Companies advertise for many reasons. To create or reinforce a favorable impression of their brand, for instance. But mainly they advertise to sell products. Associating advertising with sales is problematic, however. How does the advertiser really know whether an ad influenced a purchase? And can new ad vehicles like tablets be more effective?
That need for advertising accountability resulted in magazine publisher Meredith Corp. launching its Engagement Dividend program, which guarantees that the advertisements in its print magazines will boost the advertiser's sales. The program will compare the buying behavior of a group of panelists who read the magazines with a complementary group that didn't to prove that sales increased as a result of the ads.