We’ve been reviewing the results of the LA ELFA German readership study with interest. In previous years, there have been huge arguments over this Weka-sponsored* research, but it remains the best research into what titles are read by German engineers. Of course, as with any study, the potential sources of bias must always be considered when interpreting the results.

Unsurprisingly (because of their market position, not just because of the sponsor of the study), Weka titles do well. We probably didn’t need a survey to show that Elektronik – the title that publishes the most in-depth articles is rated highest as the “Prefered title for indepth technical articles” (their spelling, not ours!), nor are we surprised to know that the industry weekly newspaper, Markt & Technik is the “Prefered title for industry news”!

With little other research to compare with LA ELFA, it’s difficult to make detailed comments on the readership figures. Things look good for the industry in general, as every magazine except for Elektronik Journal has increased its readership since the 2003 study, and EJ has increased readership since 2003. M&T and Elektronik are both shown to maintain their leadership, although Weka titles D&E and M&T appear to be growing readership more slowly than the industry average. The results showed Elektronik Praxis strengthening its position as the 3rd-best read title in the survey, at a time when other research shows Praxis losing advertising market share. If you add in the fact that your company is probably only interested in certain end-markets, it’s obvious that you cannot base magazine selection decisions purely on this survey!

One interesting question looks at whether respondents read English-language pan-European titles. 12% said they read English titles, whereas 87% read German titles. But with German-language titles typically having double the circulation in German of pan-European titles (e.g comparing M&T with EE Times Europe or Elektronik with EDN Europe), and the greater number of German titles available, perhaps the pan-European magazines are not doing quite as bad as you might think: pan-European titles offer the opportunity to reach a large number of countries [relatively] cost-effectively, despite the fact that their reach in any particular country is limited.

Still confused about which titles offer the best return on investment? Contact Napier and we’ll help you plan a campaign that produces the best possible results.

*note – the first REELFA study (2001) was sponsored by a broad cross-section of German electronics publishers.