Category Archives: Industry News

Back-to-School Shopping Season 2016

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As is the case here in CT, many states have tax-free weeks to encourage back-to-school shopping towards the end of August (17 states total – though many are cutting back on discounts being offered).  As such, many advertisers and retailers have begun ramping up their back-to-school advertising campaigns.

According to eMarketer, US retail e-commerce sales in July and August will increase 15% over last year.  This growth can be mostly attributed to overall growth in e-commerce.  Marketers are fighting to get their piece of that pie.  The back to school season represents 17.2% of full-year retail sales, so it’s critical for retailers to dedicate appropriate advertising budget to drive sales during this time period.

Marketing Land reports consumers will spend 42% of their budget on apparel, 26% on books and supplies, and 13% on consumer electronics.  As reported by the New York Times, the National Retail Federation estimates families with children in kindergarten through high school will spend an overage of $674 on back-to-school shopping for a total industry-wide spend of $75.8 billion in the US.  This is an 7% overall increase over last year.  51% of consumers plan to start shopping 3-4 weeks before school starts.  44% of consumers plan to shop at a discount store, 43% in a department store, and 38% plan to shop online.

Marketers will likely spend more than $241 million on back-to-school advertising.  Many retailers opt for newspaper inserts to broadcast sales, though TV campaigns are widely popular, as well as digital and social campaign components.

Here’s a glimpse into some popular national retailers’ ad campaigns this year:

Best Buy

Office Depot 

Target

Kohls

And just for fun, one of the most memorable back-to-school campaigns of all time:

If you have ads you’d like to place in newspapers or magazines this back-to-school season, contact us here at Mediabids at 860-379-9602.  Happy shopping!

3 Studies Showing the Effectiveness of Print Advertising

It Works Effective Strategy Plan Advice Red Grunge Stamp

Yesterday, print ads that we ran for our MediaBids clients generated 2,000 phone calls from interested consumers. Two-thousand living, breathing people across the US studied these print ads, and made the calculated decision to pick up the phone. We see this kind of activity from newspaper and magazine ads everyday, and we’re not the only ones that still believe in print. Take a look at a few studies that show print advertising is still alive:

1.) Study Reveals Advertising With Newspaper Triples Campaign Effectiveness– This interesting study out of the UK  released last week reports that “On a sector by sector basis, the research found that adding newspapers to a campaign increases effectiveness by 5.7 times for finance; three times for travel; 2.8 times for retail; 1.7 times for automotive.” Impressive numbers.

2.) GFK MRI Research Study – 61% of readers take action after seeing a print magazine ad – Whether it’s clipping a coupon, making a purchase or gathering more information about an advertiser, magazine readers are spurred to action when they see an ad that interests them.

3.) Nielson Study Shows Newspaper Ads Lead in Engagement – Newspaper ads are viewed as both trustworthy and engaging. “The central focus of the study is engagement, and, in the aggregate score for eleven metrics of engagement, print or online newspapers scored 43 percent, followed by TV stations and their websites at 37 percent. Radio and Internet both received 41 percent.”

Whether you’re looking to drive traffic to a website or call center, print ads are still a useful tool in driving awareness and engagement.

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

#OrlandoUnited

Candle Vigil

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.

Top 10 US Daily Newspapers

Stack of newspapers, eyeglasses on table

Here are MediaBids we work with a wide variety of newspaper publishers – our network includes dailies as well as weeklies, alternatives and shoppers.  Here is a list of the Top 10 US Daily Newspapers ranked by circulation:

  1. USA Today– 2,301,917 (Gannett)
  2. The New York Times– 2,101,611 (New York Times Co)
  3. The Wall Street Journal– 1,337,376 (Dow Jones & Co Inc)
  4. Los Angeles Times– 467,309 (Tribune)
  5. New York Post– 424,721 (News Corp)
  6. Chicago Tribune– 384,962 (Tribune)
  7. The Washington Post– 356,768 (Nash Holdings LLC)
  8. Newsday– 321,296 (Newsday LLC)
  9. New York Daily News– 299,538 (Daily News LP)
  10. am New York– 298,759 (Newsday LLC)

Source: Cision

An article that came out in the Atlantic a couple weeks ago outlines the number of stories published by newspaper per day and not surprisingly, those with the largest circulation are among the biggest content producers as well.  The Washington Post staff publishes 500 stories per day online, 230 for the New York Times, and 240 for the Wall Street Journal.  The total space in the print edition devoted to news though, has largely remained unchanged.

For help buying advertising in these papers and others, contact us at Mediabids at 860-379-9602.  To register your newspaper or magazine, click here.

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.

***

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

 

Memorial Day Weekend Ads & Deals

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If your inbox looks anything like ours, it’s flooded with Memorial Day Weekend sales already.  “The WHOLE store is on SALE up to 25% off EVERYTHING,” “Over 45% Off + More MEMORIAL DAY DEALS,” “Memorial Day Stars & Stripes Weekend Specials.”

It can be hard for companies to cut through the clutter on holiday weekends that have become known for not just parades and BBQs, but aggressive consumer deals as well.  Retailers offer deep discounts in hopes of getting a piece of the pie.  Typically you can find sales on clothing, appliances, camping equipment, electronics, mattresses, and power tools.

We picked up a few of today’s largest national newspapers to sneak a peek at who is advertising in print this MDW.

Wall Street Journal

We only found one small Memorial Day Weekend ad in the WSJ, a 1/9th page 4C ad for a bed and mattress company with a 10-20% off sale plus free delivery.  Overall, there were 5.5 total pages of real estate advertisements (the highest concentration we found out of any paper), 1.5 pages of house ads, and only 9.5 ad pages total.  With 60 total pages in the paper today, that’s less than 16% ads.  There were 24 ads total, 88% of which were in color.

beds direct

New York Times

The NYT had a total of 13.5 ad pages out of the 60 pages total (23%) and had many Memorial Day Weekend themed ads (6 out of 38 – 16%).  Only 37% of the ads in the NYT were in color.  They had 1 page total of house ads, .5 pages of luxury retail, 1 for wireless phone, 2.8 for movies, and 2.9 for cultural activities.  The MDW themed ads included two national department stores, one national retailer, one credit union offering auto loans, one travel ad, and one for an art exhibit.  Lord + Taylor’s ad included a 20% off coupon in addition to advertising 25% off almost all sale & clearance items plus 10% off fragrances with the purchase of a $5 ticket to benefit the USO.  Bloomingdale was highlighting their 60-70% off mattress sale.  And Crate + Barrel was promoting 15% off full priced items in addition to 40% off outdoor furniture.

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crate + barrel

USA Today

USA Today had the highest concentration of total ads with 7 ad pages out of 32 total (22%).  There were 16 ads which included three with Memorial Day Weekend tie-ins.  This publication had three national auto retailers (Jeep, BMW, and Chevrolet).  The full page Chevrolet ad touted their military discount program.  USA Today also included USA Today Sports edition- a glossy, digest-sized insert with three full page ads within.  Also included was a supplement insert of Healthcare News with several ads for universities with nursing programs, as well as a healthcare ad for Cigna.  63% of all ads were in color.

Chevy Salutes

Boston Globe

The Boston Globe was the smallest paper examined with 54 pages total including 8 ad pages (15%).  We counted 6 Memorial Day themed ads which included a local gym as well as a local auto dealer, and a travel ad as well.  We found the same Lord + Taylor advertisement as found in the NYT, as well as another Chevrolet MDW ad, though this one featured their lineup of available crossovers.  The same Crate + Barrel ad as featured in the NYT was also in here.  Out of the 25 total ads, 26% were in color.  We noticed more DR offers here with ads including coupons for travel, windows and siding, as well as basement finishing.  This edition also included a 10 page double-sided glossy insert for Macy’s Memorial Day Weekend sale including a 10% off promotion.  We also found a double-sided glossy color insert for Sleepy’s advertising ½ off.

local gym

 

local car

travel

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macys insert

sleepy's insert

Overall, is seems there is no lack of deals to be found over this holiday weekend.  If you’re still in the office reading this on Friday afternoon…when everyone else is headed to the beach…here are two comprehensive roundups of the best deals of the weekend (you’re welcome):

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/2016-05-26/the-best-memorial-day-sales-of-2016

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/memorial-day-deals-2016-biggest-bargains-weekend/story?id=39416550

Happy Memorial Day from MediaBids!

Post by Darcy Mauke

Liar, Liar, Clicks on Fire!

“Fraud.” A word that is starting to permeate the conversations on blogs and news sites covering the digital advertising industry. As people start to dig deeper into online response rates, more and more startling findings are beginning to emerge.

According to a new study produced by Invesp Consulting, Ad Fraud Accounts for $1 of every $3 Spent! That means a THIRD of advertising spend online is completely wasted. If marketers moved that budget to print, they could turn those wasted ad dollars into qualified, verifiable new leads. The infographic below outlines the online advertising fraud findings in more detail:

ad-fraud
Infographic provided by Invesp Consulting

What can marketers do to combat this?

Our recommendation, of course, is to move a portion of the budget back towards traditional channels where there is a lower risk of fraudulent activity.

However, if you have a large spend online, it is worth the investment to enroll the help of a fraud-prevention service. There are third-party verification firms such as Adloox , Forensiq and Simility that take a deep look at traffic sources to weed out potential fraudulent activity and publishers. This info can help you negotiate refunds from your advertising service providers, as well as prevent further fraudulent activity.

If you’re an SMB, Google Analytics can show you where your referral traffic is coming from, and you can comb through the data to try and evaluate fraud sources to block their traffic or remove them from your advertising plan.

Other recommendations can be found by visiting the  Alliance for Audited Media – a group that focuses on validating the audience of media properties

This is a major issue – expect to read much more about it in weeks to come.

Post by Jess Greiner