response. Magazine and magazine genre scores also reflect the additional effect of environment on ad scores: they are a measure of title/genre performance.
These are the highest and lowest scores recorded by ads against the relevant action, based on the criteria selected. They enable you to compare your scores within the range to assess an ad’s performance.
Investigation, WOM, Retail and Action scores are all net scores often reflecting a range of actions. Generally readers who take action as a result of reading an ad take multiple actions. Scores within each of the action groupings reflect this. A reader who investigates an ad by visiting the company’s website may also email the company. Similarly a reader who talked about an ad or service may also recommend it or a reader who looked for a product may also purchase it. Similarly readers may take action in more than one group – they may investigate a product, talk about it and/or take a retail action.
In addition to the action scores detailed here, BAM studies collect scores related to a wide range of environmental, design and no less than 22 creative factors that may impact on reading scores and actions generated. Also, in addition to the main categories, ads can be analysed within sub groups – for example, sample size permitting, food can be broken down by into no less than 22 sub-categories ranging from baking products through to vegetables. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the MPA.