Awesome survey response – thank you!

In our 7 February newsletter we asked our audience to participate in a quick survey designed to help us get to know our audience better – and the response was awesome.

We received nearly 660 responses, with a few still trickling in.

The answers to some of our questions were pretty surprising – others not so much.

It was no great surprise to us, for example, that the survey said our audience was 95.4% male. This has grown slightly but is fairly much in line with our first survey about eight years ago (89%).

What we were surprised and pleased to learn, however, is almost 60% of our audience is now former ADF members, up from just 5% – at the expense of civilians, now 15%, down from 56%.

Current-serving full-time and reserve members of the ADF sits at just under 9% and just under 10% respectively, which is a minor drop from the combine 22% eight years ago.

Despite the small shift, however, this was a surprise for the fact that whenever I go out and about and meet troops in the field, I don’t think I’ve ever met a soldier, sailor or airman who hasn’t heard of CONTACT magazine – and most profess to loving it.

I was also surprised – and disappointed – to learn that the audience contains only 4% Cadets, down from 14% eight years ago.

I love Defence Force Cadets – I think it’s an awesome initiative – and I think CONTACT should be ‘right up their alley’.

So, it is surprising and disappointing and frustrating that after all this time, CONTACT isn’t embedded in that niche audience.

Then again, I guess a Cadet is only a Cadet for four or five years max, and it’s kinda hard to become embedded in such a transient audience niche.

Anyway, with my new positive attitude for the this year, I’ll look upon this as an obvious opportunity for audience growth – and will embrace it as such. Same with the current-serving-ADF portion.

Reflecting the figures above is the age demographic. “60 or older” came in on top at 34%, followed by “46-59” at 29% and “36-45” at 19%.

And all of that means our audience is very mature and very ‘Defence knowledgable’.

Essentially what I’ve learnt overall is that my audience is majority mature-aged males who’ve served in uniform and trust CONTACT as a good source of information on all things modern military.

I was also very heartened by a very even split on the question of paying for a member’s-only subscriptions. And delighted by some of the ideas and suggestions re things I could/should add to the future Members’ Only Area.


Anyway, for those of you who absorb info better from pictures, the results are depicted below…


Are you Male or Female?


How old are you?


Your military history…


How long have you been a CONTACT subscriber?


Have you ever or do you currently pay for any on-line subscriptions (including magazines, newspapers, web-site member areas, training courses etc etc)?


Thank you very much to everyone who participated. This has been a very helpful and enlightening exercise.

As always, if you have any other feedback or comments, I’d love to hear from you via



Brian Hartigan







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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

4 thoughts on “Awesome survey response – thank you!

  • 21/02/2016 at 4:55 pm

    hey Brian. if the old style printed magazine is not is any news agents shelf or advertised well that could be where the drop in civies has gone??? there used to be many mags/papers around that one person bought and many read at morno’s maybe ur being digitally shared around by the few subscribers and that’s why so many serving members
    say they know of/about contact. but not subscribed???

    • 21/02/2016 at 6:33 pm

      Hi Paul. I think you’re onto something there. I went for a long walk on the beach to clear my head today and it struck me that it probably comes about a lot through the fact that we don’t print any more.
      The 56% civilian audience 8 years ago could have a lot to do with impulse buying in news agencies – whereas now, it’s the ex-military guys switching on to a good source of news and sticking to it.
      That’s my theory anyway. And, possibly bourn out by the fact that more than 80% of respondents professed to having been a subscriber for less than 5 years.
      Thank you for your thoughts – especially since they align with mine 🙂
      Brian Hartigan

    • 21/02/2016 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks Mike.
      Yes, I think it’s brilliant too. 570 is a very healthy survey sample. In fact, from memory, I think the original survey eight years ago had only 196 respondents.
      Brian Hartigan


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