It is hoped that the results, which are due to be announced in the autumn, will persuade marketers to invest more of their budget into customer magazines alongside other more traditional media.
Working with its membership of customer publishing agencies and market research agency, Millward Brown, APA's study will use a test and control approach to isolate the effect of customer magazines from other elements of the marketing mix.
To date, 56 titles across all industry sectors are involved in the initiative, making it the largest research programme into customer magazines.
There is currently no consistent methodology across the industry to measure the effectiveness of customer magazines. This means that clients and publishers are unable to compare the performance of their magazines against the market or against other marketing media.
Julia Hutchison, director of APA, said: "This study will illustrate the contribution that customer magazines can clearly make to a marketing programme. Through a range of case studies it will demonstrate the return on investment that is possible in terms of brand equity and will add to the growing body of evidence that this is an effective medium in its own right."
Jason Frost, chairman of the APA Research committee, added: "I am absolutely thrilled that this project is going forward with the full backing of the members of the APA. This will have a dramatic effect on advertising revenues flowing in to customer magazines."
The Royal Mail is sponsoring the research.
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