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Satisfying Audiences

6 reasons to adopt a newspaper loyalty programme

10 March 2015 · By Dan Johnson

I’m not a big fan of grocery shopping, but one thing I appreciate is the loyalty card that I use when I do shop.

It’s kind of cool when the checker has scanned all of my items and I swipe my card because it’s fun to watch the total due go down as the loyalty card discounts are applied. “THANK YOU LOYAL CUSTOMER!” pops up on the small customer interface at the grocery store check-out line after I’ve swiped my grocery store card.

It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling as if I am part of an exclusive club or family. It’s a mutual relationship of giving: I give my loyalty to the store, and the store rewards me by offering me “exclusive” pricing and “points” toward something or other.

Because of the great discount I get on fuel as a result, I remain generally very loyal to that particular grocery store chain.

Loyalty programmes are big business and are very popular in many industries, especially the credit card and airline industries.

With the advent of computers, tablets, and smartphones, loyalty programmes have become less labour intensive and more effective at driving customers. They can be a very effective way of ...


Media companies bring Academy Awards to digital audiences

25 February 2015 · By Kathleen Coleman

The envelope, please.

The words stoke excitement in the hearts of movie lovers worldwide on Academy Awards Sunday. And savvy media companies found ways to create and extend audiences well beyond those planted in front of televisions on Oscars night.

Of course, sunny star-studded Los Angeles is the global hub for the pageantry, and each year the Los Angeles Times has upped its Oscars game a bit more. This year, its online offering was nothing short of gold for those who don’t live in the Times’ home delivery area.

On one’s mobile phone, tablet, or desktop, a viewer could partake in a stunning photo and video display of red carpet arrivals and download an at-home ballot to play along. One could play Oscars bingo, view film trailers, read LA Times reviews of contenders – and click down as deep as she wanted to learn about Marion Cotillard, nominee for Best Actress in “Two Days, One Night.”

She could watch exclusive video interviews with Reese Witherspoon, another Best Actress nominee for “Wild,” then read reviews and feature stories about the book that inspired the movie. She could play an interactive game, “Could you win an Oscar? Play and ...


5 ways companies are missing the mark with targeted marketing

24 February 2015 · By Claire Hawley

Let’s get this out of the way first: A solid micro-targeting strategy has to start with an infrastructure that can tie together multiple data sources (aka Big Data).

Micro-targeting is not new. Businesses have been doing this for ages because micro-targeting was the only targeting available: small, one-dimensional lists.

Today, micro-targeting is about pinpointing audience segments across massive volumes of massive volumes of data (no, not a typo). It’s costly and complicated, and the reality is there are very few companies executing data targeting strategies well.

Let’s put aside the nitty-gritty details of how to hire and build a database marketing organisation; which retargeting, marketing automation, or programmatic platforms have the best targeting capabilities; or whether you need Pigs, Hives, Hadoops, Sparks, or some gal named Cassandra on your team.

Instead, I thought it would be fun to look at pitfalls I’ve seen when I take off my marketer hat and step into my consumer shoes (Manolo Blahniks, of course). Some of my favourite brands are making common flubs in getting me to buy, and sites I visit regularly are missing the mark with content recommendations.

They’re simply not looking at the data in a way that ...


3 things Dallas Morning News hopes to gain from admitting it doesn’t know it all

22 February 2015 · By Nicki Purcell

How do you know if you are really satisfying your audience? You talk with them – and, more importantly, you listen.

As a media executive, I’ve found that I can find a wealth of data on almost any audience behaviour if I just ask the right people the right questions.

Smart executives have come to rely on carefully crafted scorecards and regular metrics to measure the critical things like reach, time on site, number of pages deep a consumer goes, etc.

But I’ve come to realise this is only the beginning.

Often when we set out to conduct research, hold focus groups, or talk with consumers, we already have a product idea or feature in mind. We’re seeking their validation or feedback.

But something magical happens when you take the time to walk out into the street and actually get to know your audience. You can’t just listen to prepare your response. You have to listen to understand.

This way of thinking seems so logical and easy, yet few media companies embrace it.

The Dallas Morning News has been no different. After 130 years as a successful, well-trusted brand, we often think we know what satisfies our audience.

But admitting what you don’t know can ...


What if a digital effort is not enough?

10 February 2015 · By Sandy MacLeod

As a news media executive, it’s hard to avoid constant messages that urge newspapers to better embrace the digital world, do more, deploy more resources, and pursue all platforms aggressively and so on. 

I get it; digital is important.

But what if it’s not enough?

For the most part most, news media organisations and their executives have understood the message and have invested heavily in their digital efforts. However, in most cases, the financial results have been soft. The Internet isn’t new anymore. It’s been around for 20 years and new business models for news providers have yet to materialise, at least in a significant way.

Digital advertising is a prime example of “perfect competition” where the inventory is unlimited and the cost of providing the service will eventually drop almost to zero. Only the largest and most efficient players will be able to ...


Understanding audience preferences versus reality

01 February 2015 · By Maria Terrell

I live in a world of planes, trains, and automobiles. I travel extensively, to say the least. But in this world of crazy, I get to experience life in various countries, cities, and economic and infrastructural stages.

We in the news media industry fundamentally believe that each of our markets is unique, as are our publications and what we represent. We’re right. We’re unique – just like everybody else. This fact makes one thing ubiquitous: We all have the same struggle – audience.

This blog is about “satisfying audiences” and I think that’s key, but I want to highlight one big point: The difference between ...


Keep that New Year’s resolution to lose those extra pounds (in your subscriber acquisition budget)

28 January 2015 · By Jim Fleigner

Happy New Year.

The year 2015 represents a fresh, empty canvas full of possibilities, both personally and professionally.

As you might remember, on December 21st, we published a blog post that proposed that most circulation executives would benefit from acknowleging that their subscriber acquisition budgets are “overweight,” i.e., too much money is being spent for not enough payback. (Editor’s note: If you haven’t read the post yet, we recommend you do so now.)

And, just like the person who adopts a New Year’s resolution to lose 10 extra pounds, circulation executives should consider adopting their own resolution to drop the unnecessary weight from their acquisition budget.

But now that we are a few weeks into the new year, we want to share with you what will likely happen if you do not ...


The 40-year-old Millennial: 6 days without a printed newspaper

19 January 2015 · By Kevin Curnock

Print newspapers are keenly aware that their audiences are greying. Media pundits routinely decry the medium’s failure to attract the younger generation (see “How newspapers lost the millennials”).

Personally, I am a newspaper reader – the kind of newspaper that you throw in the recycling bin when you are finished with it. This is another way of saying that I am long in the tooth. Indeed, later this year I will be turning the Big Four-Oh.

And thus, in the spirit of unscientific experiments, I’ve decided to read like a Millennial for a week. I will eschew my morning newspaper and I will consume news as though I am Gen Y.

My plan is simple.

For seven days, I’ll forgo my daily newspaper and read only ...


Toronto Star meets advertiser need with national reach to schools

15 January 2015 · By Nadine Chevolleau

It’s no secret that tweens and teens do not represent a large audience for newspapers. In fact, seeing a young person reading a newspaper would probably cause heads to turn and stare.

While the newspaper may not be a young person’s first choice for news and information, it is still very much used as a trusted educational resource in schools. Indeed, we have advocates in the form of educators who are driving students to newspaper content as a reliable tool in the classroom.

Several months ago, an advertising client inquired about our ability to reach schools across Canada through the Toronto Star Newspapers in Education (NIE) programme.

Like most regional newspapers, our NIE programme distributes newspapers and education resources to schools within our delivery area, so we don’t have the ability to reach schools outside Ontario.

But this advertiser wasn’t looking for a standard, in-newspaper advertisement. Instead, the advertiser wanted ...


3 steps from New York Times reader to subscriber

05 January 2015 · By Sonia Yamada

What makes a digital news reader decide to become a subscriber?

This is a fundamental question that we in the digital news media business ask ourselves every day.

To get a new perspective on this question, we at the Consumer Insight Group at The New York Times spoke with our readers to render a “mental map” of our engaged, but non-subscribing, Web site visitors as they make the decision to subscribe to other digital entertainment and information sources.

Here’s what we found. Digital subscribers are born when three requirements are met, namely ...


About this blog

The Satisfying Audiences Blog aims to reflect print and digital content not just across platforms but extending into consumer events, non-news-related subscriptions and other audience vehicles for newsmedia companies. This blog written by INMA members is dedicated to identifying the emerging linkages between content, audiences, and platforms. The blog is an initiative by the INMA North America Division Board of Directors.

Meet the bloggers

Lynne Brennen
New Leaf Media Consulting
Montclair, New Jersey, USA
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Nadine Chevolleau
Consumer Marketing
The Toronto Star
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Kathleen Coleman
Sales & Marketing
S-R Media
Spokane, Washington, USA
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Kevin Curnock
Executive Director
Business Improvement
Brunswick News
St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
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Jim Fleigner
Managing Partner
Impact Consultancy
Santa Monica, California, United States
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Claire Hawley
Vice President of Audience Development
Tribune Publishing
Los Angeles, California, USA
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Dan Johnson
Vice President,
Business Development
Gilbert, Arizona, USA
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Sandy MacLeod
Chief Operating Officer, Print
The Toronto Star/Metro English
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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John Newby
The Times
Ottawa, Illinois, USA
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Nicki Purcell
Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Consumer Sales
The Dallas Morning News
Dallas, Texas, USA
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Maria Terrell
Director of Content
Dallas, Texas, USA
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New York City, New York, USA


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