Questex switches to integrated auditing

Business-to-business publisher Questex Media has switched auditing companies in an effort to better represent its audience across multiple media.

Questex has cancelled its BPA membership and is now working with Verified Audit Circulation. BPA statements show Web site traffic and trade show audience numbers, but Questex wanted something more flexible and integrated.

“The last thing I want to do is say anything negative about BPA because we believe in auditing, but we wanted to present a lot of the information that we’ve been collecting on the digital side and felt like, if we were presenting new information, working with a new audit bureau was the best way to go,” said Heidi Spangler, audience development director, Questex. “We also felt that Verified might be quicker to react to the changes and new data we want to report.”

The new statements from Verified will break out audience numbers for print, digital editions, events, Web sites, e-newsletters and supplements as well as showing total reach. Spangler said that she also liked that Verified provides four audit cycles a year, versus the May/November cycle of the BPA, and that Verified is a research company on top of being an audit company.

“I think it will help us show our industries what their audience is doing — how many people don’t get a magazine but get a newsletter, how many get everything we do, how many get magazines but aren’t interested in newsletters,” Spangler said. “We have a much broader audience when we look at all products. When a person doesn’t subscribe to the magazine, it has nothing to do with them not wanting information from us, they just don’t want it in that format, and I think we’ve been losing that in our audience story.”

Although print was still very strong among Questex consumers, the company is adding a lot more tangible information on the digital side, Spangler said. Many Questex consumers receive more than one type of product from the company. 

Questex has already built its integrated audience database and gone over audit procedures with Verified, paving the way for the first integrated statements to come out in September. Questex markets without a strong digital presence will have regular June magazine statements.

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