2007 D&AS READERSHIP SURVEY: Precision Door Interview Ranked Top Story

© 2007 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Winter 2007
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Pages 48-49

Precision Door Interview Ranked Top Story

“The Interview With Precision Door Service,” the cover story of our fall 2006 issue, was ranked the most-read Door & Access Systems story of the last two years, according to our latest reader survey.

The 2007 readership survey presented the titles of nine major stories published from 2005 to 2007. Readers were then asked how thoroughly they read each story.

The top three stories were (1) “The Interview With Precision Door Service,” (2) “The 2007 Carriage House Sales Report,” published in summer 2007, and (3) “Trouble in Tucson: A Mayor, a Yellow Pages Exec, and a Door Dealer” from the winter 2005 issue.

“Two of the top three stories covered the ongoing controversy about garage door repair companies,” says Tom Wadsworth, the magazine’s editor. “We’ve devoted significant time and effort to following this thorny issue, and readers seem to appreciate it.”

Top Section: Newslines

Readers were also asked to indicate how often they read the different sections of the magazine. The top three most-read sections are Newslines, Headlines, and Sales Tips.

“When we overhauled the magazine in 2000, we placed Newslines in the prime position at the front of the magazine, believing that our readers care about the latest news of the industry,” says Wadsworth.

“We carefully edit all of Newslines to make sure it delivers the most important news in a concise, readable fashion. And we have continually improved the design of Newslines. Readers tell us that they appreciate it.”

Clippings: The Headlines of Tomorrow

The two sections with the lowest ratings were Clippings and Letters to the Editor. Yet, their ratings are still strong, indicating that the average reader reads these sections mid-way between “Some of the time” and “Most of the time.”

“Readers who skip Clippings are missing some significant stories,” adds Wadsworth. “Clippings stories detect the major issues coming our way. The Clippings of today often become the Headlines stories of tomorrow.”

Many Clippings topics have become cover stories in later issues; for example, garage door repair rip-offs, the trend to three-car garages, the frequency interference problem with the military, the American fascination with garages, the carriage house craze, garage doors and hurricane protection, garage doors as “The New Front Door,” and home break-ins via GDO remote controls.

Reader Remarks

The survey asked readers to submit comments about the magazine. The question was optional, yet 38 respondents took time to draft a remark.

The comments were overwhelmingly positive and complimentary of the magazine. Here are 10 sample comments:

· My habit a while back was to read the older more recognized publications, but I am starting to look forward to and enjoy yours.
· I prefer your magazine because it appears to have more “meat” to it. [Other] mag is overloaded with ads and manufacturing product info.
· I really enjoy your publication. I read it more than the others because you weed out the non-essential items … to maximize content and minimize minutiae.
· Your efforts with this publication are really paying off. I see big improvements and enjoy the magazine.
· Your magazine looks the best of all three that come to me. Only criticism is that all three magazines have mostly the same stories. But yours is the one I look at first!
· Always full of great information. I look forward to reading each issue.
· Well prepared, quality articles. An asset for any industry professional.
· I believe the magazine is raising the “professional bar” for everyone in the industry.
· I love the magazine.
· I enjoy reading your magazine. The articles are very timely on what is happening in our industry.

Survey Details

About 900 of our 20,000 readers in all U.S. states and Canada were invited to take our October 2007 online survey, and 159 surveys were completed. Similar surveys were conducted in October 2001, October 2003, and October 2005. The next readership survey is slated for October 2009.

Dealers make up about 90 percent, or 18,000, of all readers of Door & Access Systems. The magazine’s mailing list, developed with the support of DASMA members, is the largest and most comprehensive list of dealers and industry personnel in North America.

Improvement Since 1996

Percentage that Read All of the Magazine
1996: 16%
2001: 25%
2003: 24%
2005: 23%
2007: 24%

Percentage that Read Most of the Magazine
1996: 20%
2001: 46%
2003: 44%
2005: 44%
2007: 51%

Caption: In the new survey, one-fourth of all respondents (24 percent) say they read the magazine “from cover to cover.” Another 51 percent say they read “most of it.” The percentage who read “all” or “most” of the magazine has greatly increased from 36 percent in 1996 to 75 percent in 2007, the highest in the magazine’s history.

The Typical Dealer

Our 2007 readership survey also revealed a portrait of the typical garage door dealer who reads the magazine. Most (85 percent) are male, between 40 and 59 years old (73 percent), have a high-school diploma or less than two years of college (62 percent), and are the owner (75 percent) or general manager (12 percent).

Readers come from dealerships of every size. Dealers with 6-10 employees comprise 24 percent of all readers, followed by 1-5 employees (21 percent), 50 employees or more (13 percent), and 11-15 employees (12 percent).

If all responses are used to create a profile of the typical dealer, he is male, the owner of the business, age 50.4, and has 1.8 years of college and 19.9 employees.

Image: Use silhouette of a dealer (wearing a hat?)
Caption details:
· Male
· Owner
· Age 50.4
· 1.8 years of college
· 19.9 employees

The Typical Dealer’s Product Line

Which of these products are an important part of your business?
Residential garage door openers: 94% said yes
Residential garage doors: 93%
Commercial door operators: 89%
Commercial sectional doors: 88%
Rolling steel doors: 81%
Dock equipment: 48%
High-performance doors (e.g., high-speed doors, etc.): 47%
Gate operators: 41%
Entry doors: 32%
Gates: 21%