Sunday, March 07, 2010

When the Ads are Shrinking, the Tough Papers Knew How to Wrap it Up

The World Association of Newspapers held a conference recently in Denmark
to talk about the dwindling ad spaces and how newspapers hurdled that problem:

- In Portugal, where the property market has collapsed, developers have no
money for advertising.  So Impresa Classificados returned to a barter
economy ­ exchanging a 300,000 Euro advertising campaign for a three-room
apartment, which is promptly offered in a lottery. People registered through
a special number and paid 72 cents per call ­ raising 300,000 Euros in net
revenue for the newspaper company. "So, in the end, we managed an income
that corresponds to the real value of the campaign," said Geert Van Hassal,
Managing Director of Impresa Classificados.

- In the Czech Republic, the chain of hyper-local Nase Adresa weeklies and
websites are supported, in part, by a chain of "news cafés" that serve as
the offices of its editors. Those cafés also provide 18 percent of total
revenue. "It's not because we like coffee so much that we created this chain
of cafés. It's because we saw a potential revenue stream," said Bozena
Rezabova, Marketing Director for PPF, the parent company of Nase Adresa.

- The accepted on-line advertising metric of clickthroughs is "fatally
flawed" and should be replaced with measures that better reflect brand
recognition and return on investment, said Matthew Dodd, Vice President for
Research and Analytics for Nielsen Online's EMEA. "There is zero correlation
between clickthrough and ROI. The click through measure is anachronistic. So
why do we continue to use it? Because we're lazy, because brand owners are
lazy. We're working to move brand owners away from that measure."

- Discussions about how they interact with online advertising played a large
role in the conference, with several presentations focused on new,  more
effective ways to measure media reach and advertising effectiveness. One of
them, the Touchpoints survey in the United Kingdom, combines information
about consumer behaviour with usage data from both online and offline media.
The result is a detailed picture that allows accurate targetting of people
during the day, and an understanding of how they use media at any time  ­
"what they're doing, who they're with, how much time they spend in single
and multiple activities ­ the whole depth and breadth of real life," said
Belinda Beeftink, Associate Director for Media Research at the Institute of
Practioners in Advertising in London.

- Newspapers are learning to engage with social networks ­ and even creating
their own ­ to take advantage of the new web ecosystem. They're also finding
alternatives to Google for successful advertising solutions on the web. "You
don't need to wait for Google to eat more of your lunch, you can do it
yourself," said Moritz Wuttke, Founder of NextMedia Initiatives and former
CEO of Publicitas in Asia and China. He provided conference participants
with advice on how to develop sales channels, pricing methodologies,
research and development, contextual and local advertising, and sticky


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