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#AdviceForYoungJournalists from a sales, marketing perspective

26 February 2015 · by Phil Schroder

Audience is one of the top key metrics at media companies in the world now. While it used to refer to just the print newspaper, it now encompasses paid print, free opt-in products, Web sites, mobile apps, and social media sites.

In fact, the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) is now encouraging media companies to report on all of these metrics with its consolidated media reports, which really tell a picture of the brand and the audience that we reach on a multitude of platforms.

Over the last several weeks, I began noticing a hashtag on my Twitter feed called #AdviceForYoungJournalists. Some of the tweets were humorous in nature, while others offered some serious advice.

However, one thing that I found missing was what focus journalists should have to reach their future audience. That’s when I decided ...

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2 news media companies capitalise on challenges, opportunities to increase audience

11 February 2015 · by Scott Stines

Every day we are presented with opportunities – and challenges – that, if we had the time, resources, and capabilities, we would gladly pursue to our advantage.

Two recent examples of seizing opportunities and meeting challenges played out last week at newspapers in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Toledo, Ohio. Nearly 1,500 miles apart, these two cities have little in common other than both having great local newspapers.

Celebrating Selena

Hamp Rogers, circulation sales director at the Caller-Times (E.W. Scripps), had lived in South Texas for more than a decade and was familiar with the widespread fame of the performer Selena, the “Queen of Tejano Music.” Selena, a Corpus Christi native, had been killed in 1995. The major music auditorium in the city is named for her, and the Selena Trail is a popular tourist attraction.

The Thursday edition of the Caller-Times would feature a front page story on the Celebrating Selena Festival, and Hamp knew it would be good for single-copy sales. He just didn’t know how well.

After hearing reports from the field that afternoon about strong single-copy sales, Trent Spofford, digital director at the Caller-Times, suggested ...

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Now hiring: Chief growth hacker to replace chief marketing officer

09 February 2015 · by Geoff Tan

Controversial as this headline may sound, the challenging media and publishing scenarios witnessed the world over could do with some stark and drastic measures to help prop up bottom lines and unravel new and untrodden paths toward growth.

Not since Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of mechanical movable type printing more than 570 years ago have we been more in need of a whole new rethinking of the business. 

The debate today is not about how we can sustain the newspaper “print” business in the 21st century. Most, if not all, published print titles are now available across a multitude of platforms and form factors.

The US$64 million question confronting traditional publishers and media owners in this day and age is: “How can we sustain ...

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3 keys to an innovative business model

03 February 2015 · by Lon Haenel


It’s a word that is used often these days. Often it is connected to technology. We are students, teachers, or beneficiaries of innovation — or all of the above. But is it more than technology?

That’s a question I asked.

To get a broader view of innovation within the news media industry, I spoke with Nancy Lane, executive director of the Local Media Association. Nancy has organised so-called Innovation Tours; one visited Silicon Valley and another was in Chicago. They dropped in on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon, Sprout Social, and many more.

She told me about three common ingredients of innovative companies.

  1. Culture must be No. 1. We’ve all heard about the swank, and often times disruptive, floor plan and furnishings at ...
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The sixth “P” in marketing: partners

29 January 2015 · by Bob Provost

Many media companies today have addressed the traditional 4 Ps of the marketing mix. They have developed a robust array of digital and traditional solutions for both advertisers and content consumers (products). For the most part, they have priced them competitively. And they have communicated their availability comprehensively (promotion and placement). Yet success eludes them.

In today’s media environment there are too many competitors offering comparable solutions. Successful differentiation and positioning relies on an expanded definition of the marketing mix, one where you must embrace a new role as a partner.

My December blog post presented the first installment of an expanded vision of the traditional four Ps of the marketing mix (price, product, promotion, and placement) taught internationally at colleges and universities. In that blog post, I urged marketers to recognize that success today and in the future is based more so on the human resources and talent (the fifth “P” – people) of your organisation than on your IT infrastructure or capital assets.

Too often, marketing strategists overlook the acquisition, retention, and currency of the strategic human resources necessary to make all the other parts work. This time around, as promised, I will discuss the sixth “P” – partners.

Let me begin with an anecdote ...

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Revenue-generating special editions can’t be replicated in digital space

18 January 2015 · by Phil Schroder

Print is dying. Digital is the future. Mobile is where you need to focus.

Isn’t that what we hear every week in the media news world? And to some extent, that may be true.

In a story from Digiday on the New York Times’ Innovation report leaked last year, we found that digital subscriptions have grown 700% in only three years, and that added revenue has helped to offset print losses to produce an increase in total circulation revenue.

However, as fun as digital may seem, print still fills the coffers at most ...

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Every publisher needs a Red Bull

14 January 2015 · by Geoff Tan

If you Google the story behind the Red Bull brand and the extreme success it has attained across all fronts, you will find that it reeks of non-conformal marketing applied with deft and deliberate strokes of ingenuity.

Contravening all the marketing theories and models you can ever hope to learn from leading institutions the world over, the story of how an Austrian toothpaste salesperson Dietrich Mateschitz took an inconspicuous Thai energy drink called Krating Daeng and transformed it into the phenomenon we call Red Bull today exceeds the epitome of a miracle!

The Cinderella story behind the evolution of this brand is, to me, sheer ...

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9 tips to building a Facebook-less content strategy for 2015

04 January 2015 · by Lon Haenel

Facebook has done it again.

The social media giant will soon pinch business with changes to its news feed. It will remove unpaid promotional posts that mimic advertising.


Business operators have become accustomed to writing status updates to push sales, two-for-ones, specials, gift cards, and discount offers. Facebook has allowed such content to flow through the news feed up to this point, but rather sparingly. Earlier in 2014, it made wholesale changes to the algorithm, resulting in suppression of some content to as little as 2% reach.

Ouch again!

Reports have noted that new changes affecting Facebook will occur as early as mid-January 2015. Buying quality reach has usually come at a price. Those who have sold or bought traditional media know this. Facebook is running a business and declared advertising as its major revenue stream. They have your audience and now they want you to pay to reach it.

So what’s a digital agency to do? After all, creating and fulfilling social content is a big part of the business. Understanding how to ...

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2015: A year of innovation, investigation, initiation, integration

28 December 2014 · by Geoff Tan

In the world of publishing, media, and advertising — in which I have lived, breathed, and thrived for more than three decades — the dynamic, constantly changing, inconsistent, and unpredictable nature of its eclectic DNA never fails to excite and intrigue me.

Marketing as a discipline is neither an art nor a science. And it continues to challenge practitioners the world over to adapt, change, try, learn, innovate, experiment, and, in the scheme of things, strive to bag enough winners on the run.

For most, you are only as good as your last product launch, advertising campaign, on-ground activation, pricing scheme, publicity stunt, in-store promotion, channel strategy.

The uni-dimensional era of yesterday has, within a very short period of time, exponentially evolved into ...

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3 key competencies for news media company success

22 December 2014 · by Scott Stines

Ten years ago, the “must have” competencies for successfully operating a newspaper were quite different than they are today. While some of those competencies remain, a prioritised list would look quite different for today’s news media company.

Who would argue that owning a printing press or possessing printing expertise would not be near the top of a short list of key competencies for newspapers back in 2004? Yet today there are a number of news media companies that no longer print their own newspapers – or print anything for that matter.

In a world where change seems to be one of the few things that can be counted upon, there remain several key competencies that are critical to ...

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About this blog

The “Bottom-Line Marketing” blog aims to bring together the principles behind marketing with the real-world experiences of newspapers transitioning to newsmedia companies. Our bloggers are some of the leading marketers at the world’s leading newsmedia companies today, most with experiences with packaged goods and brands such as McDonald's and Disney. They will aim to show how marketing – often under-utilised in the news industry – improves the bottom line (even a baby's bottom).

Meet the bloggers

Lon Haenel
Vice President
Digital Media & Circulation
The Gazette
Janesville, Wisconsin, USA
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Bob Provost
Distinguished Executive-In Residence
Rutgers Business School
Newark, USA
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Phil Schroder
Vice President of Audience Development
News Tribune
Tacoma, Washington, USA
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Scott Stines
Cedar Rapids, USA
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Geoff Tan
Senior Vice President & Head of Strategic Marketing
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
News Centre, Singapore
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February 2015 ( 4 )
January 2015 ( 4 )
December 2014 ( 4 )
November 2014 ( 3 )
October 2014 ( 6 )
September 2014 ( 2 )
August 2014 ( 3 )
July 2014 ( 3 )
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April 2014 ( 2 )
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December 2013 ( 3 )
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August 2013 ( 5 )
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