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Lab Manager Readership Survey: A Q&A with Christi Bird

This month, we chat with Frost & Sullivan's Christi Bird about the results of the F&S survey of Lab Manager's audience.

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Christi Bird discusses Lab Manager's 2015 readership studyQ: What is your role at Frost & Sullivan? How long have you been at F&S?

A: I'm a senior industry analyst and associate fellow with Frost & Sullivan's Transformation Health Life Sciences Team, specializing in the life science research tools industry. In my eight years at Frost & Sullivan, my role has involved conducting and managing market intelligence projects and end-user surveys, and overall, tracking developments and trends in the life sciences industry.

Q: What can you tell us about the typical Lab Manager reader?

A: It's a very strong readership base. These readers are managers and decision-makers in their organizations, and they engage with Lab Manager to improve their labs and help them in the product purchasing process. From the recent survey Frost & Sullivan conducted of Lab Manager's readership, we learned 91% hold management roles, ranging from corporate management positions, to laboratory managers, to facilities managers. A significant chunk of Lab Manager’s readership is in the life sciences, environmental, and clinical markets, though overall it hits a wide array of industries. Lab Manager’s audience is very high-level. About 73% have held management roles for more than five years and over half have held management positions for over ten years. This speaks to a highly-experienced, powerful, and valuable readership base.

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Q: What did you learn about our readers’ lab purchasing practices?

A: We’re seeing that 90% of readers participate in one or more responsibilities in the buying cycle. Nearly three out of every four respondents participate in researching or recommending products and vendors for evaluation. Those are the people that you want to hit [as an advertiser]. A total of 94% of readers are involved in the decision-making process in their organizations, so, this group is influencing purchasing decisions. Another important statistic to note is that only 4% of readers took no purchasing action after reading Lab Manager. That means 96% of readers are taking some sort of purchasing action after reading Lab Manager content. So they're not just reading or viewing content and that's it; they're taking action on it.

Q: What Lab Manager content seems to be the most popular with our readers?

A: Perhaps most striking is that 77% of readers use Lab Manager content to learn about new products and technologies, making it a high-priority source for lab professionals to embark on the purchasing process. Also significant is that one third of respondents said they use Lab Manager content to make better purchasing decisions.

Q: What was the biggest surprise that emerged from the recent survey?

A: There were many positive surprises actually, but I think perhaps the loudest statistic that stood out for me was that 81% of readers are much more or somewhat more likely to consider brands mentioned in Lab Manager content through advertising, editorials, webinars, etc. Companies in every industry spend a lot of marketing money to be thought highly of, or even just to be considered as an option by their target customer base. This figure suggests an affiliation with Lab Manager is incredibly valuable from a brand awareness and perception standpoint.

Q: Overall, what do our readers think of us? Are we doing a good job?

A: 91% of respondents agree that Lab Manager is helpful in evaluating new products. So the magazine is not only helpful in finding the vendors readers need, but in evaluating them as well. We’ve seen it over and over again in the questions that we ask that readers use Lab Manager to research products. They’re also interested in what their peers are using for similar applications, they're keeping current on laboratory best practices and industry news, and gaining greater management knowledge. Overall, this is showing how involved Lab Manager is in the buying cycle steps and laboratory management, from evaluating products to how those products will work in their labs.