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Top 25 Gainers in COMBINED Print and Online, from ABC and Scarborough

Top 25 Gainers in COMBINED Print and Online, from ABC and Scarborough

By E&P Staff

Published: October 26, 2009 12:15 PM ET
NEW YORK Newspapers are more than just print editions. When factoring in Web sites, readership grows much stronger. Here are the top 25 newspapers with the largest increases in print and online audience based on designated market areas, provided by Scarborough Research on behalf of the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The figures are for the past seven days in print/30 days online net combined audience with annual percent changes.

The Tampa Tribune/ combined ranked 3rd in the US and 1st in Florida in audience growth.

GREENSBURG (PA.) TRIBUNE-REVIEW — 804,035 — 13.58%
THE TAMPA (FLA.) TRIBUNE — 1,436,235 — 11.35%
SPARTANBURG (S.C.) HERALD-JOURNAL — 255,322 — 10.93%

THE OAKLAND (CALIF.) TRIBUNE — 646,697 — 8.35%
THE NEWS TRIBUNE, TACOMA, WASH. — 603,672 — 7.94%
GREENSBORO (N.C.) NEWS & RECORD — 426,687 — 6.41%
THE ROANOKE (VA.) TIMES — 433,063 — 6.30%

CONTRA COSTA (CALIF.) TIMES — 770,917 — 6.27%
MOBILE (ALA.) PRESS-REGISTER — 450,344 — 6.13%
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE — 666,377 — 6.08%
THE CHARLESTON (W.VA.) GAZETTE — 265,479 — 5.76%
ASBURY PARK PRESS, NEPTUNE, N.J. — 853,809 — 5.35%

THE DENVER POST — 1,538,914 — 5.04%
WILKES-BARRE (PA.) TIMES LEADER — 195,455 — 4.81%
HOUSTON CHRONICLE — 2,511,425 — 4.77%

EL NUEVO HERALD — 467,242 — 4.53%
THE BIRMINGHAM (ALA.) NEWS — 790,180 — 4.48%
CHARLESTON (W.VA.) DAILY MAIL — 244,845 — 4.46%
THE COLUMBUS (OHIO) DISPATCH — 1,079,708 — 4.41%
THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER — 1,076,811 — 4.41%


November 4, 2009 at 2:14 PM Leave a comment

New U.S. Census to Reveal Major Shift: No More Joe Consumer

New U.S. Census to Reveal Major Shift: No More Joe Consumer

Ad Age White Paper 2010 America Uncovers the Marketing Implications
By Bradley Johnson

Ad Age
Published: October 12, 2009

LOS ANGELES ( — The 2010 Census is expected to find that 309 million people live in the United States. But one person will be missing: the average American.

“The concept of an ‘average American’ is gone, probably forever,” demographics expert Peter Francese writes in 2010 America, a new Ad Age white paper. “The average American has been replaced by a complex, multidimensional society that defies simplistic labeling.”

The message to marketers is clear: No single demographic, or even handful of demographics, neatly defines the nation. There is no such thing as “the American consumer.”

The census is the biggest market-research project of the decade. The Census Bureau will spend upward of $15 billion to count the population as of April 1, 2010, and amass a treasure-trove of data on U.S. consumers.

“The decennial census will tell us quite precisely how American consumers have changed in the past decade,” Mr. Francese writes. “It also will give us clues about where the consumer marketplace is moving. The census is the gold standard against which the results of all major consumer-research studies are benchmarked.”

The Census Bureau will begin releasing data in spring 2011. Mr. Francese, demographic trends analyst at WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, New York, and founder of American Demographics magazine, now offers projections and insight on what the census will show.

His 32-page report, available at, will give marketers a window on what the census will show and how to adapt those findings in a marketing world reliant on broadscale demographics that no longer exist.

Selected findings of 2010 America:
• U.S. households are growing ever more complex and varied.
“This census will show that no household type neatly describes even one-third of households,” Mr. Francese writes. “The iconic American family — married couple with children — will account for a mere 22% of households.”
The most prevalent type of U.S. household?

Married couple with no kids, followed closely by single-person households, according to Mr. Francese’s projections.

The Census will give Americans 14 choices to define household relationships. Mr. Francese says this will “enable the Census Bureau to count not only traditional families but also the number and growth since 2000 of blended families, single-parent families and multigenerational families, as well as multiple families doubling up in one household.”

That presents boundless opportunities for marketers and media in how they target and segment households.

• Minorities are the new majority. “One fact says it all,” Mr. Francese writes. “In the two largest states (California and Texas), as well as New Mexico and Hawaii, the nation’s traditional majority group — white non-Hispanics — is in the minority.” And in the nation’s 10 largest cities, he says, “no racial or ethnic category describes a majority of the population.”

Mr. Francese notes how diversity varies greatly by age, “with the younger population substantially more diverse than the old.”

Consider these 2010 projections: 80% of people age 65-plus will be white non-Hispanics. But just 54% of children under age 18 will be white non-Hispanics. Mr. Francese observes: “White non-Hispanics will surely account for fewer than half of births by 2015.” In 2010, Hispanics will be both the nation’s fastest-growing and largest minority (50 million people).

• The nation is moving. Over the past decade, Mr. Francese says, 85% of the nation’s population growth occurred in the South and West. “During the still-nameless decade from 2000 to 2010,” he writes, “a total of about 3 million people have moved out of the Northeast, and another 2 million have left the Midwest” for the South and West.

Mr. Francese’s report offers his “2020 vision,” analyzing how things will change over the next decade. “Our nation will be older and more diverse, and consumer markets more complex,” he writes. The white paper pinpoints age and income groups where marketers could find the biggest opportunities.
~ ~ ~
Peter Francese wrote and Bradley Johnson edited 2010 America.

October 12, 2009 at 2:30 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.
~ ~ ~
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

Newspapers Growing Audience: Proven Success

Newspapers Growing Audience: Proven Success
By Dinah Eng/NAA

Dozens of newspapers reported a significant increase in total print / online readership and total audience on the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s March 2009 Audience-FAX, with most holding on to print readers while growing online readership.

The Audience-FAX data from 190 newspapers included past seven-day print readership, past 30-day online readership for the six-month period ending March, 30, 2009 compared with the same period a year earlier. The report also provides Web measurements such as unique users and page impressions.

Newspapers with combined audience growth cite multiple factors for the increase in print/online readership, including targeted print retention and outreach efforts, the addition of electronic editions, expanded features online, and cross-departmental teamwork.

“There’s a lot more audience growth going on than we’re capturing in our current measurements.” Gary Meo, senior vice president of print and digital media services for Scarborough Research in New York, says the new ABC Audience-FAX — a collaborative effort of NAA, Scarborough and ABC — is an important part of telling the story of a newspaper’s value to advertisers.

“We’ve been using circulation as a measurement since the beginning of the last century,” Meo says, “but now that newspapers have multiple products, it’s more important to look at audience reach. Some newspapers are gaining audience in print, online, and audience overall.

“What we’ve seen is that newspaper print audiences are generally declining, but over the years, their online audience has been growing. In recent history, though, that online growth is not as fast, and in some places is flat or declining.”

Meo says online readership is replacing some of the decline in print readership, but in most places, it’s not replacing the loss fast enough to mitigate the decline. In 2006, Scarborough did an analysis of online audience growth in newspapers and found that the most successful newspaper Web sites were more lively, engaging, and made the community a channel for distributing their content.

“Today, you have to have unique content online that’s not available elsewhere,” Meo says. “The Washington Post always shows up near the top in terms of market penetration with their Web site, along with The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

“Part of the reason is because of offering unique content that’s not generally available — namely, coverage of politics and government, in the case of The Post, or business and finance in the case of The Journal. Gannett and others have developed Web sites geared toward high school sports, which have been successful because they’re unique to those communities.”

Another necessity for growing audience share online, Meo says, is relentless promotion. He cites marketing efforts by The Arizona Republic and KPNX-TV in Phoenix, both owned by Gannett, that continually do cross-promotion.

While newspaper media have branched into multiple products and platforms, the industry’s willingness to invest in audience measurement has not kept pace, Meo adds.

“Most newspapers have multiple channels — like niche products, a commuter free daily, specific audiences online in different places that we’re not capturing in Audience-FAX,” Meo says. “We’ve just started to talk about mobile or e-readers. As we splinter into more targeted media, the audiences are harder to measure. Had we the industry support to measure all these things, we’d find there’s a lot more audience growth going on than we’re capturing in our current measurements.”

Note that according to Scarborough Research the combined net audience for The Tampa Tribune and is the largest in the Tampa Bay area.

Top 25 Audience Gainers

Below is a list of the top 25 newspapers with their total net print and online audience. The percents represents the March 2009 audience gain over the same period of 2008.

Newspaper: Audience: Percent gain over 2008:
Greenwich Time, Conn. 111,824 30.7%
The Birmingham News, Ala. 781,047 11.9%
The Times-Picayune, New Orleans 820,374 11.7%
Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. 196,229 10.5%
Staten Island Advance 397,412 9.9%
The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa. 511,463 9.2%
Times Union, Albany, NY 506, 929 8.7%
Charlotte Observer 1,074,856 8.4%
Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa. 741,953 7.3%
Star-Telegram, Forth Worth 1,236,205 7.1%
The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Pa. 496,700 6.5%
Houston Chronicle 2,507,835 6.1%
St. Petersburg Times 1,297,866 6.1%
Austin American-Statesman 861,105 6.0%
Naples Daily News 265,181 6.0%
News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash. 583,755 5.9%
Tampa Tribune 1,346,182 5.8%
Daily News, New York 4,985,862 5.5%
Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky. 837,719 5.2%
Press-Enterprise, Riverside, Calif. 929,819 5.0%
Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ 2,308, 691 5.0%
Times Free Press, Chattanooga 367,276 4.4%
West Palm Beach Post 792,392 4.4%
News & Observer, Raleigh, NC 854,213 4.2%
Sacramento Bee 1,256,551 3.7%

August 28, 2009 at 3:20 PM Leave a comment

2010 Plan: Time to Expand Marketing’s Role?

2010 Plan: Time to Expand Marketing’s Role?

MediaPost | MediaDailyNews | August 11, 2009

Pat LaPointe, Aug 11, 2009

2010 holds the promise to be a banner year for marketers. Customers and prospects alike are reevaluating their definition of value and actively seeking new business relationships. What’s different? In a word, just about everything:

1. Competition: Across industries large and small, the competitive landscape is shifting, as once-powerful players fade, leaving survivors to spar with new and unfamiliar entrants.

2. Customer attitudes and behaviors: Economic pressures are redefining customers’ wants and needs, and many of yesterday’s “necessities” now carry a “luxury” association for many consumers. Increasing budget uncertainties and consumer confidence erosion are impacting historical selling/purchasing cycles in complex, non-intuitive ways.

3. Government: Markets are experiencing a resurgence of government interventions, including both new regulatory actions as well as economic stimulus programs.

4. Supply chains: Changes in competitive, customer and government dynamics in turn drive changes throughout the intricate networks of relationships linking marketers to channel partners, distributors, and end users.
What’s more, the pace of all this change seems to be accelerating, driven by the ever-expanding universe of sources offering business news, rumors, speculation, and commentary via traditional channels (television, magazines, newspapers) as well as emerging ones (blogs, social media).

The annual marketing planning ritual offers a great opportunity to redefine the role of marketing in the organization. And in 2010, that role may be more critical than ever, as companies of all types rely on marketers to:

1. Calculate compelling value propositions. Changing customer perceptions and budgets are creating new opportunities to provide value, and to establish and foster engagement.

2. Identify critical market insights. As the business landscape shifts in multiple directions, market research must define a new data collection agenda to answer new questions.

3. Plan effectively for many scenarios. Economic conditions may improve or may possibly stagnate further. New marketing channels (e.g., mobile, social media), for which no historical data exists, present new opportunities and threats. Scenario-based plans need to be developed and listening posts established to offer early indications of which direction things are headed in.
But to realize its potential, marketing needs to improve its skills and enhance its approach in several key areas:

• Identify the key questions for 2010. Think through which uncertainties require the most attention, and why. Work through the potential business impact of reducing the uncertainty. Understand the potential impact/cost tradeoffs, and prioritize accordingly.

• Test brand relevance. Awareness and favorability are necessary but insufficient for success. Learn which specific brand equities are driving profitable customer interactions (by segment) and put your money behind them.

• Challenge the analytics. Market mix models may have performed brilliantly in the past, but a fresh look is in order in 2010. Think about what sort of alternative approaches might be employed as a sanity check for historical data-based analytics.

• Develop more-disciplined decision frameworks. The 2010 planning process will uncover multiple, significant data gaps in the hunt for answers. Consider the many approaches for generating credible estimates/data proxies, such as simulation, experimental design, and calibrated expert opinion.

• Keep the process transparent. Ensure that all participants, especially senior management, understand the nature and basis of all planning assumptions. Clearly identifying the important uncertainties and the approaches used to develop assumptions is a powerful means of establishing the credibility of the plan.
By taking the right steps during this planning season to build and incorporate new customer and market dynamics into the planning process, you’ll maximize marketing’s contribution to your company’s current and future financial performance.

August 14, 2009 at 1:00 PM Leave a comment

Why Advertise During A Soft Economy

Here’s Why Advertising During a Soft Economy is Good Business

Once buyers are ready to enter the market for a particular item, their attention to advertising for that product is heightened. It’s information they want, and the questions on their minds are: “Who has the best product? Who has the best price? and Where can I buy it?”

Readiness-to-Buy occurs at different times for different people. If a company is not communicating with them when they enter the market, then that company will not be considered in the buying decision. This fact is just true during a downturn.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves what the short-term benefits of advertising are – during good times or bad – it creates sales immediately; it generates added business from current customers; and it brings in new leads and prospects.

Then there is the long-term benefit of advertising: its works cumulatively. The more familiar people become with a brand, the more favorable they feel toward it, and the more likely they are to buy it. In other words, people don’t like to do business with strangers. And, since the owners and staff of a company can’t personally meet all their prospective customers in advance, their advertising must do this for them.

Maintaining brand recognition should be considered an on-going business investment. The moment it stops – it begins to lose power immediately – and future sales are in jeopardy. Studies have shown that it takes four to six months to see the results of an advertising program. Cutting back during a down-turn is like throwing away your investment. Maintenance today costs much less than rebuilding tomorrow.

This doesn’t mean advertisers shouldn’t change anything. In fact, they should work to get the most out of their advertising dollars by eliminating emotion-based, image-building advertising and using instead informative ads that demonstrate their product’s superiority.

Perhaps the best reason to keep advertising during a downturn is that it may actually provide an opportunity for companies to dominate their market.

Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that because money is tight everywhere, customers will be spending less and therefore money spent on advertising will be wasted. Another false assumption is that it’s safe to reduce the advertising budget if the competition is reducing theirs.

However, research has revealed that companies maintaining or increasing advertising during periods of economic slow-down will boost market share. Some companies will even see an increase in sales over their competitors who decrease advertising.

The benefit is clear, when fewer competitors are advertising, the ones that continue or increase their advertising become more visible to the consumer, and that could be – you!

Source: SNPA/Robert Wilson, Consultant

August 7, 2009 at 1:31 PM 1 comment

Americans Rely On Newspaper Advertising

Newspaper advertising remains the leading advertising medium cited by consumers in planning, shopping and making purchasing decisions, according to early data from a MORI Research survey of more than 3,000 adults. The findings, announced today by the Newspaper Association of America, provide conclusive evidence of the ongoing value newspaper ads deliver for marketers trying to reach consumers who are ready to shop and spend.

“Newspaper advertising remains the most powerful tool for advertisers who want to motivate consumers to take action,” said NAA President and CEO John Sturm. “While new technologies have their place in any total marketing program, initial findings from this important research demonstrate the enduring power of today’s newspaper ads. We’re looking forward to offering more comprehensive data on consumer motivation and the influence of newspaper advertising after a full analysis is completed in early fall.”

This study, part of a series entitled “American Consumer Insights,” examined the impact newspaper advertising has on consumer shopping and spending patterns. Early results indicate:

• Nearly six in 10 adults (59 percent) identify newspapers as the medium they use to help plan shopping or make purchase decisions

• 82 percent of those surveyed said they “took action” as a result of newspaper advertising, including:

o Clipping a coupon (61 percent)
o Buying something (50 percent)
o Visiting Web sites to learn more (33 percent)
o Trying something for the first time (27 percent)

• 73 percent of adults regularly or occasionally read newspaper inserts

• 82 percent have been spurred to action by a newspaper insert in the past month.

Preliminary data also reveals that other media trailed well behind newspapers as the primary medium for checking advertising. The closest competitor – the Internet – trailed newspapers by 20 percentage points (41 percent vs. 21 percent). Direct mail only mustered a 14 percent response in the survey, and television was cited by only eight percent of respondents. The numbers for other media trail off from that point (totals are displayed in the chart at the end of this release).

New NAA Ad Touts Newspapers’ Influence on Consumer Behavior

Putting its initial findings about the profound impact of newspaper advertising into practice, NAA separately released a new advertisement that describes engaged newspaper readers as “Action Figures.” The ads, produced by Allied Advertising, are available to NAA member newspapers and use early results of the research to highlight the ways newspaper advertising drives consumers to action.

“This ad stems from the fact that readers are not simply exposed to newspaper advertising – these ads resonate and consumers use them to take action,” said Randy Bennett, NAA’s senior vice president of business development. “There is a connection readers feel with newspaper advertising that no other medium can match.”

August 6, 2009 at 11:11 AM Leave a comment

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