Category Archives: General

Print Ad Success, Happens To Be Just Like Fishing (no kidding!)

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I just returned from my annual trip to Alaska, where I did a lot of fishing with my kids. Stay with me for a minute, there is a point to this that relates to marketing in newspapers. I believe, that what I have learned about fishing applies to marketing in newspapers.

Not surprisingly, my kids all like catching fish more than they like waiting for fish to bite. The problem is that a big part of fishing is waiting (I always tell them, “that’s why they call it fishing, not catching”) and having faith that the fish will respond sometime soon. If my kids believe that we have gone to a bad spot or that there is no hope in trying, their attention to detail diminishes. Instead of checking the bait every few minutes, they check every hour. They don’t hold the rods, they put them in the boat’s rod holders. They are less likely to try different techniques or pay attention to where their bait is positioned. In short, fishing is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are unlikely to be successful, unless you pay attention, which is easier to do when you believe that success is possible.

In an effort to counterbalance the inevitable impatience of children fishing, for the past several years I have manufactured a new “secret spot” that some unnamed but very wise old friend has told me about. I tell my kids that this friend caught monsters at this spot and their enthusiasm rises to a fever pitch. They believe that this spot will produce fishing glory, so they fish harder, are more attentive to detail and are more patient than they would be otherwise. So it is no big surprise that my fictitious “secret spot” always outperforms other areas that we fish.

Fishing is a hard thing to scientifically quantify and there is no doubt that a certain amount of luck factors into a good day of fishing. However, I firmly believe that there are many factors that a fisherperson can control and the expectation of success creates an environment where success is more likely.

Now, stay on the line, I am about to set the hook – marketing in newspapers is very similar to fishing.

As you probably know, we do a lot of response-based print marketing here at Mediabids. In response-based marketing there are two parties who are involved in a transaction. First, there is the advertiser who is trying to generate response for their goods or services. Second, there is the publication, who wants revenue from the results they generate for that advertiser.

Too often, I believe, all parties (and I include Mediabids in this group) don’t expect success for a specific ad in a specific publication. They want success, but they don’t expect it. All parties involved act like my kids when they are fishing in a spot they believe is unlikely to yield results. But attention to detail generates better results in fishing and in newspaper marketing. Maybe the ad would perform better with a different offer or at a different price point? Maybe the ad would generate more response if it ran in a different section of the publication or at a different size or on a different day of the week? Often it is the little things that determine the difference between an ad performing well or below expectations. However, if success is not expected, it is easy to ignore those little things, which only increases the odds of failure. It is too easy to say, “This ad isn’t going to work.” and not try anything. It is like my kids saying, “There are no fish here.”

We should all expect success from print advertising. We have all seen enough success stories to know that print can generate large numbers of highly qualified results. It should happen with every ad we place, but it doesn’t. It is the job of Mediabids, the advertiser and the publication to expect and demand that ads perform well.

Post by Jedd Gould.

Top Newspaper & Magazine Industry Websites

Internet Concept on Laptop

We’re always searching for the latest news about the evolution of print journalism and advertising. These blogs have fresh and interesting content that we highly recommend taking a look at:

Nieman Lab: Published by Harvard University, this website publishes its own unique take on all of the news, innovations and notable happenings in the new world of journalism. We especially like the daily newsletters they send.

Newsonomics:Ken Doctor is “a speaker and consultant, advising on new sustainable business models of contemporary journalism.” His site features coverage of the New York Times, paywalls, and all things about the digital transformation of traditional media.

AdAge: If you’re in the advertising industry, you’re probably intimately familiar with AdAge. It’s the preeminent publication covering the advertising and marketing industries, and provides instant alerts on the latest news in the world of agencies & all topics media.

The Drum: The Drum is a  site that publishes out of Europe and has its own unique voice covering everything marketing. We think it’s one of the best all-around marketing/advertising sites available today.

Poynter: Poynter is one of the leading voices of journalism, and is actually a teaching institution that educates the best and brightest in the news industry.

MediaPost: MediaPost offers a variety of publications that cover print, television, mobile, social, email, tech and political marketing.

Media Life: Media Life is geared specifically towards media planners & buyers and is published by industry veteran and all-around great guy Gene Ely.

Print in the Mix: Print in the Mix is a project of the Rochester Institute of Technology and is a data-driven website that covers aspects of print ranging from newspapers to 3D printing.

Jim Romenesko: The personal blog of journalist Jim Romanesko, writing from his unique vantage point of being a top journalist at several newspapers and other media entities.

Mr. Magazine: Mr. Magazine also goes by the name of Samir Husni, a magazine industry veteran who provides insightful stats about trends in the industry, reports of new magazines forthcoming and those who are no longer with us, and many interesting publication provides.

Reflections of a Newsasaur – Alan Mutter has run the gamut of roles in the media world – from newspaper journalist to television and internet endeavors, he’s one of the most respected voices in the disucssion of the new age of journalism.

Post by Jess Greiner

Inspiration and Authenticity are Key Factors in Social Sharing

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Have you been watching the Olympics?  Following along with the games can be a great distraction from less inspiring and hopeful news stories this summer.

Despite declined ratings, NBC has sold over $1.2B in ad time.  And though we’re now seeing viewers experiencing the Olympics in ever-changing ways (live streaming, in-app viewing, online recaps, etc.), advertisers are still adjusting to this new media landscape.

Yesterday, AdWeek examined the popularity of Under Armour’s Michael Phelps ad and what makes it one of the most shared Olympics spots ever.  (See original article here)

One key takeaways is that “inspiration” is a critical emotional response that encourages social sharing among millennial men (ages 18-34).  Most sharing, unsurprisingly, comes from Facebook and Twitter.

Authenticity is another key brand attribute that elicits shares: “Especially with younger viewers, over three-quarters will lose trust in a brand if an ad feels fake. Under Armour’s recent campaigns are all consistently authentic. They’re doing a really nice job of drawing this out and creating new content that all work really well together in their content stack, in this authentic way of portraying athletes and their origin stories, showing the things that you don’t always see” says  Devra Prywes, VP, marketing and insight at Unruly.

Here, The Drum looks at more campaigns from brands like Nike, P&G, Minute Maid, and Nissan.  And you can find all the Olympics coverage from AdAge here.

GO USA!

4 Ways Newspapers Can Stay in the Game

The success of local community newspapers is one of the sentiments we at MediaBids highlight here in the PrintObserver (see here: All Advertising is Local, here: The Definition of Truth, here:  The Future of Hyperlocal News, and here: The Top 5 Reasons Community Newspapers are Thriving).  But that doesn’t mean that newspapers – local, regional, and national – should not be open to adapt their business plans to adjust to industry trends.

Here are 4 ways newspapers can stay in the game:

  1. Remember, content is king – One of the main historic benefits of newspapers is the value of their journalism and the quality of their reporting.  In an age where consumers have unlimited options as to where to get their news and information, newspapers must continue to be a beacon of truth and source of thought-provoking editorial.  Much of the value of a newspaper’s brand is in their trustworthiness and this is an asset worth capitalizing upon.  While many recent turnarounds can be attributed to cost-cutting, this cannot come at the expense of editorial excellence or else readership (and thus, revenue) will not be long to follow.
  2. Be genuine – In recent months, we’ve seen critics rip apart Tribune’s announcement to re-brand themselves as Tronc.  You can’t simply throw around buzzwords and slap the word “optimization” on everything.
  3.  Focus on core competencies – Along with the arrival of digital display and programmatic advertising, we’ve seen some newspapers try to transform into an agency of sorts; acting as the liaison for local clients into the world of advertising beyond just their pages.  We’ve seen this have varying degrees of success, but if this is going to be your approach, make sure your sales reps are well-trained to handle questions, objections, and execution of campaigns in alternate mediums.
  4. Newspapers need to recognize and adapt to the fact that their advertisers want trackable results.  Data-driven decision making is a powerful part of marketing today and advertisers have grown accustomed to information-rich platforms.  Beyond touting the quality of your readership, newspapers need to be willing to be part of the conversation on response and ROI/ROAS.  Accountability is paramount.

Whether your analysis of future trends predicts the “death of print” or you have a more optimistic view, one thing we can all agree on is that newspapers will have to be adaptable to survive the ever-evolving media landscape.  We generally try to shine a light on positive news in the industry since the pessimistic voices are often booming loud and clear around us, but that doesn’t mean newspapers should continue down the tunnel with blinders on.

Post by Darcy Mauke

2.7 Billion Adults Read Newspapers in Print

According to the latest annual World Press Trends survey issued by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), 2.7 Billion adults worldwide read newspapers in print.

Source

Circulation growth can mainly be attributed to gains made in Asia – in China and India in particular.  The largest newspaper markets are the US, Japan, Germany, China, the UK, India and Brazil.  Print circulation increased 4.9% overall in 2015 over 2014.

In a separate study on advertising effectiveness, newspaper ads have reportedly influenced 13.1% of US adults to make a purchase in the past 6 months whereas social networking ads have only influenced 10.3%.

92% of newspaper revenues are derived from print.

For help reaching your target audience via print, contact us at info@mediabids.com or at 860-379-9602.

Post by Darcy Mauke

 

Magazines Outperform Digital Video & Display to Deliver the Highest ROAS across all CPG Advertising Categories

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Last week, as reported by ADWEEK and AdAge, Nielsen Catalina Solutions revealed exciting results from their study on how media spending across various channels affect sales.

Unveiled at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement conference, the study highlighted that magazines deliver the highest ROAS (return on advertising spend) across all CPG categories with an average return of $3.94 for every ad dollar spent.  This is compared to $2.63 ROAS for display ads, and just $1.53 for digital video.  Surprising statistics considering many advertisers are moving budget in the digital direction.

Magazines performed particularly strongly in the categories of food, general merchandise, health and beauty, as well as over-the-counter products and reward/sweepstakes and promotion/coupon ads drove the highest returns.

“Everybody wants to be in digital video,” Ms. Wood (Nielsen Catalina Chief Research Officer) said. “There is very little inventory, so the price is high. It’s the reverse in magazines, which are undervalued in the marketplace.”

So while many brands are chasing all the latest technologically advanced ad inventory, it cannot be ignored that magazines are still a powerful part of the marketing mix for CPG brands.

While views, shares, and likes may be exciting social statistics for digital advertising, most marketers would agree that return on investment is still one of the most, if not the most important measurements of campaign success.

For help reaching your target audience via magazines, contact Mediabids at info@mediabids.com or at 860-379-9602.

Post by Darcy Mauke

All Advertising is Local

There’s an oft used phrase in Washington – ”all politics is local.” Congressman Tip O’Neill, the legendary Democratic Speaker of the House from Massachusetts, wrote a book titled All Politics is Local so he is perhaps most closely associated with the phrase. In short, no matter what is happening in the world, a smart politician pays attention to the ”parochial” interests of his/her constituents.

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In some ways, despite the overwhelming attention paid (in the media and in the advertising industry) to the spending of large national chains and global brands, much of advertising is local as well. But we need to think a little differently about what we mean by ”local.” Very few advertisers are necessarily well served by trying to reach everyone (not that it’s possible.) Effective ad campaigns require that we can reach certain households and certain people within a household. Advertising is not quite local, in the Tip O’Neill sense of the word, advertising is really more like hyper-local or at the individual level.

So why am I banging on about this? Why does it matter?

It matters because understanding the root of effective ad campaigns -especially now- should change our perception, somewhat, of the way the ”demise of print” is so often reported.

In print news recently, Politico reported that Macy’s would be cutting their ROP national advertising by 50% and last week Mediapost reported that the Newspaper Association of America announced they would roll up National Newspaper Network (NNN), their national ad sales arm.

http://www.politico.com/media/story/2016/06/the-macys-factor-004590

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/278133/newspaper-national-network-folds.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline&utm_campaign=93824

Juxtapose these print industry reports with a recent article in the Atlantic about the state of journalism in the Facebook era. The Atlantic article noted that Pew Research looked at the digital traffic of the top 50 highest circulation newspapers in the U.S. Pew found that in just the past year, over half the papers had seen mobile and tablet traffic explode past desktop traffic. In other words, news consumption isn’t declining – it’s simply migrating to devices that are more personal (e.g. at the hyper-local or individual level.)

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/06/facebook-ate-the-universe-bye-universe/486944/

It is true that many large metro dailies are struggling to hang onto national advertisers and this struggle is likely to continue. However, newspaper organizations are well positioned to capitalize on the hyper-local/individual-level needs of most advertisers, especially when we better define ”most advertisers.” In the U.S. the number of corporate/national advertisers is dwarfed by the number and amount spent by small/local market advertisers.

Facebook and Google have thrived because they offer cost-effective tools that ”small” local market businesses love. Facebook and Google are response-based and allow advertisers to reach relatively well-defined groups of potential customers. Local advertisers, unsurprisingly, have flocked to this low risk way to target the ”right” people in their communities.  Indeed, the Atlantic article reported that 85% of all online ad spend goes to Facebook and Google….rather than the flashier ROS display buys on high traffic sites.

Community weeklies and mid- and small-dailies have the advantage of the content distribution channels of social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, SnapChat and others) while offering advertisers a print and digital footprint that largely overlaps well with the defined local markets of many small advertisers. For the great majority of these advertisers, their menu of local marketing options beyond Facebook, Google AdWords, direct mail and the local newspaper platform includes advertising media that are decidedly less geographically targeted, response-based and cost-effective. For a variety of reasons (ad production costs, reach, waste etc.) Broadcast TV, cable TV, radio, outdoor -and even in some cases the large metro daily- are not ideal for many local market advertisers.

The widespread generalization of ”print” and ”advertisers” -in a great deal of the print and advertising industry reporting- pretty much walks up to the line of misrepresenting what is truly happening in these industries. Granted, advertising and small business at the hyper-local/individual level is tougher to generalize but it is where the bulk of all kinds of important transactions are actually happening at an ever increasing rate.

Post by Jim Jinks.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Father’s Day

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It’s mid-June which means it’s time to celebrate Dads and Grads.  This year we were proud to feature ads from Seabear Salmon and Omaha Steaks in our Father’s Day performance print campaigns.  Here are some of our favorite Father’s Day commercials this year.

Dove Men+Care offers this touching Father’s Day tribute:

The PGA TOUR Superstore came out with an ad narrated by Jason Day’s 3 year old son in which, since it’s Father’s Day, he lets him win:

Courtyard Marriott partnered with the NFL to feature players’ children sharing what they love most about their dad:

This Father’s Day, Gillette says, Go Ask Dad:

Dockers celebrates Father’s Day with anecdotes and favorite memories of dad:

 

And just in case we didn’t tug your heartstrings enough, who could forget Dove’s Father’s Day ad from last year, sharing Dads’ real life reactions to the news they’re becoming fathers:

Happy Father’s Day from Mediabids!

#OrlandoUnited

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First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Orlando and LGBT communities throughout Florida and everywhere. May you find peace and healing in the coming weeks and months.

The tragic events of early Sunday morning have become an all too common occurrence in the United States; Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, San Bernardino and many, many others. The facts of the Orlando shooting will become more clear by the day but due to the work of many hardworking newspaper journalists in Florida, we already know (and did know within hours) a significant amount about the shooter. In particular, his alleged motivations and how he was a licensed security guard (and able to purchase firearms) despite being on the FBI terror watch list as recently as 2014. These are important facts as we try to learn from this tragedy. Newspaper journalists were undoubtedly the first on the story and they will likely be the ones that will do the most in-depth reporting of the impact of the tragedy on the City of Orlando and the LGBT community. It’s what they do.

As always, newspapers play an important role in shaping the public’s consciousness following a traumatic and horrific event (wish I could say unprecedented here.) Along these lines, the front pages of the New York Daily News and New York Post have become somewhat predictable…but this is a certain kind of ”journalism” that overtly plays to the prejudices of readers.

Daily News NY Post Orlando Shooting

It’s difficult to say what exactly is the ”correct” chord to strike in the wake of such an immense tragedy. We thought it best to show how Florida papers -those closest to the tragedy- responded to the Orlando shooting.

Even in Florida, a few newsrooms went the somewhat sensational route:

Florida Times Union June 13th FP

Palm Beach Post June 13th FP

NWFLA Daily News June 13th FP

Generally speaking, however, most of the headlines were more reflective of the basic facts and scale of the terror:

Sun Sentinel June 13th FP

Ft Myers NewsPress June 13th FP

The Tampa Bay Times and the Villages Daily News have two of the more unique and creative front page treatments:

Tampa Bay Times June 13th FP

The Villages Daily Sun June 13th FP

Perhaps most fitting, the Orlando Sentinel has what could easily be describe as the most moving headline and imagery. #OrlandoUnited

Orlando Sentinel June 13th FP

Post by Jim Jinks.

The Future of Hyperlocal News

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(Photo: Patch)

Earlier this week we posted on the strength of community newspapers, despite the current struggles of their national and regional counterparts.  Part of the reason for their success is the lack of availability of hyper-local news online. Where do you go to find out about local events, local politics, and local businesses?  Chances are, you turn to your weekly community newspaper.  And chances are, you can only find them in print, as very few have complementary websites.

Though some people turn to local pages on Facebook for “news,” these groups contain posts that are not vetted, edited, nor are discussions monitored or moderated.

AOL made a pass at this with Patch, their “hyperlocal news network,” launched originally in 2007 and acquired in 2009.  Patch struggled to achieve profitability and monetize their traffic, and according to a TechCrunch article from December 2013, the network lost AOL millions of dollars in their attempt to keep it alive.

According to the corporate website, AOL spun out Patch to Hale Global in January 2014.  It seems the site now relies heavily on community member posting directly to the site, and the local staff writers and journalists in each location appear to be more regionally-based where one reporter may oversee a dozen or so sites.  They operate 900+ local news sites in 23 states and as of when it was last reported on in 2014, had a staff of about 65.  The “LocalStream” pulls social content from Facebook and Twitter, while the bottom of the page features popular national news stories.

The new management was able to turn the company profitable by May 2014, according to the New York Times.  The biggest change, not surprisingly, was on the advertiser side.  While the site used to rely heavily on local advertisers, and employed sales people to sell display ads to local businesses, it now has a $5k minimum spend.  This almost certainly prices them out of reach for local advertisers.  From what we observed on the sites, most ad space appears to be retargeted programmatic ads.

What does all this mean for the future of local news?  NiemanLab reported last fall that after many local journalists were laid off by Patch when they were sold off by AOL and the company pivoted to become a leaner organization, many of those writers have gone on to launch their own local news sites.

Whether online or in print, “local” represents a huge opportunity for advertisers and allows brands to meet consumers where their heart is, at home.

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For advertisers looking for help reaching consumers at the local level, contact us at MediaBids.  Likewise, if you’re looking for national advertisers for your newspaper or magazine, we can help!

Post by Darcy Mauke