Margaret M. Boller adheres to the first rule for most content creators: "Know your audience."
As publisher of Nexos Latinos magazine, the president of Morristown, N.J.-based eclipse marketing services also knows an important statistic about her publication's 1.6 million readers—they're U.S. Latinos, and U.S. Latinos are leading the nation in mobile device ownership and use.
Considering her quarterly bilingual entertainment magazine targets cable viewers who are clearly fans of music, sports, movies, cooking and—of course—technology, she decided to display the magazine advertisers' products with a bit of technology she thought readers would really appreciate. Beginning with its Fall 2012 issue, Nexos Latinos partnered with London-based augmented reality platform provider Aurasma on the Nexos Latinos AR App.
Magazine readers could download the app and then focus their mobile devices' cameras on any one of seven pieces of content bearing the app icon. If they focused on the "Movies on Demand" ad, for instance, they could view "The Avengers" movie trailer. If they chose the article about bachata singer Jalil Lopez, they could see the "Princesa Mia" music video and click through to iTunes to buy the song.
"Since its inception, cable companies such as Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cablevision have utilized Nexos Latinos magazine as part of their strategic Hispanic retention marketing plans," Boller says. The magazine is distributed through these cable providers to their Hispanic customers, as well as through newspaper inserts.
She believes the app helped position her advertisers as tech-savvy and audience aware—a belief reinforced by increased ad spending that coincided with the introduction of augmented reality in the magazine. Bridging the gap between the print and digital world also increased revenue for Nexos Latinos, with a frequent advertiser increasing spending 20 percent in the Fall 2012 issue.
Just after the inaugural issue hit mailboxes, Boller says another advertiser increased its mail target quantity and purchase of the Winter 2013 issue by 118 percent over its fall distribution and added an AR component to its magazine ad. Boller says, "This increase in quantity and addition of the creative development for the augmented reality aura represents a 156 percent increase in revenue from this client."
She says AR allows far more freedom for Nexos Latinos and its advertisers because, unlike the older technology of QR Codes, AR is flexible. The app can toggle "between video elements, websites, e-commerce sites, social media, etc., through [a] reader's smartphone or tablet."
Many readers did toggle. The 500,000-circulation magazine saw 193 app downloads of its debut issue, resulting in a response rate of 0.207 percent. Of the 1,027 AR views, the largest number of readers chose to watch "The Avengers" trailer at 24 percent of viewership. The largest amount of viewers decided to click through on the Lopez video, at 41 percent.
Boller says advertisers are requesting more AR ads and are adding tracking on the back end "because of the success and the interest and the cool factor of the inaugural version." She predicts revenue will increase because AR ads cost more. But it also pays to know their audience.