Archive | April 2012

Going Digital: How Newspapers are Being Affected

Ever get annoyed while reading newspapers due to ink smudges left on your fingers, the noise when trying to fold the pages just right or the difficult task of putting the newspaper back the same way you received it?

You’re in luck!  Now a days, more and more people are not spending their quarters buying daily newspapers outside grocery stores or at news stands.  Instead, they are purchasing a subscription to the various types of newspapers directly from their laptops, iPads, smartphones or Tablets.

With the growing technology, it pushes brands, companies and agencies to use another medium to reach its targeted audiences.  What challenges that can arise for those advertisers are the tiny print of ads when viewed on screens, the easiness to click and skip right through pages filled with advertisements and the possibility that those digital consumers are most likely on the go and skimming through each page while paying no attention to ads or stories they have no interest reading.

However, in the article, Readers Respond To Newspapers’ Digital Ads, Erik Sass discussed the possible positive effects of digital newspaper advertisements.

When describing the results of a survey conducted among 2,518 online viewers, Erik stated, “Newspapers have a wide digital reach, with 60% of respondents saying they looked at an online version from a laptop or desktop in the last week, while 26% said they looked an online version using a smartphone, and 12% looked at online version using a tablet.”

“73% of respondents said they have used printed circulars included in newspapers in the past 30 days, and 74% said they make a point of looking at printed Sunday circulars,” he added.

Going along with the information provided in Erik Sass’ article, a recent News Release provided by The Media Audit  earlier last week touched on the same subject displaying the headline, Newspaper Websites Continue to Dominate Local Web.

“Newspapers continue to be the dominant player in local market media websites as they take 16 of the top 25 spots,” explained Robert Jordan.

After going through the list created by The Media Audit (“a syndicated multi-media and retail study conducted in 100+ US markets”) it was prevalent how individual newspapers gained a top spot on their list.

From the their research, Bob Jordan, the president of The Media Audit concluded that, “When you look at the newspapers with the strongest websites, you’ll notice these newspapers also have strong print penetration (60 to 70%) in their markets.  This indicates strong relevance of the newspaer and its website in the community.”

“Newspapers are still the largest news gathering organization in any community and this positions the newspapers and their websites for what the community wants,” he added.

After reading Erik’s article and the news release, it is noticeable that with the growing advancements in technology, newspaper advertisers are still able to properly target their audiences both in print and online versions.

Do you think that print newspapers will eventually disappear and could this trend be the outcome for magazines, trade publications and newsletters?


Hope You Never Receive One of These!

In his article, Funny stunt or distressing gag?, Rupal Parekh explained his confusion of Rockit Science Agency’s new site’s purpose and the reasoning behind its creation.

Parekh’s main question was, “Why would an agency, knowing the challenges that shops today face in maintaining a lasting relationship — everything from shortened CMO tenure to cutbacks in marketing budgets — make light of the issues?”

With Rockit Science being an agency who represents over a dozen different companies and organization including Pepsi, Cotton and BlueCross BlueShield, in our opinion, it wasn’t going to do anything to tarnish its name and was definitely not making a suggestion for any of its clients.

Rockit Science’s VP, Bret Sims explained the website launch as, “It’s meant to be for fun and show our agency’s creativity.”

He admitted to hearing clients’ problems and described the most common as, ” [agencies] are not adopting the principles behind social media.”

After looking at the website ( it looked harmless and as a funny and creative way to target ones frustration with their partners.  One feature was being able to choose a mood which when generated, will correlate with the background of the letter-bunnies and butterflies or tombstones and skulls.

The site may be funny and meant as joke, but it’s prevalent that Rockit Science would agree with many other agencies that if a client is having a difficult time with its agency or the agency is not meeting their criteria, the best option is to talk with one another.

What do you think of the website-gutsy on the part of the agency or seen as being creative?

Surviving Social Media

Charles Darwin’s famous theory summarized as the “survival of the fittest” holds true both in natural selection and in  constantly changing business practices.

In Eric Savitz’s article, 10 Ways Your Business Can Combat Digital Darwinism, he explains how it is more than just knowing who your customers are, but also having an understanding of their behaviors.  Due to the always changing technology and social media habits, no matter if it’s a big or small company if they understand and adapt to the changing behaviors of consumers, technology’s influence, they will be able to deliver value and build a  strong relationship.

Brands need to realize the overall impact of social media both on their end and with the consumers.  When new technology and different interactive mediums become available, consumers’ mind sets evolve with new expectations.

“…digital Darwinism-the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to adapt,” stated Eric Savitz.

“But if you are to change, you need to better understand exactly how technology is influencing the behavior of your customers and why,” he added.

Everyone can be adaptable to change, however it is the way one goes about doing so that affects the end result.  Even though social media is thought of as the force that is pushing consumers to interact with sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest through smartphones and iPads, the ultimate forces are the evolving habits of consumers.

Eric describes why changes are occurring in business environments when he states, “What the social media gurus aren’t telling you is that the landscape for business isn’t changing because of social media-it’s changing because consumer expectations are evolving.”

“The truth is that you can create brand pages on every social network you can imagine and you won’t succeed unless you know whom you’re trying to reach and where, what it is consumers expect and value, and how these channels represent a meaningful opportunity for you and your customers to connect,” he added.

Wanting to succeed and being able to succeed are too different thoughts.  In order to succeed, a brand should know its customers and how to reach them-through various mediums, offering different opportunities, delivering the value expected, and by always having a open-line of communication.

In order to successfully reach target audiences on social media sites, brands should understand 10 trends and resources that consumers interact with:

  1. Social networks
  2. Geolocation check-in services
  3. Crowdsourced discounts
  4. Social commerce services
  5. Referral based solutions
  6. Gamification platforms
  7. Mobile device usage
  8. Online presence
  9. Consumer click path
  10. Expectations of connected consumers

Besides keeping up to date with these 10 top trends of evolving consumer habits, Eric summarized his findings as, “To succeed, it takes a culture of customer centricity and the ability to recognize new opportunities and adapt based on what the present.”

Do you believe that the developments occurring in social media sites influence you to purchase differently? Possibly due to the mass amounts of brand status updates or constant tweets advertising why its brand is the best?

Strategy Before Creativity

In a recent article, Six Reasons Media Strategy Should Come Before Creative,  Antony Young described various reasons why the delivery of a brand is becoming more important than what is being said in that same delivery. We were always taught to think before you speak– now a day companies are beginning to strategize (think) before they have the correct ad text and images (speak).

Young explains in prior years, marketing campaigns were concerned more about the television spots and appearance rather than the approach and actual planning.  However, this marketing process is changing and he [Young] believes it has to do with the following six reasons:

  1. We’ve Moved From a World of Mad Men to Math Men (and Women)
  2. The Big TV Idea Has Lost Ground to Small, Smartly Placed, Relevant Ideas
  3. Right Media, Right Message
  4. Content is Still Very Much King, But Which Kind of Content?
  5. Adaptive Marketing
  6. Media is More than a Venue for Your Ads

We agree with all of Young’s reasons and see numbers 2, 3 and 4 as significant reasons why the marketing process and meeting agendas are changing.

The Big TV Idea Has Lost Ground to Small, Smartly Placed, Relevant Ideas

“The Big Idea just isn’t a scalable proposition in advertising”, said Antony Young.

“Smart, tactical use of custom messages in different media at relevant times, locations and environments is what creates engagement”, he added.

With many brands eager to have that “one” big or great idea, they are forgetting that the combination of smaller good ideas can have a similar affect among viewers and establish the necessary long-term relationship.

Right Media, Right Message

“He said the relative importance of different media would help him judge the potential campaign concepts better,” explained Young while sharing a story about a past job experience.

No matter what creative team or ideas a brand may have, if they are not executed in the correct manner or medium then they will lose their effect.

A proper advertisement for either a magazine, billboard, 30-second commercial or online banner has to not only reach the correct target audience, but also make sense when viewed in those mediums.

Content is Still Very Much King, Bu Which Kind of Content?

Antony Young’s advice was to create a media plan prior to determining what various forms of creative assets are needed.

We consider strategy the road map for any communication.  By developing a plan first, it allows the marketing/advertising team to think of new ideas, edit old ones to fit within the plan and make sure the text of the ad and visuals make the ideas come to life!

Do you think that having a strategy prior to finishing the creative aspect will produce a better outcome among the targeted audiences? Or do you think creativity is what sparks the ideas within a successful strategy?