Gannett uses data to shift advertising strategy from selling to partnering


Gannett’s advertising strategy has helped the company better connect with advertisers.
Gannett’s advertising strategy has helped the company better connect with advertisers.

Gannett has been successful in using data and insights to optimise campaigns for key local advertising customers. The strategy has helped reduce churn, but most importantly has helped Gannett’s customers really understand how to best connect and convert their ideal customer with their marketing strategy.

This is really putting into the action the strategy of shifting the sales organisation from product sellers to strategic business partners.

One case study is a regional amusement park in the Midwest part of the United States with a target market focused on people in a regional geographic area with school-aged children school. Although the client has an agency, they reached out directly to discuss capabilities and request a formal proposal.

A campaign was outlined including multiple digital products and print. The client’s goals were to build brand awareness in the regional area and ultimately drive ticket sales.

Gannett’s advertising strategy has helped the company better connect with advertisers.
Gannett’s advertising strategy has helped the company better connect with advertisers.

Campaign development:

  • Developed an integrated 13-week marketing plan based on a two-day promotional offer that could be used for family.

  • Marketing plan included print, digital display, re-targeting, native content, mini-site development and hosting.

  • Local media property to serve as destination point for all the client’s advertisements (display, print, TV, radio, billboards, etc.).

How Gannett’s market drove results:

  • Internal design and development team created a mini-site hosted on site.

  • Developed native content for the customer to use across media channels.

  • Developed full encompassing creative concepts for the client.

  • Set up tracking system for sources, e-mails, downloads, shares, and saves.

  • Optimisation team created custom URLs for tracking in Google Analytics.

  • Sales management communicated updates with client and received feedback ongoing.

  • Marketing, sales, and optimisation team collaborated on campaign development.

  • Optimisation team monitored and tweaked campaign ongoing for delivery and results.

  • Operation and optimisation worked together for pixel creation, campaign implementation, bidding adjustments, and matching up creative with UTMs.


Gannett develops robust campaign reporting to showcase all of the campaign components and their impact on the overall campaign strategy. This is accomplished by harnessing data across a variety of partners and analyzing cross platform effect.

Standard data points include impressions, click-through rates and conversions accompanied by enhanced attention metrics to understand immediate and latent response to our ad campaigns.

Additionally, Gannett provides clients with actions taken on the mini-sites such as e-mail, print, save the site or share it with friends. Some initial results of this case study show a higher than normal click-through rate in digital display campaigns. The campaign is performing at high levels meeting the customer’s needs.

Gannett is releasing a comprehensive reporting dashboard incorporating all campaign metrics into a single access point. Not only will the dashboard assist in quickly understanding performance, long term, it will enable us to more effectively analyse multi-platform advertising programmes, including traditional, and illustrate attribution paths and conversion pathing.

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