Archive for September, 2009

The Power of Yahoo!…TBO’s Story about Wii-Playing Police Officers Leads to a 2.8 Million Page View Day

On September 22nd, TBO published a story about undercover Polk County police officers who were supposed to be doing a search on a drug dealers house, but instead played a few rounds of “Wii Sports” – all of which was caught on video obtained by WFLA.

This story was linked on the front page of Yahoo!, and page views went through the roof!   That story generated almost 1.9 million page views alone, and the whole TBO website ended up with nearly 2.8 million page views in total.

In fact, this was the 4th highest page view day has experienced in the past 5 years!

Top 10 Page View Days (2004-2009)


Date Page Views
Aug 12, 2004 4,707,905
Aug 13, 2004 4,561,718
Sep 2, 2004 3,254,471
Sep 22, 2009 2,788,024
Aug 18, 2008 2,750,383
Jun 12, 2006 2,586,687
Sep 10, 2004 2,545,157
Sep 9, 2004 2,506,707
Sep 1, 2004 2,256,723

All of this serves to illustrate the power of TBO’s partnership with a huge national search provider like Yahoo! On that September day, TBO received  about 90% of its page views from Yahoo! as a referrer.  On a typical day, TBO will get about 27% of its page views from Yahoo!

One could argue, is this a benefit to a local news site like TBO?  After all, a great many of those increased page views and uniques that day came from outside of our core Tampa Bay market. 

Personally, I disagree with this logic for several reasons.  One, highlighting our story on the Yahoo! home page will still lead to increased local website visitors.  For example, on the 22nd, TBO had 92,000 visitors with IP addresses listed in the Tampa-St. Peterburg DMA.  The week before, TBO had about 70,000 DMA visitors.  So, the Yahoo boosted our local visitors by 22,000 (about 31%).

Secondly, one of the main benefits of having a website is the ability to broaden your market reach.  My television station and my newspaper will never reach beyond the ten county DMA that defines Tampa Bay.  But with the web, TBO has the opportunity to reach users in every corner of the world.  Even though our news coverage is undoubtedly Tampa-centric, users anywhere could be interested in the stories our reporters have to tell. By discounting those users outside our DMA, I think we do ourselves a disservice. 

What do you think?  Should a local news website provider focus in only on the page views and unique users that come from their core DMA?  Or should the focus be on the worldwide audience?

Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst


*** Edit Added September 29, 2009 ****

Someone forwarded me this screenshot today where this exact story is now being featured on the Yahoo! Japan home page!  As fascinating as it is to see our TBO screen shot amid all the Japanese, I think this further makes my point about the global nature of websites – even a local news oriented website like  In fact, this Yahoo! Japan website is the top referring website for TBO today, sending us over 12% of our referred page views today.

Yahoo Japan


September 28, 2009 at 4:30 PM Leave a comment

Three Things You Should Know About Print Ads That Sell

Three Things You Should Know About Print Ads That Sell

What Matters Is Context, Price and Brand Perception
By Michal Galin

Published: AdAge.Com September 04, 2009

NEW YORK ( — The strategic goal behind every print advertisement is probably a bit different. Some ads are designed to build an image, some are written to drive readers to a website and some announce limited-time offers. But most marketers hope the time, money and creativity that goes into developing their advertising campaigns moves the needle in terms of sales.

MRI Starch Communications set out to learn exactly what makes a print ad sell. We’re in a unique position to make this evaluation, since during our surveys we ask print readers: “As a result of seeing this ad, did you purchase the product/service?” One caveat: The research purist in me needs to point out that common sense tells us that viewing an ad is only one of several factors that drive purchase. Nonetheless, this analysis is based on the number of consumers who told us they did just that — read the ad and, as a result, bought the product or service.

We looked at 297 magazine issues measured by Starch between October 2008 and April 2009. For each product category, we looked at the top-performing ad in terms of driving purchase. Moreover, the top-performing ad needed to have driven at least 15% of readers to purchase to make the cut.

Here’s what we learned:

Context matters. Many of the ads that drove purchase were of natural interest to the readers of the magazines in which they appeared. Ads for America’s Milk Processors (purchased by 55% of ad readers), Vaseline Clinical Therapy Body Lotion (purchased by 26% of ad readers) and Lipitor (purchased by 18% of ad readers), for instance, all stress wellness and healing, and all appeared in Health magazine. The Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” ad appeared in Maxim, whose audience is largely male. Let’s face it — dirty jobs may be more interesting to men than women; 21% of ad readers said they watched the show as a result of seeing this ad. So, too, with the James Bond-themed Swatch ad in Wired, another male-oriented title. It was the top ad in the watch category — and I think it’s safe to say that, in general, more men than women wish they were James Bond. Moreover, the TurboTax ad in Us Weekly appeared a mere five weeks before the dreaded April 15 Tax Day — and 27% of ad readers said the ad sparked their purchase.

Price may matter. None of these purchase-driving ads promote expensive products, such as automobiles, vacations or home appliances. Much time and consideration typically go in to those kinds of purchases, so it’s less likely that a single ad would be the driver to purchase. However, that is evidently not always the case for lower-cost purchases. After all, if the purchase turns out to be a mistake, the financial harm is slight.

Brand perception matters. Before MRI Starch asks readers about individual ads, we ask their opinion about the brands advertised. What we found is that if the reader is favorably disposed to the brand, there is a much greater chance that they will purchase the product or service being advertised. In fact, in four of the nine categories looked at, more than 90% of readers said they were favorably disposed to the brand, with some saying it was one of their favorites. Clearly brand advocates and brand enthusiasts are more likely to read the brands’ advertising messages.
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Michal Galin is senior VP at MRI Starch, part of the GfK Group, which specializes in measuring print-ad effectiveness. For more information MRI Starch and ad effectiveness, please visit MRI Starch.

September 4, 2009 at 1:44 PM Leave a comment

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