A note to all businessmen:Newspapers still the best way to advertise [Archives:2004/716/Business & Economy]

March 1 2004

The 2004 World Newspaper Advertising Conference and Expo, which was concluded in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on February 27 has come up with a conclusion that newspapers are the best advertising medium yet.
The event, which was held by the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers (WAN) with the participation of 440 individuals from 68 countries, has come out with this conclusion for a diversity of reasons after extensive comparison of pros and cons with all other advertising means.
Why newspapers are the best ad medium
If there is one word that sums up why newspapers have a bright future as an advertising medium, the word is)fragmentation, says Mr. O'Reilly, Chief Operating Officer, Independent News & Media PLC, Ireland, who also opened the conference as its chairman with an overview of the advertising market and the major themes for newspaper advertising executives world-wide.
“The one major positive I want you to take away is the invidious reality of fragmentation, which is good for our business, and bad for other media, but particularly TV,” he says.
“Doubtless, all of you will have – at some time – uttered the word in your sales' pitches. So it's not new – but unlike previously, were it was a future forecast, it is finally happening today as I speak, and happening at an alarming rate, thanks to deregulation and rapid technological advances.”
What this means is “that newspapers are the mass-market medium of the future, and not the past. And that is the central, albeit very simple),point of today's rallying call. As the market – and particularly as TV-audiences – fragment, the relative worth of newspapers is enhanced dramatically, as advertisers look for a medium that can guarantee a large reach and reliable demographic.”
Mr. O'Reilly added that he didn't expect the market to wake up to this reality on its own and he urged a proactive approach: “We must set our sights on setting a new agenda, by actively assessing our markets, by understanding what fragmentation means to us, and by developing sales propositions that reaffirm newspapers pre-eminence in the emerging media landscape.”
He said newspaper people should not blame others for negative perceptions around our industry.
“My sense is that we are allowing that latent negative perception to exist, because we fail to appreciate and understand the quite seismic transformation that is occurring in the media scene around us,” he says.
“We fail to truly understand the inherent attributes, indeed the unique qualities of a newspaper as an ever-relevant, necessary platform for the exchange of ideas and as a mass-market channel to that ever elusive consumer. Remember that oft-said quote, “the window to the world can be covered by a newspaper”, which is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.
“And finally, we risk perception becoming reality because, historically, we as marketers have always undersold our medium, and by extension, ourselves. Understatement or modesty should not be our mantra.”

A better way to measure ad effectiveness
Mattias Bodin, Advertising Sales Director, Nerikes Allehanda, Sweden, and Erik Wilberg, Managing Director, Wilberg Management as, Norway Scandinavians read a lot of newspapers. And, thanks to a new web-based system, the newspapers know a lot about what advertisements appeal to them.
The Research and Analysis of Media (RAM) system, introduced in 2002, uses the internet to gather information from reader panels and stores and compiles it for easy analysis. The panelists, who represent the demographics of a particular newspaper, are contacted by an SMS message to their portable telephones and asked to answer questions on-line about advertisements that appeared in that day's paper.
“When you have high internet penetration, it's a good tool for collecting data,” says Dr Wilberg. “The main topic was, how can we measure newspaper advertising response quickly, cheaply and with reliability.”
As the database now contains more than 600,000 advertisement observations from these panelists, as well as information about the newspapers and the panelists themselves, it is also a good way to better understand how various options)size, colour, placement, creativity)impact effectiveness. Reports can be ready in 48 hours. More than 25 Swedish newspapers use the system.
Mr Bodin provided several examples of its value. For a food store which bought a full-page ad each week, the newspaper tested all the ads they had placed for two months and determined which drew the most reader attention. They also tried different combinations and learned that two half-page ads were observed more frequently than the one full-page ad and was therefore more effective for the advertiser.
Some general findings on ad effectiveness: If your target is young people, use big advertisements. “You have to shout louder to get the reach with young people,” says Dr Wilberg.
Full-colour ads draw more attention than black and white, but spot colour has less importance, particularly with older readers.
Right-side ads are observed slightly more frequently than left-side ads. The number of pages in the newspaper appears to have little impact on response. Ads in tabloids are generally seen and remembered slightly more frequently than ads in broadsheets. And observation rates close to pay day rises 10 percent to 12 percent.
Older people spend more time reading newspapers than young people. “We all know that, but this can vary from paper to paper and its worth paying attention to. How can we get people to pay more attention?

Don't take no for an answer
Despite evidence to the contrary, agencies remain unconvinced of the strength of the regional press for brand advertising, says Mr Anderson-Dixon, Group Advertisement Director, Northcliffe Newspaper Group, UK.
So Northcliffe Newspapers, which groups 120 daily and weekly titles in the UK, set out to convince them, and the advertisers themselves.
In one year, the approach produced 3.5 million euros in brand advertising from advertisers that had not used their newspapers before.
Mr Anderson-Dixon detailed how this was done. New sales teams were created for supplements, niche markets, electronic publishing and, most importantly, for client development, which focuses on new markets, new clients, and new platforms.
A supplement on household pets drew 150,000 euros from pet suppliers who had never advertised in the paper before. A holiday supplement drew tour operators for the first time. “By appealing to clients directly, and to their agencies, we secured over 200,000 euros in new business in January,” says Mr Anderson-Dixon.
He said the philosophy was based on five “commandments”)focus, differentiation, research, creativity and courage.
“Our focus is to challenge the thinking of agencies and clients,” says Mr Anderson-Dixon. “All our efforts have been to reposition ourselves as proactive and innovative.”
“We should never forget that we have powerful brands ourselves,” he said, adding that it was important to convey the emotive bond the newspapers have with their readers.
“Get across to creative agencies and media buying points the true nature of our place in reader's lives,” he says.

Newspapers are a mass market medium
Globalisation and new technologies are very good for the business of Mr Alfiero Massimini, DMP Organisation, Italy business, which is selling language teaching materials.
“For many years our courses were only sold door-to-door or by direct marketing systems. But the growing globalisation, the development of new technologies and the internet, has increased the demand for language teaching materials. For this we decided it was the right time for our courses to be sold into the mass market,” says Mr Massimini.
Good news for print: the company decided to market its products in association with newspaper and magazines in Europe and Latin America. The campaign involves giving away the first course free with a newspaper or magazine and thus providing readers with a risk-free trial. Mr Massimini detailed two cases:
L'Espresso, a leading magazine in Italy, which gave away 400,000 copies of the first course of “Fast Forward,” a VHS English course, and then sold more than 100,000 copies of the second. The collection sold more than 1.7 million copies, with an average of more than 73,000 copies per week.
El Mundo, the second largest newspaper in Spain, which offered the first course of BBC English free, and is now selling subsequent courses on a weekly basis. By the end of the promotion, El Mundo will have sold more than 2.5 million copies for a total of 13 million euros. The promotion contributed to a significant increase in the newspaper's sales as well) from 227,922 daily copies at the start of the promotion, to 375,337 copies four months later.

“Let's be aware that just the idea of giving away free the first issue is not a gold mine in itself. It can be very risky if your readers do not like the product. To make a success you need a top quality product, with a high perceived value, sold at a very low price and, most important, let your readers try it for free,” says Mr Massimini.

“Present a Wish”
In a crowded market where newspapers have little credibility, the Moscow Daily Moskovski Komsomoletz set out to improve its image, attract younger readers, and prove to advertisers and their agencies that it was an effective advertising medium.
Borrowing a page from a Dutch project featured at a World Association of Newspapers' conference, the paper created “present a wish”, in which readers were encourage to send in their wishes via SMS messaging, e-mail, voice mail and even by post.
The wishes were posted on the web site of Moskovski Komsomoletz web site and in the paper; readers were then encouraged to vote for the their favorites weekly. And the newspaper and its sponsors set out to fulfill more than 200 of the wishes.
The project generated a 28 percent increase in web traffic. A total of 14,242 wishes and 95,467 votes were received. Some 114,000 names were added to the database.
“It drew a great response from readers, media, and advertisers,” says Ms Doroshkova of the project, which won the 2003 “Best PR Project of the Year” award. Even better, the newspaper has used the promotion to pursue new advertisers)five long-term contracts have been signed so far.

Bringing glamour back to print advertising
“We are all facing a similar challenge. The newspaper advertising industry has been losing ground to TV. We need a solution to handle this problem,” says Ms Ayse S?zeri Cemal, Head of Advertising Group, Hurriyet, Turkey.
For Hurriyet, Turkey's largest newspaper, the solution was to create a print advertising contest which it designed and promoted to show that creativity is not limited to TV advertising, to draw the advertisers' attention back to newspapers, and to bring glamour to print advertising.
The contest, called Kirmizi (Red), was designed to recognise consistent users of print advertising and also to encourage potential sectors to use print advertising effectively. “One of the main categories was the use of effective page layout” says Ms Cemal. “This was a first for the Turkish advertising community; because no other advertising contest ever had such a category.”
The contest, aimed at agencies and at the individuals who prepare the advertisements, was heavily promoted with a four-month, multi-stage print advertising campaign, a special meeting for agency heads and top advertiser executives, and an industry wide “Kirmizi Party” that drew close to 1,500 people from advertising agencies, advertisers and media. “Our goal was to introduce the award, encourage participation, and compile a database for further communications.”
The contest drew 661 entries from 72 agencies)and the Turkish Advertising Agencies Association has only 80 members. The awards show drew 1,000 people.
The result? “The agencies have acknowledged the need to put print advertising back on the advertisers' agenda,” says Ms Cemal.
“Our mission to bring glamour back to print advertising has confirmed that print advertising never really goes out of style. The popularity of Kirmizi has proved definitely that agencies and advertisers never really forgot print, they just need to be remind of its value.”