Over the past few years, news organisations have invested in online marketing and campaign management tools to help grow print and digital subscriptions. These digital capabilities, whether they are hosted, in-house, or through strategic partnerships, provide online portals for subscriber management and engagement; e-mail and campaign management for real-time, targeted communication; SEM support; and e-commerce functionality.
With some organisational alignment, these same marketing tools can be used to create a digital TMC product, just more targeted, efficient, and effective.
Typically, subscription marketing tools are housed within the circulation department or audience development. Two problems arise from this:
Have you noticed that the most digitally savvy employees are within the advertising or media departments, and the coolest digital marketing tools are within the circulation or audience development departments? The people don’t align with the tools, and all of the back-and-forth requests for support or stepping on toes result in inefficient processes.
While this isn’t the case for all in the news media industry, the lack of alignment among technology, people, and processes for many publishers seems to be creating an opening in the advertising marketplace.
As one of Colombia’s regional newspapers, El Colombiano has always competed for advertising with the largest daily newspapers in Bogotá, the nation’s capital.
Building on existing partnerships with other regional publishers, El Colombiano has created a new digital business that is capturing online advertising for itself and its media partners.
“We created a national option for advertising clients without being one single company,” says Martha Ortiz, chief editor of El Colombiano.
The newly formed Pera Digital is an independent digital advertising sales company representing El Colombiano and seven other regional media companies. Together, they account for 11 million unique visitors and 72 million pageviews each month.
El Colombiano, which also owns a business newspaper in Bogotá and a free weekly newspaper, is no stranger to partnerships with other media companies. It had previously worked with the same regional newspaper publishers to create Periódicos Asociados, a national print advertising sales group representing the regional newspapers. It also has an editorial partnership for covering national news called Colprensa.
Pera represents “the second chapter of the same idea for the digital environment,” Ortiz says.
Comedian Marc Maron famously began his podcast in his garage — at once revitalising his career and legitimising an emerging media format that, in his case, drew the attention of the President of the United States.
President Barack Obama participated in an interview with Maron in that same garage early in 2015. Now one of the nation’s oldest media organisations is moving into the podcasting space.
In July of 2015, E.W. Scripps Company acquired podcasting company Midroll Media. With a national advertising network of more than 200 podcasts, Midroll is arguably the largest player in the growing podcast space.
More than 46 million Americans download at least one podcast a month, and the company tends to have higher than average education and income levels, according to a 2015 report from Edison Research.
“Podcasting has emerged from the relentless evolution of the media marketplace as one of the best new platforms to build organically growing audiences and revenue streams,” Rich Boehne, chairman, president, and CEO of Scripps, said at the time of the acquisition. “In the Midroll teams and shows, we found creative content and business strategies that already
At Bee Media, we often have requests from the sales division for maps of local sales territories. Sales managers and sales reps use maps to visualise their territories, plan trips with multiple stops/calls, and know where their boundary ends and their colleague’s begins.
While updating maps using MapInfo results in a nice, hard copy product, it is often outdated very quickly.
Experience has shown that we have historically spent a significant amount of time reproducing updated versions of maps whenever territories or reps change.
To improve this process, our cartographer, Mark Benson, came up with a more efficient solution, enabling us to steer away from the time-intensive street directory maps and, instead, use the free download of Google Earth (GE).
By importing the local sales reps territory boundary file into Google Earth, a rep just needs to go here and select the download Google Earth blue button.
Next, they go to file > open and select the download .kmz attachment sent to them via e-mail. Then, they just right click on the layer and click “save to my places.”
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China issued its first arrangement of controls to characterize internet publicizing as “email advertisements, paid-list items and installed connections, pictures and recordings ‘with the motivation behind advancing products or administrations,'” composes Alyssa Abkowitz of The Wall Street Journal. “Before this, there was no law that characterized precisely what a web advertisement was, and the controls were somewhat piecemeal,” says Eugene Low, a Hong Kong legal counselor. Controls come after China’s greatest web crawler, Baidu, included an advertisement for a therapeutic treatment that lead to the demise of an understudy. Accordingly, restorative and tobacco advertisements are banned online and all hunt publicizing must be obviously characterized and restricted to 30% of every page.
Power of the Purse
Stylish social stages have an immense employing advantage over other tech merchants. Snapchat has been on a promotion tech tear in the previous year, swiping top executives from Facebook and Google and rounding out its positions with ability from the social showcasing firm Brand Networks, which Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider reports lost its item boss, a VP of item arrangements and an item supervisor to the video sharing stage. Pinterest took the ability (yet not the tech) out of the social revelation tech
Changes in the global economy have ripple effects that don’t just affect prices at the gas pump or the grocery store. Exchange rate fluctuations in some countries have prompted Apple to re-evaluate its App Store price tiers, including for in-app purchases in Canada, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, and South Africa.
This means if you have paid apps or subscribers, they’re about to see their prices go up both in the store and on their monthly bill.
In Canada, for example, the lowest pricing tier now starts at C$1.39, up from C$1.19 in September 2015. The higher-priced tiers are the most affected, with prices that were formerly C$50 now increased to C$69.99. Apple released an encyclopedic PDF earlier this month outlining the new pricing for reference.
By most standards, you could consider these increases marginal.
But in the App Store, where pricing is assigned to something somewhat intangible (software), the perception of price is relative. It’s a unique economic landscape where a C$1.99 app can actually be considered “expensive.”
You can easily imagine a situation where suddenly increasing the price by a dollar or two might make an app provider come across as greedy or its product exorbitant. So, if you’re in Canada, Israel,
The ad-blocking problem continues to challenge publishers and advertisers alike.
Figures from the IAB released last November revealed 18% of consumers in the United Kingdom had deployed ad-blocking software. And, the rate of growth of ad-blocker deployment in the UK between June 2014 and June 2015 was 82%, according to PageFair, which offers publishers the ability to serve simple, unfussy ads to people who arrive on their sites with ad blockers turned on.
That’s exactly double the global growth figure of 41%, which is, in and of itself, worryingly high.
There seems to be broad agreement on why people are deploying ad blockers. There are two principal factors. The first is because they can. It’s never been easier to click on a link and download a bit of software that will speed up your browsing experience.
But being able to do something is not always reason enough to want to do it. In the case of the ad blockers, the digital advertising industry has shot itself in the foot by bombarding Web users with an array of intrusive ad formats – pop-unders, pop-overs, interstitials, auto-play videos, etc. – to the point where people (lots of them!) have had enough.
With finite resources, fast-changing market conditions, and retailers adjusting their go-to market strategies, it’s important to focus where you can leverage the best return.
It’s certain that we are not going to have the same opportunities with each business category.
At Bee Media, we are using a combination of local revenue trends coupled with Borrell Compass data to gain a sense of where the spending on advertising is going for each business category.
Colby Atwood, president of Borrell Associates, Inc., developed a tool to provide focus on where ad spending for each business category is heading relative to print and digital channels.
The tool can be weighed against three factors for both print and digital channels: The current year estimated spending levels for your local market, the estimated dollars spent per business location in your market, and the projected change in spend looking ahead to the next year (change in spending levels)
2015 $ spend.
% change in spend.
Computing these factors across all business categories results in two indicators for each category generated to show a positive or negative ad spending trend for each category against print and digital ad dollar allocation.
Now we have data illustrating the potential for print and digital spending based on where
I have always been impatient, and sometimes I have an attention span of a 5-year-old. That’s exactly how most readers behave on mobile devices when using news media.
In the beginning of online video development, it was common to think a moving image was a moving image, regardless of the device. Most legacy news media companies started online video production with programmes very similar to those shown on linear television.
All discovered the same results: People weren’t interested in watching traditional TV news on newspapers’ Web sites. What they were interested in was real-time news broadcasts or short clips about the action.
The average length of a linear half-hour TV programme is 24 minutes plus six minutes for advertisements at the beginning and in the middle. For hour-long programmes, there are 48 minutes’ worth of programming and 12 minutes of advertisements.
The most popular online videos are, on average, from the tens of seconds to a few minutes. There are very few news clips that audiences want to watch for more than a few minutes.
When it comes to online native video programmes, the critical length seems to be seven minutes: That’s the attention span of audiences for online videos on news sites. Of course,
Mobile platforms as we know them today tend to have been built successfully as apps within their operating systems. Out of millions of apps, the success of so many companies results through the development of a popular app, and the industry of app development continues to be of huge significance for businesses.
Very strong links between social networking and mobile are built on the power of mobile apps.
One success story that is still making waves in the industry is Snapchat. The social-sharing platform, which enables users to exchange photos and videos that self-destruct once seen, was founded in 2011 and has continued to grow and develop, now incorporating a strong advertising proposition.
Developing this opportunity for advertisers has been the result of a considered and careful approach, with a keen eye on ensuring that the all-important public audience is still at the heart of the platform.
October 2014 saw the first Snapchat ad: Universal Pictures launched with a sponsored update integrated within the platform. Ever since this moment, the proposition has continued to develop and has thus become an extremely attractive channel for brands.
Further developments on the platform have included:
Stories: A place where users publish snaps. The last 24 hours’ worth of snaps
Billing itself as “smart reading for smart people,” Prague-based Tablet Media is an independent Czech publishing house established by a group of senior journalists and media managers. The goal? Creating a network of magazines that have no printed versions, but exist only as tablet editions.
Tablet Media sees the tablet magazine format as a new way for magazines to continue their existence. The business model is based on free magazines with revenues coming from advertising; an important part of the plan was to create tablet advertising that is both interactive and attractive.
With its 20 employees, Tablet Media produces the first tablet-only magazine, not only in the Czech Republic, but in Central Europe as well. Its news magazine, Dotyk (The Touch), debuted in May 2013. Part of its distinction from tablet versions of traditional media is that it fully utilised all features of tablet devices from the beginning.
Dotyk offers insight and opinion on politics, business, technology, society, culture, and science, and seeks to put ideas into context. Each issue includes photo galleries, videos, animations, slide shows, and interactive charts and maps.
Readership for Dotyk weekly expanded in 2014, giving Tablet Media the confidence to start three new magazines.
We know Oculus Rift is kind of cool and funky, and Mark Zuckerberg got so excited he splashed out US$2 billion for the company.
But what do you actually do with it? And can media companies really make any money from that big, clunky headset?
Well, here is our experience so far. It’s been very positive, and I suspect there are lessons for everyone – from capturing the original idea through to technical execution.
Our journey started with a pitch for a digital advertising contract. The government was looking for ways to promote a series of big infrastructure projects being built in Perth. The projects are interesting and included a children’s hospital, football stadium, and waterfront development.
But there’s nothing sexy about dirt and diggers. So, our challenge was find a way to tell a story about the future.
We gathered key stakeholders for a spirited brainstorming session that left us feeling pretty happy about our excellent ideas. But it was the guy who said the least who made the biggest contribution.
This one developer in the room walked upstairs and immediately told his colleague, Joel Hopson, what had just gone on. He knew Joel had been playing around in his garage with an Oculus Rift development
Your sales team is an asset. You invest time and money in making them effective. But are you really supporting them to be as profitable as possible?
Let’s assume you don’t have lazy, ineffective sales people who can’t string two words together because you were so desperate to fill a vacancy. By asset, I mean the guys that consistently score business for your publishing company.
How easy do you make their lives? How easy can you make their lives? Not only are they trying to sell print advertising and some digital products, but you will soon be expecting them to sell solutions that will probably include programmatic advertising, unless you are going for a standalone digital sales team.
Even then, how easy is it for those guys?
Advertising products are going to become more targeted, and targeting means data, conversion tracking, RTB, analytics, campaign optimisation, reporting, and everything else that goes along with selling super effective online ad campaigns.
You have a challenge (another one) ahead of you. How do you take a potentially complicated sell to market in the simplest way possible?
You need to consider not only the sales knowledge, but the process.
Identifying the customer need is the start of a slightly longer journey
News media organisations have struggled to grow their revenue over the past decade, with the Internet putting a major dent in print advertising revenue and digital video quickly doing the same for traditional television.
This change has led many media organisations to experiment with a wide variety of strategies to grow revenue, sometimes choosing to focus their strategy around short-term gains and media fads over long-term solutions.
And, while this strategy is fine, if you employ a fail-fast mentality, it can be taxing.
While emerging technology and digital platforms are vital parts of the news media’s future, and undeniably deserve a place in any revenue strategy, they should not be the focus of any strategy. In this era of digital-first media, revenue strategy should stem from one thing — sales enablement.
You are not a technology company, so don’t think you can become one. You produce and deliver content. So let’s find the best way to do that and monetise it.
Media organisations will always rely on their sales force to deliver revenue, and that remains true even in the face of uncertain times and shifting consumption habits.
So, rather than focus on technology, media organisations need to focus on sales enablement and how technology enables
The advertising industry is struggling to adapt to the digital world. Whereas ad agencies have experience developing print, radio, and video ads, they face an enormous challenge developing new digital “experiences,” things that are used rather than just seen and heard.
The Irish Times advertising department developed a start-up incubator called Fusion to match the energy of the start-up community with the market reach of the advertising industry. These start-ups had never worked in advertising before, and focused on completely novel experiences for end users.
The news media company selected an initial 20 start-ups out of more than 100. Covering a wide range of ideas, what The Irish Times generally found were mobile or mobile-enabled solutions. These spent an initial two weeks at the media company to work with creative directors and refine their pitch.
The 20 start-ups then pitched a panel of advertising agency leaders, who selected 10 finalists, which all had mobile users as their target. The 10 finalists then worked in The Irish Times for a further four weeks to develop their offering and test how they could work with The Irish Times.
Finally, the Times invited a panel of judges from The Financial Times, Boston Globe, WAZ Media, and advertising
INMA today released a report presenting a strategic response to the challenge of adblocking. The report by PageFair lays out what news media companies worldwide should — and shouldn’t — do to combat this industry-wide struggle.
“What To Do About Adblocking,” written by Dr. Johnny Ryan, head of ecosystem at PageFair, answers the industry-wide question of exactly that.
The report presents an executive-level overview of the phenomenon and explores consumer data to better understand why people block ads. In addition, the report shows adblockers are emerging as new premium audience segment for marketing communications.
“Adblocking is an opportunity to explore advertising formats that users can accept while also restoring publisher revenues,” Ryan says.
The INMA report also recommends specific tactics for publishers to avoid, such as:
Using immature anti-adblock technology, including domain rotation technology.
Relying on native advertising, which can be blocked.
Resorting to closed platforms such as Facebook and Apple News.
Showing appeals to users, but permitting them to view content (only <1% success rate).
INMA is equipping its members with the knowledge and tools to tackle this problem.
“Our members are accelerating their knowledge and responses to adblocking worldwide, and we thought a top-level just-in-time overview could be provocative and guiding,” says Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and
Many media companies ported over bad advertising practices from print to digital platforms and are paying a price today with adblockers. A new adblocking report by INMA points to a path forward.
Jason Jennings walked the aisles of the San Francisco INMA conference hall with passion and perspiration. Like an evangelist trying to make his point, the best-selling author looked newspaper publishers in their eyes and let spill out something rarely spoken publicly in 2001:
“Advertisers hate you.”
They hate how you increase advertising prices by double digits each year. They hate the low standard of creativity in print. They hate the lack of metrics. They hate that you jam so many ads on a single page. They equate the newspaper advertising game to banks, hospitals, the military, travel agents (an equation made famous four years later).
Someday, Jennings seemed to suggest in a crescendo closing, this hate is going to come back to bite you.
Strangely, the pre-transformation audience of publishers – those creators and sellers of print ads — erupted in applause.
* * *
Fast-forward 15 years. Sitting in a non-descript San Francisco meeting room a mile from where Jennings spoke years earlier, I watched a
News media companies must produce the high-quality video advertisers require. Sometimes that means going to an outside creator.
Wochit helps news media organisations produce quality, ready-to-publish video in 10 to 15 minutes for Web, social media, and mobile. The company solves two challenges that surround online video by:
Reducing the cost of production for online publishers.
Streamlining the workflow for individual journalists or producers — even those with no previous experience, leading them to be able to meet high advertiser demand for video.
Users can log in to the cloud-based, video-creation platform, then let its software analyse text from a URL, RSS feed, or raw copy for an article for keywords and elements (such as people, places, events, and relationships).
A media organisation can respond to any breaking or trending topic, for example, and economically produce scaled, branded, original content. Wochit is also useful for creative storytelling.
To do this, Wochit searches archives from Reuters, Agence France-Press, Getty, Storyful, Blooomberg, and the Associated Press for content tagged with matching keywords to find licensed video and images that can be used in a media company’s final product in unlimited quantities.
It can also mix a media organisation’s visual assets into the story. Media companies can upload as many
Jang Classified ads enjoy unrivaled reach in Pakistan, reaching millions of readers every day. To enrich the experience and add value for readers, Jang Media Group has taken a bold new initiative in the world of classified ads: introducing QR codes in its print classifieds.
The QR code can be scanned to access photos and videos about classified ads in the automobile and property sector.
Jang classified advertisers simply ask for the QR feature at the time of booking. They receive a unique code on their mobile number they used to register the classified ad. They can then log in to the Jang QR classified Web site, which is sent via SMS, using the unique code. Here they can upload photos and videos related to their advertisement in Jang Classifieds.
The QR code gives sellers the ability to stand out from other advertisements by giving more information to potential buyers.
Readers see the QR codes embedded with advertisements in the Sunday edition of Jang Classifieds. They can use any QR reader app on their smartphones to scan the code and see pictures and videos of the automobile or property advertised.
Readers love this feature because they can quickly see more information about what is offered and easily
To keep up with an evolving industry, the San Francisco Chronicle is pioneering game-changing digital strategies for not only those who read the news, but also for advertisers.
Although the Chronicle works hard to remain competitive in an industry where traditional readership can be fickle, the publication’s newest strategies are about serving the faithful readers who depend on the world-class stories, videos, and digital content offered.
As the most-read newspaper in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Chronicle is read by more than 565,000 adults weekdays and 788,000 on Sundays, according to Scarborough Research. More than 750,000 Bay Area adults also visit the Chronicle’s various digital products each week.
The Chronicle’s digital reach, however, goes far beyond the Bay Area. Each week, millions of visitors from throughout the United States and around the world read SFGATE.com or SFChronicle.com. In January 2016, SFGATE.com averaged 10.4 million visits and 42 million page views a week, with SFChronicle.com adding another 865,000 visits and 1.9 million page views each week.
When it comes to delivering stories, the Chronicle is still making breaking news and investigative journalism a priority, but now that news is complemented with a digital push that can reach even more readers.