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Media companies should take their own advice when it comes to digital marketing

24 November 2015 · By Brooke Christofferson with assistance from Chris Coan

In an increasingly competitive digital marketing services environment, Gannett’s Central Group of media organisations recognised a need to be much bolder in the way it positioned itself from a B2B marketing standpoint.

A key pillar of Gannett’s value proposition is integrated marketing expertise. To demonstrate this capability, the company needed a way to overcome the misperception of being print-centric and be top of mind for local businesses looking for digital marketing solutions.

In early 2013, a strategy was put together to develop a proof of concept in one key market. There were two main components to the strategy:

  1. Increase search ranking around key digital product offerings. 

  2. Demonstrate the ability to “walk the walk” by developing robust B2B thought-leader content for Web, social, and blog channels.

A vast majority of purchasing decision makers were conducting extensive research online when looking for a marketing services provider. It was paramount that local businesses ...


Print vs. digital content clash: A tale of two burning ends of a rope

15 November 2015 · By Wayne Morgan

My articles are primarily focused at online advertising innovation for the traditional media industry, a worthy cause.

I wonder who my reader might sometimes be: Is it a digital professional already converted to the cause, a c-suite executive catching and looking for angles and opportunities, or an editor or ad manager looking to improve his knowledge or undertaking some desk research for a business plan or idea – each of them delighted with the piece as I am sure you are right now, looking forward to the prospect of where this is headed.

This post is slightly different. I am not going to share any opinion of programmatic advertising, ad blocking, or native content solutions but focus more on the evolution of the sector ... or lack thereof.

This is a true story without exaggeration, and it got me thinking about ...


Why your media company should hire an intern

04 November 2015 · By Darrell Kunken

Over the past couple of years, I have written about working on projects with such academic institutions as Stanford, Northwestern, and Columbia University and the value one gets from engaging with such high-level learning and talent.

Another way we are benefiting is by having the luxury of an intern on our staff from California State University Sacramento (CSUS).

Lauren Lombardo is a senior majoring in economics with an interest in how the economy impacts politics. She is spending the third and fourth quarters with us as a research analyst, helping us fulfill information requests from the advertising division, as well as develop materials to help us educate staff and advertisers.

I want to share just a couple of examples of where ...


Gannett’s value proposition focuses on answering “why us?” for advertisers

02 November 2015 · By Brooke Christofferson

Every sales organisation has a value proposition. The good ones know it, live it, and leverage it in everything they do day in and day out. Others maybe talk about it in sales training and intuitively know why it should be chosen over the competition, but they don’t deploy it in a strategic fashion.

Gannett engaged in a project to identify its B2B value proposition in 2013. It worked with an advertising agency that had specialised experience in the B2B space to dive into the local market value proposition.

Of course, it takes more than just staking claim to a value proposition. What resonates? What is believable? What can a company ...


Research shows quality video viewability is key to engaging readers with ads, content

26 October 2015 · By Philippe Guay

For brand advertisers and publishers, online video viewability might be the single most important consideration as consumption of video soars. By 2016, mobile will account for 50% of video views, and we know much more today about how people consume video than we did even two years ago.

It’s about following where eyeballs are focused. Consumers have become blind-sided, consciously ignoring everything on the page except the main content body. For their part, advertisers like Microsoft are similarly unwilling to tolerate sub-par video players and throwaway page placement, as they are meaningless bot impressions.

That’s why we're seeing some major and, I’d say long overdue, market adjustments as publishers, consumers, and advertisers respond to this increasing demand for enhanced viewability.

At SendtoNews (STN), we have built a business on aggregating and distributing premium digital sports video highlight content, but this content is wasted in a less-than-premium viewing environment.

Considering the exponential growth of online video viewing, many publishers have been surprisingly slow to adapt to this new reality. However, changes are ...


How to please customers at the intersection of advertising and ad blockers

07 October 2015 · By Wayne Morgan

Cartoon of out of work journalist who lost his job do to ad blockers hiding advertisements

Ad blockers.

It is yet another hot topic within digital publishing. Something else for the boardroom to put to the top of the priority list, and for the digital resistance to use as an excuse to ignore digital for a little while longer.

This one really takes the biscuit though. We have been giving away our content for free for many years, and ad blockers have been around for many years. In allowing access to free content, the industry has received a lot of criticism. Just have a beer with a printer to get that barrage.

The user, always referred to as the “customer,” then gets angry and annoyed because you placed ads next to their content. Bring down a paywall, and they think you have taken away their human right to free news.

God forbid that you put any advertising into a forum. They will go crazy at you! Have a look at your own data, and you will probably see you have more ad blockers running on strong forums than on any of your other sites.

Now the providers of mobile technology are making it even easier for their users to block advertising against content that ...


How mobile advertising math adds up to profit for media companies

30 September 2015 · By Adam Burnham

Infographics showing differences in online traffic between mobile devices and desktop computers.

Mobile Internet access is changing the way people consume online content. If you don’t know that already, you must have been living under a rock for the last decade, because nowhere is this more evident than in the news media business.

In fact, 39 of the top 50 digital news sites get more mobile traffic than desktop traffic, according to the Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2015 report.

This consumption trend has a huge impact on the sales strategy for nearly every news media organisation. There are some crystal clear takeaways, like the fact that every content-focused organisation now needs a mobile platform.

But some pieces are less obvious, and that has a lot of folks in the news media business scared. Many organisations are just getting caught up with online ad sales, and now suddenly have to pivot and figure out if mobile will dilute their revenue.

It doesn’t have to, though, provided news media organisations are willing to tackle a balancing act between revenue and ...


Why the cartographer is a key member of the Sacramento Bee’s ad sales staff

22 September 2015 · By Darrell Kunken

Maps and geography are an incredibly important part of telling our story, even in the digital age.

At The Sacramento Bee, we employ at cartographer and other staff members who have degrees and certificates in geographic information systems (GIS). This pays dividends in the resulting visuals and database capabilities we add to the arsenal.

Cartographers create dynamic visuals that are an important part of our proposals and storytelling. Mark Benson, our cartographer, is building out our base mapping layers to include important, actionable data.

The Sacramento Bee's area block group map that helps in proposal and storytelling purposes.

For example, an area block group map that illustrates the year a home was built (age of the home) can be used to segment areas with older homes that may be great target areas for ...


Content, programmatic ad delivery must be in sync using strong data

08 September 2015 · By Wayne Morgan

Precise content and target are key for successful programmatic ad delivery.

How do you create a content plan around programmatic ad delivery without putting the integrity of your media brand at risk?

Data will need to flow through the veins of a media organisation like oxygen to a person.

An advertiser wants to reach a particular person, and all around you are platforms that are building pools of those very people and learning about their intent to buy.

Directories are able to build “in the moment” groups of people who are actually looking for products. Search engines offer a similar picture, and social media platforms know the person and his likes, dislikes, and habits.

Imagine an e-commerce platform that has lost a sale at the basket and knows that there is a consumer highly likely to spend imminently. Would it be able to monetise that customer by allowing his data to be purchased by a third party after its own re-targeting has failed?

The point is that publishers are hiding behind ...


How news media publishers can tap into local advertisers’ video spend

19 August 2015 · By Adam Burnham

Small-scale business’s in need of video advertising to collect the necessary audience data for engagement.

Advertisers will spend an estimated US$77.7 billion on online video advertising this year, according to the digital advertising research publication eMarketer.

That’s nearly a 34% increase from last year. The reason why is fairly obvious: Video is the most engaging content online. When consumers click on a video, they almost always watch the ad because they want to get to the piece of content that follows.

If the content is good, then the odds are they’ll sit through an ad message. This kind of engagement is hugely valuable, which is why big national advertisers are investing heavily in video.

Of course, local advertisers aren’t shut out, and it’s important for them to embrace the big video opportunity. That means local media ...


About this blog

The Innovative Advertising Solutions Blog looks at not only integrated advertising sales for newsmedia companies but the full spectrum of agency-level marketing solutions for advertisers: print, digital, package, and event sales; social media marketing services on behalf of advertisers; and behavioural targeting across a range of digital products.

Meet the bloggers

Adam Burnham
Senior Vice President, Interactive Sales and Services
Affinity Express
Elgin, Illinois, USA
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Brooke Christofferson
Vice President of Client Strategy
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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Philippe Guay
Executive Vice President, Strategic Partnerships
New York, New York, USA
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Darrell Kunken
Director of Research/Market Analysis
The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento, California, USA
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Wayne Morgan
Digital Director
Norwich, United Kingdom
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Blog archives

November 2015 ( 4 )
October 2015 ( 2 )
September 2015 ( 3 )
August 2015 ( 3 )
July 2015 ( 2 )
June 2015 ( 2 )
May 2015 ( 3 )
April 2015 ( 4 )
March 2015 ( 4 )
February 2015 ( 3 )
January 2015 ( 2 )
December 2014 ( 3 )
November 2014 ( 3 )
October 2014 ( 2 )
September 2014 ( 3 )
August 2014 ( 2 )
July 2014 ( 4 )
June 2014 ( 2 )
May 2014 ( 3 )
April 2014 ( 2 )

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