Saturday, January 24, 2009

Market Research on Genealogy

One of the interesting (to me, at least!) conversations on the Transitional Genealogists Forum (TGF) mailing list this month has been about Marketing - how big is the genealogy market, who are the potential customers, and how can companies (software, database, publications, professionals, etc.) serve that market? The specific discussion started in a thread with Christy Fillerup's post titled "Market Research (was the Long Distance Genealogist)" here, and a separate thread titled "Market Research Refined - Identifying the Client" starts here on the TGF list.

In a post yesterday to the latter thread, Marian Pierre-Louis provided a link to Family Tree Magazine's 46 page 2009 Media Kit, which includes some genealogy marketing information. There are two pages of information about genealogy enthusiasts, including these facts:

* 1,900 people visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City every day.

* 1 million+ people visit the National Archives annually.

* The National Archives and its regional research facilities receive 1.1 million
written research requests a year.

* 500,000 active genealogists belong to more than 500 Federation of
Genealogical Societies member groups.

* 651,500 people have taken a genetic genealogy test.

There is also information about Family Tree Magazine's circulation:

* 70,000 paid print circulation

* 60,000 opt-in subscribers to weekly e-mail newsletter

* 60,000 unique monthly Web visitors

I encourage those interested to go read the entire media kit. You get an excellent overview of the genealogy marketplace, Family Tree Magazine's marketing focus, and some insight into what the magazine will offer in 2009. I appreciate the magazines sharing of this information.

Thanks to Marian for the great lead! I know that the TGF list readers interested in this topic appreciate the input.


Sean Sexton said...

Excellent, thanks Randy. Because I'm working on a family history product, I'm VERY interested about these people--how many are there, who are they, what types of products/services do they need, how can I help them, etc.

I'm curious how this collection of people who are interested in family history has changed over the years. The two obvious inflection points are: a) increased interest in family history after airing of "Roots" in the 1970s and b) increased interest as databases go online in the 2000s.

But I really wonder what the trend is--if increasing numbers of people interested in this world, at what rate is it increasing? Or is it cyclical.

Also seems to be core group of genealogists and then outer ring of folks interested in things like posting photos, doing ancestor lookups, etc. This outer ring might be less dedicated, interested for a shorter time, etc. But seems like it must be considerably bigger than the core group of die-hards..

RadixLog said...

Thanks Randy for that list. Have to check it out.

@Sean: there is a bunch of research tools available for anyone. One that certainly is worth checking if you are looking into trends is Google Trends:
Alas, the trend of searching the word "genealogy" doesn't look very good.

If you wish to get a deeper and more detailed look, try playing with Google AdWords' External Keyword Tool:
- don't forget to set "Choose columns to display" to "Show All".


Janos B.

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