What's on Tap...

A brew of marketing and advertising news for your insatiable knowledge palette

What Multi-Channel Marketing Is and Why You Need It

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 @ 09:16 AM

Multi-channel marketing isn’t necessarily a new concept, but it’s one many CMOs have yet to discover or employ in their campaigns. In a nutshell this approach to marketing combines different tactics and channels to deliver one cohesive strategy and brand message that builds awareness and trust among a targeted demographic.

What Multi-Channel Marketing Is and Why You Need ItTo be clear, multi-channel marketing isn’t a strategy or THE strategy – it’s simply a tactical delivery of whatever your core strategy is, and that’s an important distinction. It’s not enough to say, “We’re going to do multi-media marketing for this campaign” and then simply use more tools and channels. Because if you don’t know what your overall strategy is, the various tools and channels you use may not play nicely with each other and may hamper your campaign’s ability to reach its objective.

With this understanding and an appreciation for the basic principles of an integrated marketing approach, and with the right combination of online and offline tools and tactics based around a single marketing strategy, businesses can blow past the competition.

Is Multi-Media Marketing Really Necessary?

The technological revolution has forever changed the way we do just about everything. Today’s consumers expect to be able to interact with businesses whenever, wherever and however they choose. Marketers who ignore this modern fact do so at their bottom line’s expense. Your prospects can be anywhere, and your business needs to be anywhere as well to connect, engage and convert. As the number of marketing channels grows, it will become even more important to embrace this integrated marketing approach.

The Numerous Benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing

There are many benefits of multi-media marketing, and not just in terms of increasing your bottom line but also growing your entire business.

A Wider Reach

Using an array of channels gives you a much wider reach and puts your business in front of new potential customers.

More Analytical Tools at Your DisposalWhat Multi-Channel Marketing Is and Why You Need It

More channels means more access to analytical tools that offer data from which you can gauge your campaign’s impact. Robust data means your campaigns can become increasingly more intelligent and informed, targeting the right groups at the right time using a combination of channels.

Cost-effective Campaigns

When used long-term, multi-media marketing becomes very cost-effective. Campaigns that are highly targeted and easily measured mean you can be sure your ad dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible so your operational costs are at a minimum.

Brand Loyalty

Multi-media marketing allows businesses to engage and interact with audiences frequently. This interaction has the potential to not only reinforce a brand’s message but also put a personal face on the company which leads to increased brand loyalty.

Customers Appreciate Having a ChoiceWhat Multi-Channel Marketing Is and Why You Need It

When you let customers interact with you via the channel of their choice, it makes them happy, and this in turn leads to more completed conversions, which will make you happy.

More Touchpoints

The more touchpoints you have along your sales funnel, the more information you’ll collect about your audience and the better able you’ll be to craft future campaigns that will be relevant and more persuasive.

Consistent Branding

By using multiple channels your brand message and image stays consistent across all media which allows for more recognition and trust.

In today’s highly competitive and fragmented marketing landscape one channel is no longer enough. If you want to stay competitive and grow your business you will have to integrate your tactics and tools to reach the masses on their terms and media of choice.

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5 Local Digital Advertising Myths that May Hurt Your Bottom Line

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 @ 08:44 AM

As a local business owner you may be late to the digital party because you’ve been under the assumption that brick and mortar establishments don’t require an online presence. And now it’s finally hit you that in order to keep a competitive edge in your local market you need to be online, and so you’re scrambling to get yourself set up and bringing in leads and sales.

There is danger, though, in trying to rush in and claim your online space, and that danger is, as an offline business owner, you’re not up to speed on all things digital and you may buy into some bad information. Even savvy online marketers have a hard time keeping up with the frenetic pace of change that is the digital marketing landscape.

With this in mind, and in an effort to ensure you don’t waste time with online marketing tactics and theories that are antiquated and just downright wrong, here are five local digital advertising myths that may hurt your bottom line.

5 Local Digital Advertising Myths that May Hurt Your Bottom LineMYTH #1: If I Don’t Sell Digitally, Then I Don’t Need to Advertise Digitally

Just in case you’re one of the very few business owners on the planet who hasn’t fully embraced the fact that he needs an online presence regardless of whether he sells online or not, let us put this myth to bed once and for all. It doesn’t matter if you sell pizza on Main Street in your town or if you’re the local plumber, your local market is searching online for what you have and if they don’t find you they’ll find your competition and give them the business instead. In today’s day and age, if you don’t have a web presence you’re simply not going to be taken seriously by consumers – period.

MYTH #2: All I Need is a Pretty Website and I’m Good to Go

Hmmm, like saying I have a brand-spanking-new SUV with top of the line bells and whistles and that’s all I need to get me from Point A to Point B. Well, that car won’t get me very far if I don’t fill it with gas repeatedly and maintain it so it doesn’t break down.

If you have a great looking website with helpful content, how will people find it? Unless your local customers already know you and purposefully type in your business name, you can’t assume your website will automatically be returned in the results. You need to have a strategy to get visitors to your site. This can be SEO, claiming your local listings on sites like Google Places and Yelp, or using social media to drive traffic.

And speaking of social media…

MYTH #3: I Don’t Need Social Media for My Type of Business

Although we won’t deny that certain types of businesses have an easier time interacting with customers on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, having a social media presence is still a good idea for a couple different reasons. One, these platforms help you monitor your business’ reputation, and two, social media can help you outrank your local competition who still may not have embraced it.

MYTH #4: I Don’t Need to Optimize for Mobile

And you still think this, why? Trust us, the thousands of marketing experts exclaiming the importance of optimizing your website for mobile haven’t been doing so because they have nothing better to do. They’ve 5 Local Digital Advertising Myths that May Hurt Your Bottom Linebeen doing it because cold hard data has shown mobile usage is through the roofs. According to Pew research, as of January 2014, 58% of Americans have a smartphone, and we can assume that number has increased in the past year based on historical patterns of smartphone adoption by consumers. In June of last year, Comscore offered this piece of data: “Mobile platforms – smartphones and tablets – combined to account for 60% of total digital media time spent, up from 50% a year ago.”

We don’t know how to make it any clearer – the entire world (okay, a slight exaggeration but it’s only a matter of time) is migrating their online activities to their mobile devices. If the entire world cannot interact with your website because it’s not optimized for mobile, then who on earth is going to do business with you?

MYTH #5: I Need a Huge Budget to Market Online

If you’ve had a professional marketer call you or knock on your door claiming they can help you gain traction online and it will only cost you X thousands of dollars every month, run for the hills. The truth is local digital advertising does not have to cost much at all. The key is to spend a little bit of time up front to figure out your specific goals and focus on one method or channel of marketing at a time.

Hopefully now that some of these myths have been dispelled you will embrace local digital advertising and put it to work for you.

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7 Best Practices for Magazine Advertising

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 08:51 AM

You’ve no doubt heard that many companies are migrating their advertising dollars to digital channels; you may even be considering following suit. But before you completely abandon traditional advertising channels like print magazines for banner ads and social media campaigns, consider the following.

Many brands still use print magazines as a channel to engage consumers in the offline world. In fact, in some industries like B2B manufacturing, as much as 60% of companies use print magazines as part of their marketing mix. What do they know that you don’t?

Well, according to a 2013 Custom Content Council study, more and more brands are investing in print magazines because they have discovered magazines are an effective channel for customer education, retention and brand loyalty. It would seem that as many brands uncover the real preferences of their target audience and understand how they like to consume content, the role of printed magazine has taken a prominent position in their marketing mix.

The Benefits of Magazine Advertising

Before we get into magazine advertising best practices, let’s take a quick look at some of the many benefits this traditional advertising channel offers:

  • Magazines allow brands to stand apart in an overcrowded digital market and create lasting, memorable engagement.
  • Subscription-based connections with readers means brand loyalty and repeat messaging capabilities.
  • Your printed content can be repurposed in digital channels to reach a broader audience.
  • Magazines are typically kept around for a long period of time. One single magazine left in a doctor’s office, for instance, can generate repeat exposure for a brand. Also, an ad placed today will reach people months from now, which can’t be said for all media channels.
  • Magazines allow for highly targeted advertising so your budget is used to only reach the people who are interested in your offer. Can you say better ROI?

The following seven best practices will help you create and place effective magazine ads:

1. Choose the Right Publication

Your first step is to take a look at the available magazines and determine which will be the best fit in reaching your target market. If you’re selling inground pools, it makes little sense to place an ad in a magazine that caters to new parents.

2. Examine the Publication’s Circulation

Once you’ve identified the magazine that reaches your audience you’ll want to learn everything there is to know about the magazine’s reach. To do this, ask a sales rep about their circulation numbers, distribution areas, pricing and market image. When looking at circulation, be sure to focus on actual direct subscribers because many magazines wind up on the shelves at supermarkets and may never be sold. Also, pay attention to the magazine’s market image; while a particular magazine may have a lower circulation, if it is well-respected it may serve your needs better than a publication with bigger numbers but an overall lower image score.

7 Best Practices for Magazine Advertising

3. Place Your Ad Where It Makes the Most Sense

Deciding where to place your ad will depend on your budget and content. Bigger budgets will be able to afford those positions that offer the biggest reach, like near the table of contents or adjacent to a relevant article. However, you can often spend less by placing your ad next to a prominent ad and “borrow” all their eye traffic.

4. Know How Much Text Is Right for Your Audience

In theory, print ads should be short and sweet. But that rule isn’t set in stone. For instance, if you’re selling cars, your audience may want to read a full list of benefits and features. Some consumers, if they see ads with lots of text, assume the quality of the product or service offered is superior to an ad where the text is sparse. The moral of the story is, KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE and their perceptions.

5. Create Compelling Headlines

You have mere seconds to grab the reader’s attention before he or she may turn the page. Create compelling headlines that address the specific needs or desires of your target audience. Don’t just put your company’s name or your product name as a headline – consumers couldn’t care less. They really just want to know what you can do for them.print-digital-magazine-ad

6. Make Sure Your Ads Are Integrated

It’s more than likely you won’t solely advertise through one channel, which makes it very important that all your advertising is integrated and all your design elements match the overall brand identity. This includes your print magazine ad which must fit into the larger picture of the story you are telling. When your ads are integrated they work together to lead your prospect through your entire sales cycle.

7. Make Your Budget Work Harder

ROI ultimately means making your budget work harder. You can’t place cost-effective ads without first knowing the publication’s schedule. This will help you sync your ad placement to readership and business cycles. Obtaining a media kit will give you rate information as well as the magazine’s reach.

Print magazines are a highly effective channel for customer engagement and brand storytelling. They allow you to cater to consumers’ special interests while creating loyalty. If you haven’t experimented with magazine advertising yet, maybe it’s about TIME – which is a magazine and a very good one.

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Here's a Little Secret: Traditional Advertising Channels Still Work

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Jan 06, 2015 @ 08:44 AM

As many companies abandon traditional marketing methods in a mad dash to embrace social media and online tactics, those advertisers in the know stick with what has always worked. While traditional channels may not suit every brand story or budget, many are still a great way to extend reach, engage consumers and increase the bottom line.

Consumers Prefer Traditional Advertising

Why is it that digital ad budgets get bigger and bigger and news of the decline of print ad revenues continues to make the rounds, yet many studies reveal that consumers are still far more likely to interact with and trust traditional channels?

According to an Adobe survey consumers continue to rely on word of mouth from family and friends (51%) as well as consumer forums (35%) to gain credible information on products and brands. These channels were closely followed by traditional media such as print ads and television with 28% of respondents referring to them, only 17% trusting websites, and a mere 8% looking to social media to gain brand awareness.

The same survey scored traditional media as the most effective (47%) and company websites as somewhat effective (18%).

Here's a Little Secret: Traditional Advertising Channels Still WorkAnother study by the Shullman Research Center found that traditional advertising channels such as print and television were the best bet for reaching affluent audiences. In fact, the survey clearly indicates that four out of the top five advertising channels for reaching millionaires (you know, those consumers who have money to burn) were traditional, with print ads receiving the highest level of interest (74%) from survey participants.

Which Traditional Advertising Channels Are Right for You?

Not all channels work with all offers and messages so it’s important to know your business as well as your target audience inside and out.

Newspapers and Magazines

Obviously the goal of any advertising campaign is to reach your target audience and you can easily determine what channels they prefer (in this case print vs. digital content) by studying print readership demographics and examining purchasing data.

You may find despite the many claims that print is dead, your particular audience still very much engages with newspapers. As we mentioned previously, this is especially true if your audience happens to be affluent, in which case it makes loads of sense to drop a good chunk of your ad budget into newspapers.

Magazines also have their advantages like offering advertising that has the ability to reach a highly targeted audience. This means you’ll be able to reach only those consumers who are likely to spend their dollars with you. If your product or service is highly specialized, then advertising in specialty magazines that cater to a very particular audience will likely increase your ROI.

Some things to remember when advertising in newspapers or magazines:Here's a Little Secret: Traditional Advertising Channels Still Work

  • Before purchasing any print ads, be sure to request a copy of the publication’s media kit so you can examine their current circulation numbers and readership demographics.
  • Choose an ad size that makes sense for your budget. Contrary to what you may think, full page ads aren’t the only ones that make big impacts. Well-designed smaller ads can also be highly effective at sharing your message.
  • You’ll want to study the publication’s schedule to place your ad effectively. By knowing your demographic and the publication schedule you can ensure your ad gets the highest traffic for your market.
  • Many newspaper and magazine readers interact with both the print and online versions of the publication, so consider buying a robust advertising package that will place your ad both in the online and physical publications.

Television and Radio

Not all businesses have the budget to handle radio and TV campaigns, but if you do, these channels can perform beautifully and reach your local audience. Placing TV and radio ads calls for some real strategy and the ability to study demographics in order to choose TV shows and radio stations that already reach your market.

Some things to remember when advertising in radio or television:

  • TV and radio ads have to be unique and creative in order to grab the viewer’s/listener’s attention in 30 seconds or less. Spend time really considering what your unique message is and how you can relay it in an engaging way.
  • Mixing and matching air times can be a great way to stretch your ad spend. Sure prime time seems the logical choice to reach as many prospects as you can, but it also will cost a pretty penny. Better to mix and match high dollar and cheaper slots to gain the most reach for the best price.

Billboards

Billboards still have their place in a marketing mix and can communicate a brand’s message clearly and loudly. Billboard advertising works best for those messages that are simple and compelling and that need to reach a larger market in a specific geographical area.

Some things to remember when advertising with billboards:Here's a Little Secret: Traditional Advertising Channels Still Work

  • Bargains don’t always pay off. Yes, well-placed billboards may cost four times as much as ones placed in crappy locations, but they will get your message in front of your audience, whereas the cheaper placement may only get your message in front of pigeons and a garbage dump.
  • Do you have something everyone needs? It’s hard to target drivers, which is why billboards work best when your offer is something everyone needs, like car insurance, a better night’s sleep, or good ol’ gasoline.
  • On average most drivers will see your billboard for only two to three seconds, so this means your message has to get to the point. Make sure your design is clean and your images are engaging. You must have a big call to action. Also, your URLs or 800 numbers should be easy to memorize as drivers won’t be able to write them down.

The key to great advertising has always been and will always be identifying and understanding your particular market. Traditional channels can be highly effective at reaching certain demographics. The thing to remember is, it doesn’t have to be a one or the other situation. The best advertising strategies are robust and mix traditional channels with digital channels to ensure the greatest reach.

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Why You Need a Print Media Buying Service

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 @ 07:56 AM

Print media buying is not just a specialty – it’s an art form that requires many skills to navigate a constantly-shifting landscape and get the best ROI for your clients. Sure, you can try and go it alone and make your own print media buys, but we think you’ll find it easier and more effective (and profitable) if you seek help from seasoned pros.

Here is why you need a print media buying service:

Comprehensive Knowledge 

Media buyers have very specialized knowledge about all of the various media channels because they constantly monitor outlets and publications in order to know which will give clients the most bang for their bucks.

Consumer Behavior Why You Need a Print Media Buying Service

But it’s not enough to only monitor channels; media buyers also understand that consumer trends influence effective buys and so they make it their business to know your target demographics’ preferences and behavior by conducting the right research and mining that data for clues.

Marketing and Branding Best Practices 

An effective media buy must take into account your overall marketing and brand objectives. A good buyer not only understands basic marketing fundamentals but how those weave into a positioning strategy and brand engagement.

A Grasp of Statistics and Analytics

Good, nay, great media buys require a firm grasp of fundamental statistics and the ability to measure change, use spreadsheets and predictive analysis. If you can’t wrap your head around development indices, post-buy analysis and media weight analysis, then using a print media buying service that can not only manipulate data but extract great meaning from it will help your campaigns immensely.

The Ability to Optimize Your Advertising Budget

Working with a print media buying service means your budget will be given priority and care. Media buyers will do extensive research to determine the best way to spend your dollars by evaluating things like pricing rates, demographics, publication formats and geographics. They will also optimize the campaign by leveraging medium, quality of channels, and time and space required.

Why You Need a Print Media Buying ServiceThey Know Placement and Timing

Being in the right place at the right time has tremendous advantages, and this is especially true for advertising. Media buyers understand the nuances of timing and ad placement. Each specific channel offers unique opportunities to connect with and make an impact on a target audience.

Working with a good print media buyer means having someone in your corner who will take into consideration what time of day your audience might be the most receptive to your particular message and which medium that message should be delivered in. Once they figure out medium and timing, they will then be able to determine the optimal placement for your ads.

They Can Teach You the Art of Patience

As the saying goes, “You can’t rush greatness” and print media buyers who’ve been in the business awhile have learned patience is a necessary ingredient to advertising success. Testing new media channels or working with new print partners will yield results, but those results won’t happen overnight. Good media buyers don’t insist on quick results but rather look at solid data to determine campaign effectiveness.

They Have Negotiating Clout

If you yourself don’t have terrific negotiating skills you’ll definitely want to seek out a print media buying service. Because they place ads for several clients at the same time, their total spend is simply greater than what a single advertiser offers, and this spend gives them real negotiating power when it comes time to talk contracts.

The difference between print campaigns and successful print campaigns generally boils down to working with a knowledgeable media buying service that can help you uncover your customer’s behavior, analyze critical data, optimize your budget, get the timing and placement of your ad just right, and negotiate contracts on your behalf so you’ll see the greatest returns on your investment.

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Image credit: Chris Willis (originally posted to Flickr as Antique Clock Face) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Why Your Print Ads Aren't Delivering Results

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 @ 06:52 AM

Print advertising is still very much alive and kicking. No other medium, in fact, offers the credibility, branding potential, targeted marketing, or engagement that newspaper and magazine ads do.

Maybe you’re someone who’s jumped on the print bandwagon and have created and launched a few campaigns with little to no return on your investment. If so, here are some of the most common reasons why your print ads aren’t delivering results.

Your Ads Are Like NovelsWhy Your Print Ads Aren't Delivering Results

Many advertisers list every single feature and benefit because they are proud of their product or service. Also, because they are paying good money for the ad space, they feel compelled to squeeze in every single word they can to get the most bang for their buck.

The problem is, when you try and cram as much information as you can into a small print ad, people get overwhelmed and inevitably ignore it. Keep images and text to an absolute minimum and list only your top benefits.

You Aren’t Consistent

You can’t get on a treadmill once for 45 minutes and expect that you will be trim and healthy for the rest of your life; it takes a commitment to see real results. The same can be said for print ads – it takes time and commitment to deliver ROI. Effective print campaigns require a bit of a budget and a commitment. If you don’t have any real budget right now, it’s better to wait until you do so you can make a financial commitment and get better results.

You’re Copying the Competition

Most of us know the concept of stealing from those who have what we want. Not literally, of course. But, say, if you want to have huge biceps, then you should ask the guy with huge biceps at the gym what he eats and how he stays fit, and then copy his regimen. Makes sense, right?

The reason why this concept doesn’t really work in advertising is because your competitors may have a different target demographic, different objective, and a different budget than you, so copying exactly what they’re doing may bring you dismal (and costly) results.

It’s better to independently figure out what your own marketing goals are. Ask yourself what it is you want your ads to accomplish: attract new customers, offer a special or promote a new product? Knowing what your own goals are, who you’re targeting and what you can afford will be much more effective for you.

Why Your Print Ads Aren't Delivering ResultsYou’re Spending Too Little

Some advertisers who have a nice size budget make the mistake of spending as little as they can on ads with the intention of making that ad budget last for months and months. We always advise our clients to be frugal, sure, but don’t be ridiculous. The reality is you’ll need to spend as much as it takes to “get the job done” and reach your campaign’s objective.

The reality is consumers are bombarded with ads 24/7. If you want yours to stand out, then it will have to be large enough so it grabs attention. It must also be placed in the right publication (and section) to hit your demographic.

Your Ads Emphasize Features, Not Benefits

Unless your ad answers your prospect’s question, “What’s in this for me?” it will most likely be completely ineffective. Many advertisers forget to sell their products on a print ad and instead only describe their offer. That’s bad. Most consumers don’t give a hoot about the history of your product, how you got it from a mere concept to market and that it is made with titanium blah blah. They really only care about whether or not it will somehow positively impact their life (i.e., make them happier, smarter, healthier, etc.).

And They Don’t Include a Call-To-Action

If you don’t tell your prospects exactly what you want them to do, you can’t really be disappointed when they don’t take the action you want them to take. We never cease to be amazed at how many ads don’t ask the reader to do anything. Here’s what you’ve got to do: Treat your prospects like your kids. You don’t Why Your Print Ads Aren't Delivering Resultshope your kids will clean their room; you look them in the eye and tell them to clean their room, and you also tell them what’s in it for them (five bucks, ice cream, not being grounded).

You’ve gone through the trouble (and paid for the words) to woo your prospects and present the benefits of your offer. Now give them some direction: “Call to schedule an appointment” or “Bring in this coupon for a free oil change.”

You’re Not Measuring Results

We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: If you don’t measure results, how will you know if your ad worked? Make sure to track results and test along the way. Maybe your ad itself is fine, but the publication or placement was not optimal. Maybe placement was fine, but the price of your actual offer was too high for your target audience. Maybe you’ve listed the wrong benefit – is there one that wouldreally draw more attention?

Track. Test. Track. Test.

Print advertising is some of the most effective advertising available. If your print ads aren’t delivering results, check and see if they (or you) are making some of these common mistakes.

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6 Facts about Newspaper Advertising You Probably Didn't Know

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 @ 11:12 AM

There are many benefits to newspaper advertising which you may be aware of: it tends to be cheaper than other media channels; it is highly effective for repeat exposure; it offers great local market penetration and more flexibility; and consumers seek it out to help them make buying decisions.

But, here are six facts about newspaper advertising you probably didn’t know:

1. The Newspaper Industry is Quickly Evolving

Data from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) indicates that circulation revenue for U.S. newspapers experienced a second consecutive year of growth with figures increasing 3.7% to $10.87 billion in 2013. Their report stated that "this trend reflects an industry evolving its business model in a significant way, taking advantage of developments in technology, consumer behavior, and advertiser interest, to grow audience and diversify its revenue stream."

2009 reading newspaper NYC 4328271821

2. Newspapers Have More Reach Than Stretch Armstrong

Have you heard newspapers are dead? Then how do they still, hands down, offer more reach than any other advertising vehicle? According to Scarborough Research, nearly 105 million people read the newspaper in print or online on any given weekday nationally, and more than 110 million adults read the Sunday newspaper.

3. The Affluent Crowd Reads Newspapers

In an effort to determine the most effective way to engage highly affluent consumers, Shullman Luxury, Affluence and Wealth Pulse asked wealthy participants which media platforms they remembered seeing advertising in the past 30 days and their reaction to it. The results? Despite all of the attention digital media garners, affluent Americans are far more likely to engage with advertising in printed newspapers than any other media channel, followed only by online newspapers. Download our white paper: Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers.

4. Small Town Communities Love Their Local Papers

In 2013, the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) conducted a Community Newspaper Readership Study on behalf of the NAA and found that 67% of small town residents read their local paper at least once a week. 78% of respondents said newspapers were their main source for local news and information, and 71% responded that newspaper inserts helped them with their buying decisions.

5. Millennials Rely on Print for Savings

Yes, you read that right. Millennials, those digitally-savvy consumers who seem permanently connected to their mobile devices, actually look to print newspapers as their main source for coupons, promotions and deals. This information comes from the Sixth Annual RedPlum® Purse String Survey that offers insight into Americans’ shopping behaviors. According to the survey, 51% of Millennials responded that print newspapers were their go-to source for savings.

6. Newspaper Advertising Drives Action

According to an NAA study, 81% of adults took some form of action, such as clipping a coupon or visiting a store, after seeing a newspaper ad in the past 30 days, and more than half (53%) made an actual purchase because of it.

The study also revealed that newspapers ranked the highest (at 62%) as the most noted source people used to plan their shopping. Inserts scored very high, with 81% of respondents saying they took action in the past month after seeing an ad; and seven out of 10 respondents said they regularly seek out inserts.

Even those respondents who considered themselves “non-readers” said they did in fact use newspapers to clip coupons, compare prices, and check for sales in their local stores.

We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it: newspaper advertising is still an extremely effective option for business owners who want to penetrate their local market, connect with their target demographic, and drive them to take some form of action.

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Were Your Local Advertising Tactics Naughty or Nice This Year?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 08:57 AM

If you’re a local marketer, you know how important it is to use your advertising time and dollars wisely to generate leads and sales and build brand loyalty. But many small, local businesses aren’t always aware of the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. ‘Tis that time of year to look back on your advertising and take stock in what worked and what didn’t.

Were Your Local Advertising Tactics Naughty or Nice This Year?

With this in mind, here are some nice and naughty local advertising tactics that you should and shouldn’t use in the coming year:

Not Tracking Results - NAUGHTY

Continuing with the theme of not knowing if your marketing efforts are paying off or not, if you’re not tracking your results, how will you know if you’re wasting your time and money or investing wisely? Your ads must be trackable, so use a special URL address, QR code, 1-800 number or coupon. If only three people visit your dedicated landing page or call your dedicated 1-800 number, then you know either your ad’s message was wrong, or the ad was in the wrong place.

Get to Know Your Customers – NICE!

Speaking of putting your ads in the wrong place, why did that happen in the first place? Chances are it’s because you don’t know your customers and prospects well enough. You don’t know which print channels they engage with most or what time of the day or week is best to reach them.

Target marketing, knowing your customers’ behavior, needs, and wants, will help you craft the right ad copy and place your ads properly so your budget is not so much an expense but a true investment in your business.

Spending the Same Budgeting Dollars Each Month - NAUGHTY

An easy way to budget your advertising expenses is to spend the same amount each month over the entire year. At first glance, this seems like a good idea, but is it really? What happens if your competition down the street runs a giant promotion or your particular industry gets a bit of bad press? Will you have the necessary ad dollars to combat these issues? Don’t view your advertising through a month-to-month lens but through a yearly one and always have enough reserve funds in case of an advertising emergency.

Were Your Local Advertising Tactics Naughty or Nice This Year?Staying True to What Makes You Special – NICE!

One of the first things any business does when starting out, no matter how big or small, is determine their Unique Value Proposition (UVP); what makes them unique from their competitors? Those businesses who can state their UVP clearly and capitalize on it will become top-of-mind to customers and prospects.

For instance, if you’re a local restaurant that caters to families, you may have found that offering family style dining with platters of food in a casual atmosphere attracted steady business. So it wouldn’t make much sense to suddenly change your niche and offer upscale dining with smaller, fancier (and pricier) dishes in a romantic setting to attract a different clientele. And yet this is what many businesses do.

Whatever it was that made you unique and set you apart from your competition, stay with that angle and work it for all you’ve got.

Trying to Attract New Customers and Forgetting Loyal Ones - NAUGHTY

All businesses want to attract new customers, but generally speaking, it takes far more advertising dollars to attract new customers than it does to keep existing ones. It makes much more sense to put some of your budget and time into nurturing existing relationships either through a monthly newsletter or via loyal customer rewards programs. Customers who are real fans won’t just give you repeat business; they’ll also become brand ambassadors and drum up new business on your behalf.

Promote Benefits Instead of Features – NICE!

Which of the following gets your attention?

The such and such car has a 420-horsepower V8 engine…

OR

The such and such car is rated number one in safety, which means you and your family can enjoy your summer road trip without worries…

Obviously the second one. The second promotes the benefits of owning such and such car while the first ad promotes the features.

Don’t list your product or service features; always create ads that tell prospects what your product or service will do for them.

Not Using a Media Buyer – NAUGHTY

Today’s media landscape is far too fragmented for most small business owners to be able to navigate properly and make effective and affordable ad buys. Nowadays, not using a media buyer and trying to go it alone is a bit like not going to the dentist and doing your own root canal.

Effective media buying is an art form, and successful advertising campaigns require strategy and an understanding of cost and placement options. Good media buyers bring with them a reservoir of data that can help make proper ad buys and uncover hidden opportunities while reducing media costs.

Here’s hoping 2015 sees less naughty and more nice tactics in your advertising strategy.

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Advertising Trends We Can Expect to See in 2015

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Dec 02, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

Just when CMOs think they’ve got a handle on their advertising channels and strategies, new technologies and business models crop up and consumers shift their behaviors once again. 2014 saw more of the industry embrace big data, mobile and native advertising, while local advertisers found more efficient ways of aligning their offline and online tactics.

Here are some advertising trends we can expect to see in 2015.

Advertising Trends We Can Expect to See in 2015Advertising Goes Old School

The past 10 years have treated digital advertising like Marcia Brady, and everything else like Jan. “Marcia. Marcia, Marcia!” Well, 2015 may see advertisers focusing less on all things digital and more on getting back to old school marketing basics. Don’t remember what those are? You know, sitting down and really making sure you have a handle on your target audience, using a set of metrics that makes sense for your particular business to figure out what has been working for you and what hasn’t, and taking a closer look at your budget and resource allocation patterns.

Your Time is Officially Up

You’ve had five years of marketing experts tell you you’d better jump on the mobile bandwagon, and did you listen? I really hope so. If not, 2015 might actually be the year your inability to heed the advice of industry leaders comes around and bites you where the mobile phone don’t ring. Usage of smartphones is currently through the roof and that trend will continue for years to come. According to Forbes, 87% of connected devices sales will be tablets and smartphones by 2017.

In all seriousness, and consider this your very final warning, if you haven’t yet incorporated mobile marketing strategies into your overall plan, or, gasp, even optimized your website for mobile users, you had better do it NOW. If all of your competitors are mobile-ready and you’re not, why would customers do business with you instead of them?

Go Transparent or Go Home

“Knock Knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Consumers, and they’re still wielding all the power and influence in 2015.”

Though the concept of being fully transparent has been around awhile, few brands have fully embraced it. In fact, many seem to be downright uncomfortable with the notion. There is a pervasive myth in advertising that says, “As long as you feed consumers a good story, even if it’s not really yours, they’ fall for it and buy from you.” That tactic is dying and will most likely take its last breath sometime in 2015. The brands that offer a real picture of how they really do business, always with the goal of keeping the consumer’s best interests in mind, will come out on top.

CMOs Will Keep it SimpleSilo

The tendency with many companies is to make things harder than they need to be when it comes to advertising, which is crazy because the landscape itself is constantly evolving and becoming more complex. In the past few years, the trend has been for CMOs to get themselves tangled up in new vertical silos instead of freeing up the flow of creative ideas.

In 2015, CMOs will make a shift and begin silo busting and, instead, think of their marketing in a holistic way by focusing on their overall value proposition and cleanly integrating their messages across multiple channels.

Local News Partnerships

2015 will most likely see more local news media outlets partnering with digital channels if not creating their own “stand alone” websites. In fact, we will most likely see new online newspapers emerging on a regular basis.

What trends do you see as being the ones to watch for in 2015 and how will they change your approach to advertising? Let us know in the comments section below.

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3 Newspaper Industry Trends That Helped Shape 2014

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 @ 07:39 AM

The newspaper industry continues to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace and in ways no one imagined it would. With growth comes challenges, and with challenges come innovation and creative solutions. 2014 saw many of innovations and solutions make their mark in the industry, but three particular trends stood out.

Adoption of Mobile-First Strategies3 Newspaper Industry Trends That Helped Shape 2014 - Mobile

At every single point in its history, the newspaper has had a single goal: to share the news with people in the most accessible way. Up until recently, the easiest way for people to engage with a newspaper was to fold one up, tuck it under their arm, and take it around with them wherever they went. Much of today’s audience prefers to take the newspaper around with them on their mobile device.

Newspapers started to reconsider mobile in 2014. Instead of wondering if they really needed to incorporate it into their strategy, many took a mobile-first approach and optimized content for users on every platform. Big players like The Washington Post, that launched a mobile news interface in September, realized the necessity for rethinking the news experience for mobile consumers. 2015 should see even more publications jump on the mobile-first bandwagon.

Native Advertising as a Viable Revenue Stream

There has been much debate about native advertising and whether or not it has a place in traditional advertising channels, and whether or not the tactic is transparent enough and able to be measured accurately. This past year the debate was quieted a bit as both publishers and advertisers saw the revenue potential in incorporating good storytelling that engages readers. In 2014, many publishers came to terms with decreasing display advertising and reader subscriptions and began to embrace native as a new revenue stream with long-term potential for tremendous growth.

Big Data Made Big Strides

Other industries have been successfully leveraging Big Data as a way to deliver relevant messaging to their respective audiences, so it was only a matter of time before the newspaper industry got on board. In 2014, many newspapers became information curators by wading through the data, listening to their readers’ preferences, and tailoring their publications accordingly.

Publishers and journalists will continue to leverage big data in the coming year as a way to create better products and customer experiences, and they’ll most likely do it in a few specific ways:

Customized Content

It’s one thing to listen to the data in order to predict what types of content readers want; it’s another thing entirely to customize content that offers each reader a personal and relevant experience. For instance, some publishers may curate content and recommend specific stories to their readers, based on the readers’ interests and search history. Others may even customize the homepage so it displays personally relevant stories. Customized news experiences will lead to happy consumers, and happy consumers will lead to brand loyalty.

3 Newspaper Industry Trends That Helped Shape 2014 - Customized Content

Product Innovations

Big Data offers publishers not only a means of connecting with consumers in more engaging ways but the potential to create new products and solutions that speak to their readers personally and add value to their experience. Many publishers are already innovating with video content, mobile strategies and reader-focused designs. The better newspapers become at processing Big Data, the more successful they will be at attracting readers, and the more advertisers will be willing to spend their marketing budgets on their digital platforms.

Real-time Marketing Adjustments

One of the biggest benefits of Big Data is its ability to “see” real-time consumer behavior. Newspapers that leverage Big Data will look at real-time behavior and be able to adjust their marketing strategies. By taking a look at their readers’ search patterns they’ll be able to increase engagement and views by quickly updating the placement of advertisements and stories.

2014 was an exciting year in the newspaper industry. While some still claim that print is dead, newspapers continue to shift and evolve into viable and powerful channels capable of true engagement.

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Image credit: Washington Post, New York Times

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