Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

Neighborhood pic

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

baby-22194_1920.jpg

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

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 Definition of Truth

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of ”truth” is ”a judgement, proposition, or idea that is true or is accepted as true.” This seems straightforward right? I mean..a fact is a fact. Well, as we all know, truth is often in the eye of the beholder. This is why so much misinformation or incomplete ”facts” float around about virtually everything. It’s why two people of similar intelligence can come to two completely different conclusions on virtually any subject. In other words, what I choose to believe may not be what you choose to believe.

Truth

At Mediabids we push back against the ”truth” about print publishing and advertising on a daily basis. This speaking into the wind nature of our everyday lives is particularly frustrating when it comes to the truth about weekly community papers. The Tribune (I mean Tronc, I guess), USA Today, New York Times and the big metro dailies get all the attention of the media watchers. You’ve all seen the headlines. The newspaper is dying right?

The truth is print circulation at many of the big metro dailies has declined (but they’re in transition and most are not going anywhere.) Nevertheless, the big metro dailies are also only one part of the newspaper industry story. The truth is that weekly community papers and shoppers are doing well and are very optimistic about their futures (see our most recent Print Observer post, ”The Future of Hyperlocal News.”)

To a certain extent, I’m sure none of this is news to the readers of the Print Observer. However, what you may find newsworthy, is that in terms of performance-based advertising (and all advertisers are demanding more and more performance), weekly papers deliver on par with daily publications. Through the first five months of the year, our direct-response ads in weeklies have delivered a similar number of calls as the dailies:

Per Month, Per Publication (avg.)

Weeklies – 104 calls

Dailies – 146 calls

At least in terms of our national advertisers, dailies clearly do a bit better than weeklies but this comparison needs some qualification. Weekly papers are generally delivered via the mail or later in the day – meaning people read them later in the evenings or over the weekend; the two least likely times for people to respond to print ads. On the other hand, dailies are generally delivered in the early morning. Based on our call volume data, readers then respond to daily paper advertising from 10a-3p weekdays (presumably while they’re on break or at lunch.)

Local news is important and continues to be relevant – not to mention near impossible to find from trusted online sources. Fact is, the local weekly still has a virtual monopoly on community news. Furthermore, local advertisers value being able to reach customers in the communities they serve, at a competitive price point and through a trusted local media source with generally deep roots. Local weeklies have a lot to be proud of – in both serving their communities and in their value to advertisers. No matter what you believe about the future of print, community weeklies are thriving and that’s the truth.

Post by Jim Jinks

 

 

 

The Future of Hyperlocal News

aol patch
(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

american flag.jpeg

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.

lord + taylor.jpg

bloomingdales.JPG

 

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

chevy lineup.JPG

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

Join Us for A Free PowerHour: Comparing Organic SEO vs Paid Google Adwords

SEO
Join media/advertising sales expert Ernest F. Oriente, the founder of PowerHour, LLCand Jedd Gould, CEO of MediaBids for a free MediaBids PowerHour on Thursday, May 26th at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/New York time focused on Comparing Organic SEO vs Paid Google Adwords?

 
To register, please go to:  http://marketing.mediabids.com/seminar/TeleSeminarReg.html

Details are below~for our 242nd free educational PowerHour, since 1995.

During this 60-minute MediaBids PowerHour we will be discussing the points below plus fielding your specific questions:

#1.  How does organic SEO compare to being found in paid Google Adwords?  What are the differences, as seen through the lens of ad agencies and key ad buyers?

#2.  What are the 7 keys for success with your media website to be seen organically, in the natural search?  How does this translate to what you need to know about the websites of your key advertisers and prospective advertisers?

#3.  What are the 7 strategies to win with Google Adwords, in the paid search?  How does this translate to what you need to know about the Google Adword campaigns of your key advertisers and prospective advertisers?

#4.  LinkedIn and Facebook, let’s discuss some emerging trends tied to their paid search offerings and what you need to know when speaking with ad agencies and key media buyers.

As prep for #2 above and to continue this discussion with ad sales leaders from around the world, please join our flagship LinkedIn group, Advertising Sales Success—with 4650+ leaders on this url:  http://tinyurl.com/kxtlmvv

Registration Information
=================

When:  Thursday, May 26th

Please note, the above MediaBids PowerHour starts at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/New York/Toronto time, which is

12:00 p.m. Central/Dallas/Winnipeg time
11:00 a.m. Mountain/Denver/Calgary time
10:00 a.m. Pacific/San Francisco/Vancouver time
9:00 a.m. Alaska time
6:00 p.m. GMT/London time

Fee:  No charge

Recording is available after the MediaBids PowerHour, but you must register below to receive it.

To register, please go to:  http://marketing.mediabids.com/seminar/TeleSeminarReg.html

For additional registration information, please contact MediaBids.com at 800-989-0406 or E-mail jpeterson@mediabids.com

We look forward to having you join us.

Come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mediabids

Content Marketing Via Newspapers

SF HousesAt Mediabids we recently became aware of a somewhat unique insert program at the San Francisco Chronicle. They call it the ”slim jim.” It’s essentially a multi-page, double-sided pamphlet (full-color, 6 wide x 10.5 tall.) In fact, you may have seen a similar ”insert” from American Express or another lux brand in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. Anyway, this got us thinking about inserts and newspapers in a slightly different way.

One unique aspect of the slim jim product is the personalization feature; the inserts are going to San Francisco Chronicle subscribers only. As such, the advertiser prints ”Exclusively For San Francisco Chronicle Subscribers” on the front and back cover. This tactic isn’t necessarily cutting-edge but it is more often used in direct mail than newspaper inserts. Furthermore, the advertiser is using a unique phone number specifically assigned for the slim jim. The calls (both inquiries and sales/reservations) are then tracked back to the paper’s subscriber list. The tracking/reporting allows the advertiser to precisely measure ROI.

A top travel brand has been running the slim jim consistently for the past year. By all accounts it has been a very successful effort. Relative to a simple newspaper display ad, the slim jim really plays to the strengths of the advertiser and newspapers. Indeed, for advertisers and publications, there’s a lot to like about this type of insert product because it is essentially ”content marketing via newspapers.”

content

There are several reasons why newspapers are ideal content marketing distributors – targeting and context to name two. Affluent households are readers and print is a proven, high-conversion media channel. Insert products, like the slim jim in particular, allow for engaging graphics and copy -qualities that tend to be more appreciated by affluent, print media consumers. Perhaps most important though, good content can further the duo marketing goals of brand and sales. Print display ads, on the other hand, tend to struggle to further more than one objective at a time at a time.

Don’t get me wrong, the idea of newspapers as content marketing distributors is not new. Advertorials have been a part of print publishing for generations and we are only a couple of years removed from the ”native ad” craze of the early 2010s.

http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2014/mar/24/brands-publishers-digital-content-marketing

We are well into the era of digital publishers being content marketers themselves and offering content marketing services to clients. Content is ”king” and print publishers are beginning to catch-up to the idea. Nevertheless, beyond the largest metro dailies, the idea that newspapers (and inserts) are a great way to distribute marketing content may not be top-of-mind in print ad sales departments around the country.

Increasingly, advertisers want marketing campaigns that are cost-effective, measureable, ideally allow for the right amount of personalization and reach qualified consumers or purchasers efficiently.  The San Francisco Chronicle’s slim jim (and similar insert products) check off many of these ”must haves” of smart marketers in 2016.

Post by Jim Jinks

 

 

 

Programmatic Print, Part 1 – An Overview

Today we bring you Part 1 in a series on Programmatic Print advertising.

For some time now, everyone in the industry has been talking about programmatic.  Programmatic media is defined as the automated buying, selling, and optimized delivery of media.  Its most commonly used to refer to buying online advertising through an ad exchange to target specific audiences.

Many of the newspapers we work with are now partnering with digital agencies to monetize their online platforms by offering programmatic online, or bringing digital people in house.  We’ve seen these programs achieve varying degrees of success.  Though it seems like an obvious complement to their print offerings, for many newspaper salespeople there is a vast divide and language barrier between their expertise and the world of digital advertising.  But, they’re trying.

With this change, newspapers essentially become an agency themselves, particularly to local advertisers without the resources to hire an actual agency.  If an advertiser’s local newspaper salesperson can offer digital programs (programmatic, in addition to display) to go along with their print advertising, they become their liaison into the world of online advertising.  They are essentially designing and executing a key component of the advertiser’s marketing plan.  As their first point of contact, the newspaper sales rep becomes their entry point into the online market.  Whether or not this positioning is best for newspapers is still up for debate.  But again, they’re trying.

But what about programmatic print?  What if there was an opportunity to automate buying audience groups in print?

Some publications are already doing this – over a year ago, news broke that Time Inc. would begin selling ads across a programmatic platform.  A private exchange grouping their publications and subscribers into audience groups.

But where is this now?  We’ll continue to explore the evolution of programmatic print in posts to come in this series…

Post by Darcy Mauke.