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3 Ways Newspaper Ads Will Help You Reach Your Audience This Summer

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 @ 09:03 AM

Summer months bring higher temps, BBQs and pesky biting insects. They also bring a plethora of travel and frenetic schedules to consumers. This can make engaging prospects even more challenging for advertisers, who are looking to make a push in the third quarter. How can marketers get their ads in front of consumers who are distracted and on-the-go?

Newspaper ads.

As marketers have flocked to digital channels, the newspaper industry has been working diligently and tirelessly to innovate. It was either innovate or die, as so many people falsely claim they’ve already done.

Newspapers have consistently improved their products to meet the changing needs of audiences. These innovations help advertisers reach their target market no matter where they are or what they’re doing.

Here are 3 ways newspaper ads will help you reach your audience this summer.

Local Guides and EventsLocal Guides and Events

Newspapers are at the forefront of planning and hosting local summer events for the community. Why not leverage this direct access to subscribers and get your message in front of the right market?

For example, your local paper may put out a special summertime edition called something like “The Summertime Guide to the Hudson Valley.” In it would be a calendar of events and free concert series, as well as local merchants who are sponsoring these activities. Becoming a sponsor is a great way to get your name out there. These kinds of guides typically list local restaurants, shopping, and other entertainment venues as well, another opportunity to extend your local reach.


According to data released by comScore in 2015, audience engagement with newspaper’s digital content is on the rise, with 176 million unique visitors last spring. This is great news for advertisers because it means they have a way to connect with all of those people glued to their mobile devices this summer.

Recognizing that mobile devices are how many consumers choose to engage with newspaper content, newspapers have developed new apps to retain long-time readers and attract new ones.

Many apps are bundling handpicked articles or curating top articles to provide a more customized experience. A customized experience means happy readers, and that means consumers who are in a great frame of mind when they come across your ad.

Niche Marketstarget.png

The digital versions of many newspapers have focused their efforts on trying to appeal to specific, niche audiences through targeted partner sites and products. After all, there’s no better time than summer to dive into a topic that interests you and spend hours reading all about it by the poolside.

An example would be The Tennessean’s 12th & Broad, which collaborates with local partners to create unique events that showcase Nashville’s thriving cultural scene. Subscribers of 12th & Broad receive tickets to local events, home delivery of its quarterly magazine, and other perks from local partners.

If your local paper has partnered up to form a niche channel publication, you can become a partner perk. Make Thursday free iced coffee day or Saturday free gelato day.

These are just a few ways newspapers have embraced innovation in an effort to not only survive the digital onslaught but thrive despite it. Niche and digital products allow newspapers to truly engage readers wherever they are with customized information. And, with targeted community events, advertisers can take full advantage of having access to their local audience to further increase brand recognition and customer loyalty.


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5 Reasons Why You Should Include OOH in Your Next Campaign

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 @ 12:32 PM

When most people think of out of home (OOH) advertising, they think of the ubiquitous billboards along the highway or on the side of a city building. But OOH has become far more than just these big, bold signs. OOH ads can pop up on bus stops, taxi cabs, benches, and the floors and corridors of shopping centers.

According to a 2013 Arbitron Out-of-Home Advertising Study, Roughly 9 in 10 Americans age 18 or older travel by car or public transportation. And, the average time spent traveling is over 20 hours per week. That’s a considerable amount of time spent out of the home. The same study found that over two-thirds of travelers make purchasing decisions at a location other than their home at some point during the week.

These numbers speak to incredible opportunities for advertisers. If you haven’t included OOH into your media mix, here are 5 reasons why you should consider doing so for your next campaign.

More ImpactMore Impact

Unlike other advertising mediums, consumers don’t really have a choice as to whether or not they see OOH ads. Because OOH ads are part of the environment, and can’t really be ignored, they offer much more impact for your campaigns and for a longer period of time.

Less Competition

Placing ads in other mediums, like on television or in a magazine, means you’ll be vying for consumer attention amidst a sea of other messaging. But, unless you place it in the middle of Times Square, an OOH ad doesn’t really have to compete. Plus, because these ads tend to be larger and far more creative and engaging, they naturally draw attention.

OOH is More Cost Effective Than You Think

In a recent study, the Outdoor Media Association found that OOH delivers a high ROI in all categories. And, the higher the budget spent on OOH ads, the larger the return.

It simply costs less to reach 1,000 using OOH. For instance, online ads can cost over $15 for one thousand impressions, magazines can cost over $20 per thousand, and a spot on cable broadcasting can cost between $22 and $25 per thousand. Compare that with OOH’s $3 - $9 per thousand impressions and you see how effective your ad spend can be when spent outdoors.

Farther Reach

If you’re trying to reach a broader audience, OOH is an effective marketing platform. Because of where they live, these ads can reach those who may otherwise be hard to reach, like busy travelers and low income consumers.

According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, OOH can significantly improve reach of other channels at a lower cost. For instance, it can increase reach by 18% for TV and up to 316% for mobile ads. OOH has the power to drive consumers to search a brand, interact with it, and make a purchase.

It Impacts the Path-to-PurchaseIt impacts the path-to-purchase

Location, location, location. It’s not just the key to real estate, it’s the key to OOH as well because it impacts across all stages of the path-to-purchase. According to APN Outdoor, 70% of purchases actually occur outside of shopping and retail centers. And, research by Outdoor Media Centre (OMC) suggests that OOH is the medium most seen by consumers in ‘the last window of influence’ before they make a purchase.

Consider Using OOH in Your Marketing Mix

When combined with other channels in an integrated media plan, OOH can extend reach, drive consumer action, and at a price point that leaves room for a large return on investment. This is most likely why OOH is the fastest-growing advertising media around and why you should consider it for your next campaign.

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5 Media Planning Mistakes That Will Kill Your Campaigns

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 @ 02:34 PM

Whether you want to build brand awareness or promote your products or service, you’ll need to engage in some good ol’ fashioned media planning. It may seem simple to some – after all, how hard can it be to gather some data and use it to align your campaign goals with the right messaging and marketing channels, right?

But media planning is both an art and a science, and the complexities make mistakes far too common. Are you sure you’re getting the best bank for your buck? Are you reaching the largest number of prospects? Will your ROI make you a hero or villain in your bosses’ eyes?

To help you with your next campaign, here are 5 of the biggest media planning mistakes that will kill your campaigns every time.

Having no clear measurable goals.

Before any media is purchased, it’s important you have gathered that data I mentioned earlier to identify exactly who it is you want to reach with your ads. What is their lifestyle pattern and which channels will get your message in front of them? But perhaps even more important is to have measurable goals in place. How many campaigns have you launched without having any clear plans in place as to how you’ll measure their success? Do you want this campaign to increase web traffic by 12%? Increase actual sales by 5%? Or something entirely different? Without measurable goals, how will you know if your campaign benefitted your business?

Not spending money on testing.Not spending money on testing.

Most small businesses are cash-strapped and budget-conscious, and, in general, there is nothing wrong with that. However, it’s important to figure testing into your media budget. You may think this an unnecessary expense, but spending a little money in the beginning can potentially save you a lot in the end.

Not diversifying your media spending.

When it comes to planning your campaign, it’s incredibly important that you diversify your media spending. This will help you cast a broader net to catch more prospective fish. To be safe and smart, avoid spending too much in one area (80% digital – 20% newspapers and OOH), then be sure to monitor the results so you can adjust your approach and better target the most productive channels and regions.

Not looking at the big picture.

As your campaign progresses and those results start to come in, you’ll naturally want to take a look at your spending to identify areas to make cuts. Having said this, it’s important to look at the big picture, and not just the most recent activity. Keep in mind media responses aren’t predictable – that would make your life far too easy, wouldn’t it? Remember that advertising is a volatile business, which means you’ll definitely want to look at in-depth analytics before making any budgeting decisions.

Stopping before really getting started.Stopping before really getting started

Evaluating your campaign’s effectiveness should entail measuring frequency. Otherwise you may cut a campaign’s life short right as it’s beginning to gain momentum and make some real progress. By analyzing frequency you’ll be sure to pick up on the signals that give you a head’s up that things are progressing nicely.


Don’t fall victim to these common media planning mistakes. By clearly defining your goals, testing for effectiveness, diversifying your media spend, looking at the bigger picture and analyzing thoroughly before making any cuts, you can improve your campaign’s odds of success.

Download the CMO's Guide to Media Buying

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4 Native Advertising Best Practices for Local Businesses

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Apr 05, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

Have you tried native advertising yet? If not, let me throw a couple of quick stats at you:

  • Research from BIA/Kelsey suggests that native advertising on social media alone will grow to $5B in 2017. That’s up from $3.1B in 2013.
  • A 2013 study conducted by Sharethroughfound that consumers engaged with native ads 53% more frequently than display ads. The study also found that native ads resulted in an 18% lift in purchase intent than banner ads.

These numbers speak to the effectiveness of native ads and the ability they have to help small, local businesses create additional revenue streams.

Why Does Native Advertising Work So Well?

Native ads are essentially content marketing and are used to build relationships with consumers, not sell to them.  They are called “native” because they mimic the content around them. For instance, in a health and fitness magazine, a native ad may appear as story or column about a new dieting trend.

Because they blend in with the editorial content, consumers do not view them as ads so much as valuable information. The only thing really separating these ads from the editorial content is a surreptitious label indicating the content is sponsored.

Nowadays, native ads are all around us. They are on Facebook as News Feed ads, Twitter as Promoted Tweets, as well as in other digital channels, and can be placed almost anywhere within that media.

4 Native Advertising Best Practices

As with any advertising strategy, your success will be determined by whether or not you’ve used the best (or worst) practices. Here are some of the best for developing and launching native advertisements.

Be SubtleBe Subtle

You’re probably used to creating ads that stand out and grab attention, but native ads work because they blend in to their surroundings. You’re Elmer Fudd and you’re hunting rabbit. Are you going to wear bright orange hunting garb so you can be easily spotted, or camouflage so you can blend in and get that bunny?

Make sure your font’s color and style blend in with the editorial content of the publication, and opt for light shading as opposed to high-contrast backgrounds.

Develop Strong Headlines

Here is where native ads are similar to other forms of advertising. Just like developing headlines for print ads, blog posts or email subject lines, you want to be sure you create a headline that gets the readers’ attention quickly.

The key is to make sure you promote benefits in your headline. What does the reader get if they take the time to read your entire ad? Remember, native ads are content, like an article, and they will require a reader to commit a bit of time. So be sure you talk up those benefits right away.

Will the reader learn how to lose belly fat in 21 days? How to retire to somewhere tropical and affordable? Or how to remove the stains from their kitchen countertops?

Besides leading with benefits, be straightforward, not coy or clever, and keep your headlines short and sweet.

Make Your Ad Relevant

You won’t be successful if your ads aren’t contextually relevant. Native ads have one job and one job only: to serve the reader. Once the reader is served, then the brand can be served, but only in this order.

No sales pitch or same-old-same-old brand messaging will do. You must give consumers what they expect: content they actually care about and that helps them in some way.

Partner with Trustworthy PublishersPartner with Trustworthy Publishers

The value of your add can only be as good as the publication it appears in. Partner with a publication that has a loyal and trusting following and you can leverage their credibility.


Native advertising may be just what your integrated campaigns have been missing. If you follow these 4 best practices, you’ll have the best chance of connecting with prospects and nurturing lasting relationships.

  Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.

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5 Reasons to Advertise in Niche Magazines

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Mar 29, 2016 @ 01:29 PM

You may remember back in 2012 when Newsweek, a behemoth in the magazine world, decided to stop the print version of its publication. The word gasped, and those who had started the myth that print was dead began to victoriously announce, “I told you so!”

But then something happened. Newsweek decided to bring back its print version, but this time they would offer it as a niche product and make it only available to subscribers.

What can we learn from this?

A: That print is alive and well, and B: that niche magazines offer a number of advantages over other advertising channels.

target.png1) A Dedicated Market

It’s one thing to get your offer in front of your target market – a group of people who are most likely going to be interested in it; but it’s an entirely different (and better) thing to get your offer in front of a dedicated market. That’s what niche magazines offer, a group of people with significant interest, if not a downright passion, in a particular topic. A merchant offering baby-proofing services will spend their advertising dollars much more effectively if they get their ad in a parenting magazine as opposed to any old magazine.

2) Magazines Engage Readers

On a daily basis I see people promoting digital marketing as if it were the second coming. Online channels definitely have their place in an integrated campaign, but think about how not-engaged most people are when online. They may be uploading their latest selfie to their Instagram account while emailing a friend about dinner plans, checking on their Amazon order and reading the latest Hollywood gossip all at the same time!

Compare this to a person reading a magazine. They sit there, or in some cases lay there, and they read the magazine. They are actually engaged with the content, giving it their full attention. This attention and engagement is transferred to the ads they come across in the magazine, and this is really good news for you.

3) Your Ad Will Stand Out

One benefit of people continually claiming print is dead, is that many advertisers have believed the hype and have focused all of their budget and time on digital channels. This has made it very easy for print advertisers to gain attention without need to compete against similar print ads.

magazine-spread.jpg4) People Trust Print

Studies have been conducted on this topic over the years and each time the results are the same – people trust print ads more than any other channel. This means they also trust the ads they see in print publications, which makes people far more open to your message.

Beyond trusting the information they get from print publications over digital websites, people are also weary of the viruses and malware they can pick up while surfing online. This makes them far less likely to click on those popups and banner ads.

These are two more reasons to get your ads in a niche magazine.

5) A Longer Shelf Life

Online ads come and go. They pop up and people click them off, or they completely ignore the banner ads beside the content they are reading. But print ads have real lasting power. Think about a niche magazine that lives in a doctor’s office. How many people pick up that magazine in a month and peruse it? Even a year later that magazine may still be sitting there and your ad will still get read.

The staying power of print ads offers an incredible ROI.

If you haven’t advertised in niche magazines before, consider adding this channel to your next campaign. You just might be surprised how effective this strategy is.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why magazines are still an effective advertising channel.  

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6 Dos and Don’ts of Direct Response Marketing

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 @ 10:57 AM

Direct response marketing is one of the most powerful advertising strategies because campaigns are carefully designed to elicit an immediate and specific response from consumers. Because of this immediacy, businesses know quickly whether their marketing is delivering enough ROI.

As effective as this strategy is, it can be difficult to pull off a successful campaign. With this in mind, here are 6 dos and don’ts of direct response marketing.

DO: Offer Something Your Market Wants offer something your market wants

One of the most important things to understand about direct marketing is that it has NOTHING to do with creating markets and EVERYTHING to do with finding existing markets and offering them something they already want. This truth is what makes this method of selling so efficient, streamlined and profitable.

Your direct marketing campaigns are not about creating brand awareness but about putting your product or service in front of the right audience who already has a need or desire for it. Understand this and you are on your way toward success.

DON’T: Sell Products, Sell Solutions to Problems 

Once you find a market that wants what you have, do NOT sell them your product or service. No one really cares about your product or service – what they care about are their own needs and wants. Mark doesn’t need his car washed, he needs to NOT look like a pig when he picks up his date on Friday. Mrs. Clarkson doesn’t need new glasses, she wants to look stylish, and hopefully ten years younger.

The more you put the focus on your prospects’ needs and wants, the more of a response you’ll get out of them.

Appeal to EmotionsDO: Appeal to Emotions 

When creating direct marketing campaigns, it’s easy to become overly logical and focus on data. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time looking into things like reach, frequency, and CPM, so it stands to reason you would naturally focus on the data of your product or service and list a dozen bullet points of why your offer will save the prospect X, Y or Z.

But people buy based on emotions, not numbers. Only after they’ve already made an emotional decision will they use logic to justify their choice. So, always hook them by their emotions, and then reel them in with logic.

DON’T: Reinvent the Wheel

Direct marketing has been around since the first days of advertising, and after centuries of using this technique, there are certain things that have been proven to work over and over and over again. Things like:

  • Offers with time limits are more effective than offers without.
  • Offers with a free gift get more action than offers with discounts, particularly when the free gift matches the prospect’s need or want.
  • Sweepstakes work - especially for impulse items.
  • Benefits out-pull features.

Don’t reinvent the wheel – stick to what has been proven to work.

DO: Value Function Over Form

Often advertisers put too much effort into how their ad will look instead of what it will say. You’ve got to focus on the point of your ad. What do you want your ad to do? Who’s your audience? How can you get your message across efficiently? Once you know the answers to these questions, you will then know what copy and layout will work.

Focus on the function (point) of your ad before you start thinking about its form (layout).

DON'T: Forget the Basic Elements of a Direct Marketing Ad

When creating direct response campaigns, make sure your message includes the three basic elements:

  1. Your offer
  2. The benefits of your offer
  3. A call-to-action for responding to the offer


Without each of these, you are not doing direct marketing but merely pretending to.

Though there are numerous digital channels that have taken the focus off of direct response marketing, those that still use this technique know it’s one of the best ways to make sales and track campaigns. Use these 6 do’s and don’ts to ensure your next direct marketing campaign is successful.

  Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.

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6 Absolute Rules of Effective Print Ads

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 @ 02:30 PM

Being media buyers, we read all sorts of print ads every single day. Some are pretty good, but if we’re going to be honest, the majority are weak. Many of our clients have come to us with dismal campaign ROI, not recognizing that their ads were the culprits. They believe they have followed the “right” ad rules. We’re not sure where they got their rules from. All we know is we gently try and convince them to never follow those rules again, then give them the REAL rules of writing effective print ads.


Use a Powerful HeadlineRULE #1: Use a Powerful Headline

Your headline is like the front door of a house: without one, nobody can enter and see the rest of the building. Without a powerful headline, your ad offers no reason for the reader to continue reading, let alone take any action.

Everyone knows their ad needs a headline, but the confusion lies in what information it should contain. It should contain any information that will peak a reader’s curiosity. Generally speaking, ads with big benefits to the reader are the most effective.

It’s worth mentioning at this point what’s NOT effective. What’s not effective are headlines that are abstract in some way, or worse, simply list company information.

An abstract headline:

“The Solution’s at Your Fingertips!”

This tells the reader nothing and will most likely not hold their attention.

An informational headline:

“Joe Smith’s Lawn Service”

What about his lawn service? Why should I care? What can his lawn service do for me?

Better headline examples would be:

“Never Deal with Weeds Again”

“You’ll Save $300 a Year in Heating Costs with This $10 Widget”

I hate weeds and I love saving money, so I’m definitely reading more.


RULE #2: Don’t Get Fancy

Take a look at the main editorial section of any newspaper and what do you see? Nothing fancy, that’s for sure. There’s a reason behind their choice in paragraph structure, line-spacing, font and font-size: namely, ‘serified’ fonts are the easiest to read, it’s easy to read black print on a white background, left paragraph alignment is easy to read, and the easiest body copy is between 9-point and 13-point.

While it’s okay to get a little creative with headline size, use of images and a bit of color to draw the eye, vary from what has been proven to work at your own peril. Why make reading your ad harder than it needs to be?


RULE #3: Your Ad Must Have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)Your ad must have a uniqe selling proposition

Good ads make clear propositions; great ads make unique ones.

Some of the strongest headlines we’ve ever read have used a clear USP in place of a catchy slogan. You’d be surprised how this one “little” change can affect your campaign’s ROI.

Think about Domino’s Pizza. When they entered the marketplace they were just another pizza joint. They didn’t offer any kind of special pizza sauce or toppings, but what they DID offer was quite unique: delivery of the product in 30 minutes or less or you didn’t have to pay for it. This got people’s attention.

Which headline grabs your attention:

“Over 100s of Sofa’s to Choose From!” There’s nothing unique about offering a bunch of furniture.

“We’ll Remove Your Old Sofa for FREE!” This service is unique and wanted by the consumer.


RULE #4: Get to the Point Fast

Those advertisers who are parents have an advantage, as they know what it’s like to try and get a point across to someone with the attention span of dust. You don’t sit your 14-year-old down and go on and on about why they need to start paying more attention in school and trying harder. Do this and they’ll tune you out within the first five seconds. Sit them down and say, “No video games or TV until that C comes up to a B…” and now you’ve got their attention.

We see too many ads that waste the first couple of lines (precious print real estate) on “clever copy” before they deliver any kind of product or service offer, let alone benefits.

Do not try and be clever or imaginative, your reader will tune you out. Just get to the point and tell them how you can help them solve their problem.


RULE #5: Get Over Yourself

Your ad has to be all about the reader, not about how great you are, how long you’ve been in business, how many awards you’ve received, and on and on. These ads are self-serving and turn readers off. Your ad must be written with the reader’s interest in mind.

Make sure your ads do not use language that focuses on “us” the company or “it” the product or services, but instead focuses on “you” the reader.

Would you want to go to a doctor that went on and on about their own aches and pains, or one who focused on how she could help YOUR aches and pains?

Get over yourself and focus on your audience’s problems.


RULE #6: Tell The Reader What to Do

The most heartbreaking ads are the ones we see that are strong all the way through until the very end, when they just fizzle out.

Think of your ads like a movie: They’ve got to have a strong beginning (headline), middle (body copy) and end (call to action). If movies start out great and then fall flat in act 3, no one will give that movie a good review and others won’t bother seeing it.

Make sure you end your ad strong by telling the reader exactly what you want them to do next:

“Bring this coupon in to any of our locations for 30% off your next oil change.”

“Answer our online survey for a chance to win a free dinner for two.”


If you follow these 6 rules, your print ads will be much more effective and your ROI will have no choice but to increase.

We also encourage you to continually test the various components of your ad. For instance, after reading this post you may realize your headline is weak. Your next headline may cause a 6% increase in sales. While that’s good and something to be happy about, why not keep testing and tweaking to see if you can get that number up to 10% or 15%?

Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media  

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4 Effective Ways to Marry Your Print and Digital Ads

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Mar 08, 2016 @ 02:15 PM

In the last five years, the death of print media has been talked about almost as much as what the Kardashians are wearing. While we can’t speak to the effectiveness of tight pants and low-cut blouses, we can say with 100% certainty that print marketing is alive and well. In fact, consumers feel traditional channels such as newspapers and magazines are more trustworthy and credible than their digital counterparts.

That being said, most consumers use a combination of print and digital channels when searching for news or information about a product or service, and this can be advantageous to marketers who take an integrated approach to their campaigns. By combining your print and digital strategies, you boost the effectiveness of both channels.

Here are four easy ways you can marry your print and digital ads and ultimately boost your bottom line:

Use Your CTAs to Drive Traffic to Digital Assets

Gone are the days when print ads had to be passive (read boring) and designed with the limited idea of raising awareness of an offer or brand. Today’s print ads can send traffic directly to your digital assets, thereby creating further engagement with the consumer.

Be sure to use your calls to action smartly and send traffic to your online landing pages where prospects can get even more information about your offer or sign up to your newsletter (HINT: this is a great way to continue nurturing the relationship until they buy from you and become a customer for life). Also consider using special promotional codes to incentivize that traffic, while at the same time giving you a way to track the numbers and collect data.

Leverage Social NetworksLeverage Social Media Networks

When it comes to reaching the masses quickly, you really just can’t beat social media. If you’ve grown a nice following on channels like Facebook and Twitter, your pages can act like a launching pad for your printed marketing campaigns. Not only are print campaigns a great way to send traffic to your digital pages, but the opposite is also true. If you’ve got any kind of social media following, leverage that for your next print campaign.

Find the Balance Between Unique and Cohesive

The key to an integrated marketing approach is to make sure your brand remains cohesive, no matter which channel it is found on. It’s important that your messaging is similar across all mediums while at the same time adapting to the particular audience of each. Look at how national brands accomplish this.

A brand like Best Buy will make sure their ads are instantly recognizable with logo and color scheme, as well as overall brand message; yet one of their ads in a local newspaper may use language that will attract the baby boomer crowd while their ad on Instagram will speak to a younger generation.


Coordinate All DepartmentsCoordinate All Departments

Perhaps the biggest challenge of integrating digital and print media campaigns is the in-house coordination that is necessary. It’s important that your digital team and print teams talk to each other and share relevant data so the overall picture can be seen and strategy adjusted when necessary.

(Of course, when you use a media buying agency, they can coordinate for you and make your life a whole lot easier.)


Now is not the time to abandon traditional channels like newspaper and magazines and invest all of your time and money into digital. Instead, integrate your efforts to reach even more prospects and show them your brand is credible and here to stay.

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6 Reasons You’ll Want to Include Magazine Advertising into Your Mix This Year

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Mar 01, 2016 @ 10:32 AM

While many marketers have bought into the myth that print is dead and have focused their efforts and budgets on digital channels, smart marketers have caught on to the fact that magazine readership is growing and print’s effectiveness is still real and measurable, according to the 2015 magazine FACTbook.

If you’ve been questioning whether it makes sense to keep or add print to your media mix this year, here are six reasons why the answer is “yes,” and why you’ll want to look closely at advertising in magazines.

Magazine Ads Offer Better Brand Lift

Would you be shocked to hear that print magazines do a far better job at promoting brand awareness, brand purchase intent, and brand favorability than digital and television ads? To be even clearer on this point – print advertising has been found to be twice as strong as internet ads in all three categories, according to the 2015 magazine FACTbook.


Magazine readers really dig social mediaMagazine Readers Really Dig Social Media

Guess who is happily and enthusiastically interacting with their favorite magazine brands on social platforms? Those magazine media consumers with Facebook accounts have pressed the “Like” button 330 million times for their favorite magazine brands and account for more than half of all social media followers for magazine brands. Beyond this, the numbers of likes and follows is growing, with Instagram claiming nearly 20% more likes and follows in the last year alone.

The takeaway here is, rather than ignoring print in favor of digital channels, magazine readers are happily bridging the gap and interacting with magazines in a plethora of ways.


Magazines Make Consumers Happy

That’s a bold statement, but a true one according to the FACTbook survey results. When it came to measuring the positive emotional responses generated by various channels, including radio, TV, and the Internet, magazine readers were far more positive while interacting with content than every other channel!

Some of the emotional responses listed by magazine readers included happiness, confidence, excitement, hopefulness and interest. It should go without saying (though we’ll readily spell it out) that the mood of a reader has significant impact on their response to advertising messages.


Digital Editions Are Becoming Popular

According to the survey, the percentage of American adults reading digital editions of their favorite magazines has more than quadrupled. This is really great news for advertisers because it shows that magazines are continuing to evolve and adapt and increasing their readership.


Magazine Brand Apps Are Top Sellers for iPad Users

The app market is huge, with new ones being developed and launched continually. Yet despite the sheer number of apps available to iPhone users, magazine-branded apps are killing the competition in the lifestyle, health & fitness, and food & drink categories. In fact, in the lifestyle category, magazine apps claim 14 of the top 15 places and include brands such as O, The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and Cosmopolitan.


Affluent consumers respond to print advertising
Affluent Consumers Respond to Print Advertising

When it comes to reaching affluent consumers, nothing beats print. The survey revealed that, of households with an income of $150,000 or more, 62% said they had considerable or some interest in ads that were seen in a magazine. For households with an income of $75,000 or more, that percentage jumped to a whopping 70%.


What Have We Learned?

These latest FACTbook results show us that magazine readership is steadily on the rise, and that these readers are smart, affluent, and highly receptive to marketing messages. In other words: print advertising continues to be an absolutely effective way of reaching your audience, engaging them, and driving action. If you haven’t tapped into this channel yet, you’re missing out on huge growth opportunity.

  Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why magazines are still an effective advertising channel.

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What Makes a Good Marketing Strategy?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 10:33 AM

What’s the main difference between a successful marketing campaign and an unsuccessful one? The marketing strategies behind them.

Many small business owners become overwhelmed in selecting the best strategies for their message because they don’t understand the fundamentals. So let’s look at the fundamentals first.

What is a marketing strategy, really? It’s a group of techniques that allow your organization to direct its resources and budget toward the best opportunities so you can get the best return on your investment and increase your bottom line.

Now that we know what a marketing strategy boils down to, let’s take a look at some of the necessary components of a GOOD marketing strategy:

Your Ideal Prospect

Otherwise known as your target audience, you’ve got to know exactly who it is you’re trying to reach with your marketing efforts. This should be the first step in every marketing strategy of every campaign.

You will waste time and budget trying to attract everyone to your offer, so to start, narrow your marketing efforts to the group of people your product or service will most likely (and easily) attract.

Here is why this step MUST come first:

Once you know WHO your ideal customer is, you’ll know what their interests, needs and concerns are. Once you know THESE, you’ll be able to create TV ads, newspaper ads, blog posts and billboard messages using a language they will instantly understand and connect with.


Take an Integrated ApproachTake an Integrated Approach

The ultimate goal of your marketing campaigns is to broaden your brand’s awareness and gain the trust of your target audience. The best way to do this is to use a mix of marketing channels such as magazine ads, direct mail, social media and radio to extend your reach and meet your prospects on the channels they prefer.


Know and Communicate Your Unique Selling Proposition

M&Ms are not only delicious, they are a perfect example of a unique selling proposition (USP). “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” That was not just a slogan, that was their USP, and it was a hit with consumers who love chocolate candy but hate getting gooey melted chocolate on their hands, clothes, steering wheel, etc.

Your offer also has to have something unique about it that makes it stand out from the competition, otherwise, why should people choose you? What are the main things that distinguish your product or service from similar offers in the marketplace?

Once you know your USP you will want to communicate it to your target audience in your marketing campaigns. Don’t be coy about it either, take a cue from M&Ms and put your USP front and center.


Always Focus on How You Can Help Your Customer

Your marketing shouldn’t focus on the fact that you’re the best there is, it should focus on how you have the solution to your prospects’ problems. Since you completed step one and you know exactly who your ideal customer is and what their pain points are, you are in a perfect position to show them your business has the right solution.



A successful marketing strategy takes time and commitment,and that tales patience. If you don’t have patience, better hire a media planer with the patience of a saint to run yourcampaigns for you. All too often we have taken on clients who had the first 4 steps of a good strategy down, but then flopped when it came to this last one.

There are no shortcuts to achieving your business goals through proper marketing strategies.

The good news of course is, if you can put in the time and see your campaigns through to the end, track and monitor them and make any necessary tweaks and adjustments, you will be ahead of most of your competition.

What makes a good marketing strategy? Knowing your target customer, taking an integrated approach to your campaigns, knowing and communicating your USP, focusing on your customer’s problems and above all, committing.

  Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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