At Newspapers Canada, we undertook research to prove the power of newspapers in the consumer purchase decision funnel.
Research was conducted with 1,000 Canadian adults online by Totum Research, on behalf of Newspapers Canada to understand newspaper (print + digital) impact vs. other media on purchase decisions.
The study began in June 2013 and was designed to be representative of the population. The results are based on share of mentions. We looked at three stages in the purchase decision process and a combined total:
- Absorbing: Occasionally see or hear information about suppliers or brands in media.
- Planning: Use media to research suppliers or brands.
- Obtaining: Ready to purchase and use media to decide where to go and which brand to buy.
- Any involvement: Use media to help make a purchase decision, i.e. an aggregation of the three elements listed above.
The results are extremely powerful.
Newspapers are the top-ranked media source....[more]
24 November 2013 · by Darrell Kunken
These days, I am not hearing many complaints about lack of data.
What I do hear, however, is how long it takes to manipulate, translate, and analyse data.
And then the question: Is there a return on investment (ROI) considering the time and effort allotted to data applications?
Julie Baretsky, our lead senior analyst, has begun working with data visualisation software to help people see and understand the data, so appropriate actions can be taken.
We’ve taken a look at existing data files, reports, and new data sources. Some data sets we’ve used for years as spreadsheet reports. Some views we are now achieving we’ve never looked at before because the data were too large and time to manually analyse them prohibitive.
We are finding that we can bring more value, insights, and greater understanding from many data sets by running them through data visualisation software, such as Tableau.
Additional benefits from data visualisation:
- Graphical views enable easier illustration of data relationships.
- Web-based dashboards can be shared with end-users.
- Interactive dashboards allow end-users to work with the data, to change the parameters of the variables illustrated.
19 November 2013 · by Adam Burnham
I have had the pleasure of meeting with a variety of media companies over the last few months in my role with Affinity Express. One of the reasons I joined the company was for the opportunity to work with hundreds of media companies versus just one.
While we all know the financial and competitive challenges facing the industry, it has been interesting to see the approaches various organisations are taking in their attempt to right the ship.
Some proclaim digital first, others say digital agency, and there are some that say print first. Strategies are abundant and diverse, as nobody has really figured out the best way forward. And to all of this I say… stop the madness!
I do not see any of these as the right philosophical approach. This coming from the guy who created the digital-first sales strategy and plan at Journal Register Company. The focus needs to shift away from the internal struggles of your company and toward the real opportunities in the marketplace.
Let’s all become customer first! It is so simple — yet never discussed in many of the conversations I have been part of, read about, or listened to. Sure, people will say they want to do what is best for their customers. But have they built their plans around prioritising the customer? Even before your own business needs?
That’s OK, as it might sound ridiculous. However, prioritising your customers leads to better long-term relationships.
Media companies are fighting for survival. So are the local businesses in your community. And their mutual survival is connected.
In order to prioritise your customers, you must understand them, and that understanding will come from areas beyond experience and legacy beliefs. It will come from data.
Our future is now and will be driven by data. Information, metrics, analysis, etc. This data will help drive which customers to target, what you will offer them, and how to target the right audience for your advertisers.
Time to become customer first. And to do that, I recommend “Moneyball”-like tactics. If you have read the book by Michael Lewis — or even seen the movie starring Brad Pitt — you understand the basic principles. The story chronicles Oakland A baseball team's analytical, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team.
The old ways of identifying talent and building a baseball team were not the future for a mid-market club like the Oakland A’s. The A’s could not compete with teams that had much larger budgets. They had to think differently....[more]
10 November 2013 · by Greg Bobolo
Short-form sports video can throw a lifeline to revenue-challenged newspapers. However, it takes more than simply slapping highlights onto a newspaper.com and hoping for a positive outcome.
Publishers need to think strategically about placement; that is, where the content is located and the size of the video player. Professionally edited, high-definition (HD) quality video is also key. So, too, is content that is relevant to the viewer.
These are all important considerations when trying to drive traffic and capture impressions.
When it comes to placement, above-the-fold, full-size players promote the highest level of reader engagement. Take NFL.com as an example: the U.S. National Football League’s Web site embeds slickly edited, timely, HD video highlights and interviews into each article, creating the ultimate platform for viewer engagement with super relevant content.
SendtoNews, an aggregator and distributor of video sports highlights, has found that above-the-fold placement drives roughly 98% of player views. During a six-week test, we noticed on average a 380% growth in traffic across a partners’ sports pages where our videos were integrated — and a doubling of watch time.
The proof is in the higher CPMs and ad dollars that advertisers are willing to pay for premium player placement. Individually embedded, above-the-fold video players are the ultimate sweet spot for garnering impressions.
Good placement needs strong promotion. Publishers must educate and direct readers on their home pages to the top-shelf video highlights available in the sports section. Not just occasional clips, but consistent content that keeps sports fans engaged and informed about their teams and athletes....[more]
05 November 2013 · by Tyler Mack
In July, I blogged about our new venture at The Register-Guard called “Storytellers.” We had just launched the sales effort and have since launched the campaign. We’ve had some great response and feedback.
We’ve also learned a lot, and I thought it would be worth sharing our ups and downs in a progress report.
As I explained in the July post, we launched this programme in coordination with our hometown university journalism school. That partnership has been great. The former students, students, and professors involved have been wonderful, sharing their talent, creativity, and professionalism.
The approach to this programme was a first for us, in the native advertising vein, and has taken a bit longer than anticipated to explain to advertisers (see video below.)
It’s also taken longer than expected to roll out completed projects, once sold. But, as established early on, we have very low overhead in a modest but fair arrangement with the university and a long-term success goal that doesn’t require overnight sales spikes.
We launched the programme with print and online promotion on October 2, when we had two businesses to feature on our Web site. We’ve had positive feedback from our participants, readers, and interested future participants, with a number of advertisers in production currently and several others inquiring....[more]
27 October 2013 · by Tami Coughlan
Augmented Reality (AR) has been a recurring hot topic over the last few months for INMA.
It is both an emerging advertising platform and a tool for engagement for newspapers to create a more interactive read. Augmented Reality provides print publishers with an opportunity to create a new experience between the print and online space – through mobile.
Rob Whitehurst recently presented at the INMA Audience Summit and showcased some excellent examples of publishers that have used AR to drive engagement and advertising revenue.
The Toronto Star’s “Go Beyond” day on September 19, 2013, was another example of a programme that leveraged the technology to create a truly innovative reader experience through content and advertising.
Partnering again with Nissan Canada, TBWA, OMD and Layar, the Toronto Star brought Canadians an interactive newspaper experience unlike anything we’ve seen in the Toronto market. Building on the momentum of the 2013 Altima launch campaign (that ran in the Toronto Star and Postmedia newspapers across the country in 2012), we endeavoured to take it to another level.
In addition to an exciting augmented advertising campaign, we brought a completely different read of the newspaper. With the use of the Layar app, readers were able to scan the pages and bring the newspaper to life – the editorial and the ads. Photos came alive, balloons sailed into the skies, columnists actually told readers about their stories....[more]
20 October 2013 · by Suzanne Raitt
The future is amazing! I know this because I looked to our recent past and I see how much has changed in such a short period of time, and how well newspapers, more than any other media, have embraced new technologies and new revenue models.
My prediction: more.
More culling. Information overload continues. There is a need for experts to provide edited content. Newspapers become a cross between Fodor’s for information and the “For Dummies” series, as they create best of/top 10 lists across all topics. These provide a quick local reference from a trusted source and they deliver targeted sponsorship for advertisers.
More pre-association. Newspapers begin to predict the news and trends based on analysis and buzz in social networks. They offer opportunities for advertisers to jump on a trend early and become associated with its growth. Brands to the market first tend to be the winners, so this becomes a hot, new area for newspapers.
More personalisation. Readers tell their newspaper what their interests are and they are served that news first or only that news. This applies to advertising, too. Readers give permission to advertisers to provide personal offers based on their pre-identified preferences. Readers are emailed their personalised version of the paper to print out or read on any device they choose: Click to choose the format....[more]
13 October 2013 · by Darrell Kunken
Content marketing is hot!
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of relevant, valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a target audience, with the objective of driving customer action.
According to eMarketer, nearly half of companies now have a formal content strategy, up from 28% just last year.
And one of companies’ primary goals in taking advantage of content marketing is increasing leads.
Another attractive element of content marketing is the fact that it is relatively inexpensive. But inexpensive does not mean easy to implement.
Content marketing is consistently cited as one of the most difficult tactics for a company to pull off, even if it is one of the least expensive.
So, our opportunity is in the alignment that businesses are finding:
- The value of engaging content will fuel user adoption, loyalty, and conversions.
- It is relatively inexpensive.
- Yet, it is not easy to pull off and execute.
Since we are in the content business, this is an opportune time to drive home the fact we can be their source to help them execute by offering them content marketing services....[more]
02 October 2013 · by Barbara Cohen
Many retailers still live and die based on fourth-quarter sales. As the third quarter draws to a close, what does the fourth quarter look like and how might that impact local media companies?
According to ShopperTrak, sales in physical stores in the United States are forecast to rise only 2.4% in November and December compared with increases of 3% in 2012, 4% in 2011, and 3.8% in 2010.
ShopperTrak expects store visits to fall 1.4% during those months. Traffic rose by 2.5% in 2012 after falling 3.1% in 2011.
In a recent Ipsos/Reuters poll, about one-third of consumers said they would be spending less this year than last on key gift items like toys and jewelry. Additionally, about one in four respondents plan to spend less on clothes.
There is much speculation on why this is true — anemic growth in the economy, unemployment/under-employment, uncertainty in world events, political stalemate of the U.S. government, etc.
No matter the reasons, retailers know the fourth quarter will be tough and have already taken important steps: managing inventory down, promoting holiday items early, and tapping their direct customer relationships with “private” sales.
Of course, this might not bode well for media players. However, good advertising sales teams should view this as an opportunity.
Have you met as a sales team to discuss how you can help pull your retailers across the finish line this year?...[more]
29 September 2013 · by Tami Coughlan
Not a day goes by that we don’t hear about the power of content marketing. For this installment of my blog post, I feel compelled to share an example of a comprehensive content marketing programme developed by Star Media Group’s “Star Content Studios” (SCS).
First, some background: Star Content Studios is a unique combination of senior editorial experts, award-winning journalists and designers, and digital and social leaders. It is this modern mix that gives it its strategic and competitive edge as a content agency.
We all know by now that content helps clients grow their business. SCS does this through content to increase loyalty and engagement; to align its brands with lifestyle; to fuel social channels; to leverage brand influencers; and to provide thought leadership.
And remember, content is social. The act of sharing smart, relevant stories intensifies connections and creates brand affinity. This is always at the heart of any successful SCS content campaign.
The approach to building good content is simple, really.
First, you find the story (research, interviews, experts, archives). Next, you tell the story, and you tell it across every platform – social, online, print, mobile, video. And finally, you share the story through that all-important triumvirate of paid, owned, and earned media.
How you make that content compelling and shareable is in our DNA at Star Media Group. We call it the “news imperative.” Like any great news story, great content has urgency, tension, and timeliness. It has a responsiveness and immediacy that connects brands to the culture and to their audience.
A great recent example of this kind of content programme was the “75 Years of Superman” campaign that Star Content Studios produced for <a title="T...[more]