Technology allows newspapers to target digital content based on readers’ previous behaviour. Satisfying audiences is about making sure content is relevant, interesting, and engaging to readers.
The majority of Canadians consider newspapers to be the most credible and comprehensive source for news and information. They value newspapers because they are informative, convenient to navigate, and are a trusted source that presents varied perspectives and provides up-to-date information.
The chart below highlights the full range of positive values of readers in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, Canada’s largest cities.
Individuals who harbour positive attitudes toward newspapers have higher readership than adults generally.
The most “engaged” readers are the readers who look to their newspapers for a perspective on the news. Readers count on ......[more]
06 October 2014 · By Shane Murray
The New York Times is using various forms of experimentation to optimise product features and marketing, and to improve content recommendations.
Experimentation in the form of A/B, multi-variate, and bandit testing can provide the most actionable data to support business decisions, especially on digital platforms where we have the ability to vary the user experience systematically; that is, assign visitors to a randomly selected experience, and track subsequent behaviours after exposure to the experiment.
But what should we do in situations where the experience cannot be ......[more]
30 September 2014 · By Lynne Brennen
Advertisers seek our local audiences. Readers want local-rich content.
Our markets are really smaller communities of local interests. “Local” sounds simple and provincial, but it requires sophisticated segmentation and nuance.
Media companies need to understand and own their local markets with a local-rich strategy.
Does your newspaper own its local market?
Local markets are a collection of perspectives starting with the content itself ranging from hyper-local subjects to global topics viewed through a local lens. Of course, readers are a critical component of understanding what local means in your market, and they represent a Marimeko quilt of local interest groups and media engagement preferences.
Advertisers big and small are seeking these local audiences. All three – content, readers, and advertisers – need to be understood and viewed collectively to capitalise on ......[more]
23 September 2014 · By Jim Fleigner
Would you be willing to forego 8.8% of your circulation if it guaranteed your newspaper an annual improvement of nearly US$650,000 in annual cash flow?
While some newspapers might jump at this opportunity, others might be more cautious and turn down this chance.
What if the offer improved to a better savings of US$900,000 annually, but with a much more favourable circulation loss of only 3.5%? Many newspapers that hedged on the first offer might jump at the second offer, and those that accepted the first offer might kick themselves for having squandered the chance for even greater savings.
But what if the stakes were raised even higher, such as 12.7% circulation loss but for annual savings in excess of US$1.6 million? Perhaps that feels too risky. But perhaps your media company needs more savings upside than the first two options offer, which might make the circulation risk worthwhile.
When it comes to optimising a newspaper’s subscriber acquisition activities, the goal is to find the one scenario that optimises the trade-off between “top line” (i.e. circulation loss) and “bottom line” (cash flow gain). In other words, the newspaper should strive to maximise cash flow while minimising circulation loss.
Optimal targeting of starts limits the circulation impact yet improves “bottom line” metrics – not only from reduced acquisition expense, but also from reduced net margin losses and higher productivity through avoidance of the worst performing starts.
Many newspaper executives feel they have no choice but to ......[more]
14 September 2014 · By Anne Crassweller
The word is out: Print is dead. Really?
Seven out of 10 Canadians read a printed newspaper each week. That does not sound very dead. In addition, 70% of newspaper readers only read printed editions. Newspapers clearly offer audiences valuable content.
The Internet is a wonderful thing, and digital development has aided the growth of many industries, newspapers included. The scoop has moved online.
Newspapers have a new voice. But it is not their only voice; 75% of Canadians read a newspaper each week in print or online.
But back to print … I am saddened and frustrated when I hear the words “print is dead.” I keep waiting for a funeral that never happens.
Yes, readership and readers are changing. Initially we thought ......[more]
10 September 2014 · By Kathleen Coleman
The same day two charming United States flight mates engaged in a war between a seat blocking, illegal knee defender gadget, and a flung cup of water on a United Airlines flight, I myself lounged comfortably in Delta Air Lines’ glorious Concourse G at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Sippin’ a microbrew. Eatin’ salty French fries. Perusin’ the iPad menu for a second course, soft industrial light shining down.
Techno music pulsed lightly. A gleaming marketplace offered made-to-order hot food, cold salads, baked goods, and sparkling, interactive dispensers of soda pop.
Hundreds of iPads in every seating area invited travelers to log onto Facebook, Twitter, and personal e-mail accounts, surf the Internet, and order food and drinks delivered to their seats in 15 minutes or less.
The vibe was modern, prosperous, chill.
In other words, not like an airport.
What lessons, my friends, can we news media folk take away ......[more]
28 August 2014 · By John Newby
I had the opportunity to attend the Leap Media Solutions Vail Roundtable this past week. One of the highlights of this event is the few hours spent with Professor Paul Wang, associate professor in the Medill integrated marketing communications department at Northwestern University.
One of the key take-aways this year for me is the concept of “contradictory truths.”
What is a contradictory truth? Simply, it is a situation where both sides bring valid truth to their side of argument or dilemma. In other words, both sides can make a valid and truthful argument as to why their choice or course of action is the right way.
As I was listening to Professor Wong, it occurred to me that the news media industry is full of many contradictory truths. Should we eliminate a day of distribution? Should we construct a meter or a paywall or remain free? Should we stress digital over print at all cost? Will either digital or print really ......[more]
24 August 2014 · By Elisabeth Clark
Recently HBO’s John Oliver described native advertising on his “Last Week Tonight” show. If you haven’t seen this, watch it now (video below). It may be the most important thing you do today.
Oliver provided a comic narrative about the long-standing separation of church and state — i.e. advertising and news — in the newspaper industry, and how that line is now blurred with native advertising.
He showed a clip of New York Times executive vice president of advertising, Meredith Levien, defending native advertising at a conference: “Let me start by vigorously refuting the notion that native advertising has to erode consumer trust or compromise the wall that exists between editorial and advertising. Good native advertising is just not meant to be trickery. It’s meant to be publishers sharing storytelling tools with marketers.”
But Oliver called native advertising out for what it really is: “Exactly, it’s not trickery. It’s sharing storytelling tools. And that’s not bullshit. It’s ......[more]
14 August 2014 · By Dan Johnson
We’re fast approaching my favourite time of year. I love autumn – the smells, the colours, football, a feeling of togetherness.
As a circulation sales manager, I look forward to the excitement of increased sales, both in home delivery and single copy, as the vacation season winds down and consumers settle in and prepare for the winter months ahead.
For most media companies, the fall also represents the start of a new school year and an opportunity to reach arguably the industry’s most important audience: young readers.
The idea for this blog post came to me when a potential client asked if the company I work for had ever done any Newspapers-in-Education funding programmes. I was somewhat surprised to hear this request, simply because most newspapers have cut back on investment in student readership programmes such as NIE.
This gave me pause to reflect on the importance of student readership and the fact that many newspaper companies have ...
05 August 2014 · By Nadine Chevolleau
At the Toronto Star, we create most of our direct marketing subscription offers in-house. From messaging to creative design, we do it all – and I think we do it well. But as well as we do it, we are always looking to improve.
This is why I decided to work with an agency last month to develop some new concepts for our direct marketing campaign for subscription sales.
Don’t get me wrong: I am constantly testing new creative, messaging, and data against our best performer. But I felt perhaps it was time to draw some inspiration from elsewhere.
The agency we hired had experience developing direct marketing campaigns for the newspaper industry, so I felt comfortable giving them control over the creative design and messaging used for our direct mail and e-mail campaign.
I told the agency I did not want them to ......[more]