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Reader's Digest is justifiably renowned for rigorous preparation, analysis and an admirable focus on test results. So when an international book publishing project that had been in development for two years started to derail, they turned to ESP.


Conventional research including Hall Tests, surveys and customer testing had produced strong results at the various stages of development.  However, the test marketing campaign just prior to launch pulled only 68% of the success threshold.

The client was particularly concerned, believing that conventional research input to creative improvement is notoriously difficult because creative stimulates needs which are not always accessible via standard question-and-answer methods.

ESP profiled the motivations and structural preferences of customers who had responded and not responded to the test marketing campaign. They also analysed the structures, copy and visuals in that campaign and in the stimulus material used in the earlier research.

A clear correlation emerged and the experienced and highly capable creative teams at Readers Digest could identify immediately the changes in copy and imagery they needed to make.

The subsequent test marketing campaign produced responses well into profitability with an uplift of 46% and the project was back on course.


ensure the 'voice of the customer' makes it through to marketing communications


“ESP carried out one of the best pieces of research I’ve had the pleasure of commissioning. The principles behind their work is very inventive, circumventing some of the biggest problems afflicting traditional survey research. As a result the work delivered highly actionable recommendations and directly measurable uplift of 46%”





Jeremy Hemingrey

Research Manager, Reader’s Digest