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How to use survey data to prove the ROI for your media brand

13 April 2014 · by Darrell Kunken

In the past couple of months, I have seen an increase in the number of instances that challenge us to prove the return on investment (ROI) of our products.

From agencies to local businesses, the questions and challenges are similar. The run-of-paper (ROP) advertisement, or sales circular, doesn’t seem to pull like it used to. In some cases, the challenge includes the ROI from our digital newspaper sites.

The main point is we know there is an ROI from our products, and we have always been challenged to measure it. As the world has moved to more digital and more measurement, more sophisticated analytics have followed.

We understand the “ask” for more and better information and that we are left at a disadvantage if we do not address these challenges.

The headline of Greg Dougas’ March 14 INMA.org blog post stated it well: “In looming battle for identity, news publishers must claim their audience through more intelligent data.”

This is the challenge being presented by our clients. They are demanding we develop better customer metrics to compete for their business. It is absolutely vital to develop reader-centric analytics that reveal:

  1. The audience value of our news organisations to advertisers.

  2. The value individual readers find in visiting our destinations.
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Why automated ad buying in its current form may hurt revenues more than help

23 March 2014 · by Greg Bobolo

Programmatic ad buying — that is, using machines instead of humans to purchase digital advertising — is the talk of the digital media world.

In 2013, programmatic ad spending accounted for 15% of digital display spending in Canada. In the United States, some analysts are predicting that, by 2017, programmatic will account for 30% of ad spending, a jump from 21% last year.

Proponents of programmatic say automated ad buying is a necessary efficiency in the lightspeed realm of digital impressions, freeing up human power to focus on campaign optimisation and overarching advertising strategies.

True, but not the whole story.

Programmatic is here to stay; few will argue with that assertion. It makes sense in many situations, especially when aligned with efforts on the ground. Established business models, like broadcast advertising, can be programmatic because quality brands understand the value of quality content and accept that value will rise year-over-year.

We are not there yet with digital media, and building the advertising value case for premium content is an ongoing process of education.

Programmatic direct or premium direct buys work well if the value is retained. It can save copious amounts of time on both the buyer and seller side of the equation; nobody needs to be convinced of the value of technology that minimises the tedium of making manual insertion orders.

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Holding on to customers and revenues: a personal story

19 March 2014 · by Barbara Cohen

This post is unlike any of the others I have written and totally dissimilar from the analytical work my firm is known for. It is a personal anecdote to highlight a theme that I, and others, have discussed, lectured on, pontificated, and screamed about: the value of customer service and retention.  

It is about hair.

I was in need of a haircut and colour treatment — badly in need of a haircut and colour treatment — but was away from home and far from my regular service provider. The owner of my local hair salon has long positioned himself as knowing all the right people. So, three weeks ago I asked him for a recommendation for a salon while I was away.  

Up until this point, I was a “true promoter” — a 9 or 10 on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) scale — of the salon and a high-revenue client.

I should note that the salon is on the more expensive end of the segmentation schema of beauty salons, with a reputation for great customer service. This great customer service was viewed in light of the normal course of the day-to-day activities of a salon. This included the greeting by name upon entering; offers of coffee, tea, imported waters, or wine to drink; and on-time fulfillment of appointments.  

However, when a client had a need outside of the “normal,” the system broke down. Despite assurances, no recommendations were forthcoming. E-mailed requests for a reference were met with excuses.

I would have preferred honesty, an admission that the owner did not know of a salon in the city I was in. Instead he stalled, perhaps hoping I would forget his initial commitment to help me find a temporary substitute.

Meanwhile, my bangs were in my eyes and grey roots were starting to be obvious.  I needed immediate help.

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Sports + short-form video = changing digital revenue game

09 March 2014 · by Greg Bobolo

Building a first-class digital advertising network requires:

  • Tight management and distribution of exclusive, sought-after content.

  • A premium syndication platform.

  • A direct sales network with strong advertising partnerships.

  • And highly transparent reporting to all stakeholders.

Super Bowl XLVIII, which became the most-watched U.S. TV event of all time, with 111.5 million viewers, showcases the synergistic benefits that occur when premium brands are linked to a premium sporting event through such a well-honed digital network.

Toyota’s re-launching of the Highlander model, in which Toyota Canada was tasked with generating excitement by associating with the Super Bowl, makes for an interesting case study.

Toyota rolled out a Highlander campaign across both broadcast and digital media, the latter deploying a combination of 15-second pre-roll and in-video brand overlays at US$50 cost per 1,000 views (CPM).

The go-to destination URL for all digital components was Toyota’s Twitter landing page. Toyota secured the hashtag #knowmore and actively tweeted out interesting factoids throughout the game, while leveraging digital media partnerships with Twitter, Facebook, Shazam, Postmedia, and SendtoNews.

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Video strives to engage advertisers with leading print ideas

04 March 2014 · by Suzanne Raitt

Print newspaper advertisements work. And those that appear on our front pages can’t be missed. But print can be overshadowed by the lure of digital.

Newspapers are exciting! They are now more open than ever before to offering advertisers unique options. And readers respond – they like being surprised and delighted by both the advertising and the editorial.

To inspire advertisers, media planners and creative agencies, Newspapers Canada, the association representing daily and community newspapers, decided to not just talk about innovative options but to show them.

The goal was to engage our target audience by demonstrating the possibilities through a video overview. It is a peek at some interesting opportunities for newspaper advertising.

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New data tool puts Sacramento Bee sales teams in driver’s seat

25 February 2014 · by Darrell Kunken

Requests for information and data to support advertising proposals are probably through the roof at most organisations.

For the research team, it’s the good news/bad news balance, right? Good news, that research and information are now more highly valued than ever. Bad news because resources are probably down or at least not keeping up with demand.

So, this challenge presents a new opportunity to change things up. I’ve already written about our creation of “Think Sacramento” as a very basic Web site of current statistics and happenings that should be of interest if you are doing business in our market.

The idea is for the sales account representative to use this simple site to present to advertisers or prospects a few points to update them on the market.

This can be done without being tied to a linear PowerPoint deck. It can be done quickly and efficiently from a tablet or during a conversation over the phone.

Now, with fewer research resources, we are continuing to empower the sales reps by giving them access to more information with which they can interact to develop their stories, their way, for their accounts.

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What do 6 key advertising platforms look like in 2017?

19 February 2014 · by Adam Burnham

It has been a rough winter. Even Atlanta has had snow, shutting the city down on two occasions, and that groundhog was no friend of ours this year. But pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training, which marks the beginning of the American baseball season.

Spring is right around the corner.

In my last post, I talked about the need for media organisations to scrap their silly strategic monikers and shift focus to the customer, effectively becoming customer-first. That is the only clear way to survive and manage your business for the future. There is a balance that will need to be created between the platforms and products you offer today with the services you will offer tomorrow.

What that tomorrow looks like is really the key thing I have been thinking about over the winter months.

While we all are fighting for relevance in the local marketplace today, the scope of what we offer those businesses, at the core, is what we should be thinking about for tomorrow. So let’s dive in, fast-forward three years from now, and see how the future impacts both media companies and the local landscape.

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At Register-Guard, transformation begins with office makeover

11 February 2014 · by Tyler Mack

In an environment where many advertisers perceive “the newspaper” as being old and perhaps out of touch with the latest technological advancements, changing up your look can have a big impact.

Take a look around your office. I’m guessing you see cubicles, yes? And several square desks in a row with computers and stacks of newspapers, paper, etc. Oh, maybe a ficus plant in the corner?

Next to the cubicles, you’ve got a chair for clients to sit in when they make the occasional in-office visit. You certainly have some meeting rooms available, though, each with a rectangular table, chairs surrounding and a conference phone.

We saw the same things around the advertising area in our office at The Register-Guard several months ago, as we discussed how to transform our newspaper into a media company with heavier focus on digital.

And it dawned on us that we needed to start with some physical change.

Like many news media companies these days, we have some extra space in our building. So we reorganised our cubicles –  yes, we likely will always have cubicles – for increased efficiency and a more open environment.

And we re-purposed a corner of the office that had been used for storing five half-broken chairs and a computer from 1998 into a modern meeting space, with mounted flat-screen connected to a computer and an Apple TV device.

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Premium video content, placement will attract premium click-through rates

02 February 2014 · by Greg Bobolo

It’s hard to argue with the numbers.

Our metrics clearly demonstrate that to increase viewership and attract premium advertising dollars, video content must appear in contextually relevant copy or above the fold. Ideally, it’s both. 

Sport highlight video is our business. SendtoNews aggregates digital video for sports leagues and organisations such as the PGA TOUR, NFL, and NASCAR, and distributes this content to hundreds of publishers around North America.

I believe open ad exchanges are the wrong way to go when it comes to monetising this content, and instead prefer dealing directly with a closed marketplace of premium brands and their ad agencies.

In the words of Brian Lesser, global CEO of Xaxis, an open exchange “devalues the inventory and doesn’t provide control of what advertisers go up against the content.”

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Time for media companies to reunite with local advertisers

27 January 2014 · by Barbara Cohen

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I would like to dedicate this blog to the rekindling of the newspaper’s first love — local advertisers.

There was a time when the industry flirted with national advertisers, diverting attention and resources to what some hoped would save the industry.

A few newspapers had successful, full-fledged relationships with advertisers, reaching national audiences. But, for most newspapers, the local and regional advertisers remained the loyal spouse — often taken for granted and sometimes forgotten in the rush for the new, sexier but often short-lived affairs.

Local and regional advertisers became important again as the national advertisers fell into the arms of TV, digital, and social media.

So, what are you doing at your local media property to ignite the passion again?  

The Orange County Register fielded an innovative programme in 2013 to do just that. The Register invited subscribers to pick their favourite local non-profit or charity, endorse an enclosed US$100 check to be used for advertising for that charity, and send it back to the newspaper.

Response rates were judged to be high, with the newspaper reporting that 1,300 non-profits will get advertising in the Register’s print or digital products.

It should both enhance the Register’s brand as a community citizen and a place to consider adve

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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

Greg Bobolo
CEO
SendtoNews
New York, New York, USA
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Adam Burnham
Vice President
Affinity Express
Elgin, Illinois, USA
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Barbara Cohen
President
Kannon Consulting
Chicago, USA
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Tami Coughlan
Associate Director,
Integrated Solutions & Business Development
Associate Publisher,
The Kit
The Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Darrell Kunken
Director of Research/Market Analysis
The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento, California, USA
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Tyler Mack
Digital Media Director
The Register-Guard
Eugene, Oregon, USA
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Kirk MacDonald
Executive Vice President/Advertising, Marketing and Digital Sales
Denver Post
Denver, USA
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Suzanne Raitt
Vice President, Marketing and Innovation
Newspapers Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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April 2014 ( 1 )
March 2014 ( 4 )
February 2014 ( 4 )
January 2014 ( 4 )
December 2013 ( 3 )
November 2013 ( 4 )
October 2013 ( 4 )
September 2013 ( 4 )
August 2013 ( 4 )
July 2013 ( 3 )
June 2013 ( 4 )
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January 2013 ( 6 )
December 2012 ( 2 )
November 2012 ( 4 )
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