Dying Media

Why Old School Advertising Is Not Dead

By: George Beall

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“Hi, I’m Al Harrington, President and CEO of Al Harrington’s Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man Emporium and Warehouse! Thanks to a shipping error, I am now currently overstocked on wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men, and I am passing the savings onto YOU!” Family Guy’s local television commercial personality Al Harrington, of Al Harrington’s Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man Emporium and Warehouse, was such a hit with viewers that he appeared on the cutaway comedy show two more times, selling his wares.

What made Al Harrington, just another crazy cutaway character among hundreds of others, so memorable for Family Guy audiences? It’s simple; every single one of us can relate to watching a similar commercial prepared by local businessmen on regional television stations. The best comedy is relatable, and we all definitely know that old school business that’s still leaning in, counting on traditional marketing tactics just like these.

The truth, though, is that old school advertising is alive and well, and perhaps even better than ever. Although we get a chuckle at old Al’s expense, the results these methods generate are really no laughing matter.

According to the National Association of Advertisers, on-premises signs like air dancers (the technical term for wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men) cost less per impression than just about any other form of advertising. Attention-grabbing signage can increase foot traffic by up to 20 percent, which is pretty impressive when compared to around 5 percent for television advertising.

When you think about it, a lot of the traditional marketing strategies are making just as much of an impact as they ever did even if they’ve been a little digitalized here and there. Advertising through mailers, coupons, and lead buying is still hugely beneficial to any business, whether you’re using good old-fashioned snail mail or online sales funnels.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to note that old school stamp-and-send mailers still tend to perform better than web campaigns. According to Forbes, “while PPC and local SEO helps users find us easily online, using mailers to increase brand awareness is vital in helping us build trust with consumers. Consumer trust increases sales calls.”

Building trust with the customer is what it’s all about, and despite what you may believe about old school advertising, it’s not all about push marketing. While there are plenty of traditional methods that focus on interruption — like commercials during TV shows or idling past a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man on your morning commute — the internet didn’t invent permission marketing.

According to Jake Braun, the co-founder of Kapok Marketing, “technology may have made it faster and more efficient, but businesses have been asking customers to register for newsletters and coupon mailers, gathering information from promotions and giveaways, and implementing loyalty programs for decades.”

It’s no surprise that permission marketing is more successful than interruption marketing, because you’ve been invited into your customers’ lives. They’ve already indicated their interest, so you’re not wasting precious energy on all the people who do not have any interest whatsoever in what you’re selling.

Another important way to establish trust with consumers is through brand recognition. It’s true that the ever-growing field of graphic design has taken comprehensive, consistent branding to a whole new level, but advertisers have always known that a successful logo, catchy jingle, or memorable mascot could take an ordinary business and turn it into a household name.

You only need to look as far as an organization like Coca-Cola to see how classic branding strategies can pay off in American icon-hood.

Last but not at all least, don’t forget about the power of radio advertising. A Nielsen data analysis concluded that broadcast radio reached more than 77 percent of adults each day, making it a powerful resource for companies looking to expand their reach.

Entrepreneur advises using radio campaigns targeted toward establishing yourself as the industry expert your audience can trust, since they will be hearing your reassuring words on the airwaves on a highly regular basis. Radio advertising campaigns are most effective when they run in long cycles (ideally 52 weeks a year), but they are sure to build trust in your expanding customer network.

If you’re looking to grow your business but feel frustrated by trying to keep up with the latest-and-greatest digital techniques that always seem to overpromise and underdeliver when it comes to your ROI, get back to the basics and start kicking it old school.

Advertising strategies that include phone calls, traditional mailers, promotions and giveaways, loyalty programs, consistent branding, and even a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man (because why not?) can deliver some serious bang for your buck. More importantly, though, they’ll develop the kind of trust necessary to establish lasting relationships with your customers.

What old school marketing strategy ha worked wonders for your business? Share your success in the comments below!


Author: George Beall

Source: thenextweb.com URL: https://goo.gl/zAJuky

Young Subscribers Flock to Old Media

By: Jason Schwartz

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As President Donald Trump wages daily war against the press, millennials are subscribing to legacy news publications in record numbers—and at a growth rate, data suggests, far outpacing any other age group.

Since November's election, the New Yorker, for instance, has seen its number of new millennial subscribers more than double from over the same period a year earlier. According to the magazine's figures, it has 106 percent more new subscribers in the 18-34 age range and 129 percent more from 25-34.

The Atlantic has a similar story: since the election, its number of new subscribers aged 18-24 jumped 130 percent for print and digital subscriptions combined over the same period a year earlier, while 18-44 went up 70 percent.

Newspapers like The Washington Post and The New York Times typically do not share specific subscriber data, but according to a Post spokesperson, its subscriber growth rate is highest among millennials. A New York Times representative relayed that the paper was “seeing similar trends” in subscriptions and pointed to public data on digital traffic that showed its online reach among millennials to be up 9 percent from the same period a year ago.

Even The Wall Street Journal—not a paper usually known for being left around dorm rooms—said that it has doubled its student subscribers in the last year. And a spokesperson for the famously staid Economist reported, “We are seeing that the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups have been key drivers of new subscriptions.”

Oft derided as pampered, avocado-toast-eating layabouts, millennials have long been seen as unlikely to pay for news.

“Information wants to be free,” the cliché went, and, not long ago, headlines like, “Why Millennials Still Won't Pay Much For The News” were easy enough to find. But according to Nic Newman, the lead author of the 2017 edition of the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report, two major things have changed.

The first is that subscription streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Spotify have conditioned young people to be more willing to pay for quality content.

The second is Trump.

According to the Reuters Institute report, which surveyed more than 70,000 people in 36 countries and was published last summer, the United States was the only country studied that over the last year saw a major increase in the proportion of people who paid for online news, jumping from 9 percent in 2016 to 16 percent in 2017—and millennials were a big part of the reason.

Between 2016 and 2017, the share of Americans aged 18-24 who paid for online news vaulted from 4 percent to 18 percent, the study said; the age group 25-34 rose from 8 percent to 20 percent. Those two age groups, Newman said, collectively represent about 30 percent of the market.

To be sure, the “Trump bump” has existed across all age groups—the New Yorker reports 100 percent year-over-year increases in new subscribers for every demographic—but, in the Reuters Institute study, the millennial age brackets grew at a rate three times greater than any others, and no other age group boasted as high a percentage of people paying for news online.

“The big boost we saw in subscriptions in the U.S.,” Newman said, “is driven by people on the left and younger people are more likely to be on the left. That is really a lot of what’s driving it: young people who don’t like Trump who subscribe to news organizations that they see as being a bulwark against him.”

Newman said that 29 percent of Americans responded to the survey that their reason for paying for news was, “wanting to help support or fund journalism,” which was twice the average for all countries included in the study. Americans on the political left were four times more likely than those on the right to cite supporting journalism as their reason for paying, Newman said.

According to Sam Rosen, the Head of Growth for the Atlantic, the magazine has seen steady growth in millennial engagement over the last four years, but numbers surged after the election. Last July, Rosen ran a survey on the magazine and was struck by the results. “I noticed a really strong engagement in terms of enthusiasm for the brand among the 25-34 year old demo, as well as 18-24. And it was striking to me, because from a print standpoint, typically the Atlantic skews a bit older,” he said.

That brand identification is important, according to Stephanie Edgerly, a professor at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism who has studied how young people engage with news. “This is why the NPR tote bag is a big deal, this is why the New Yorker had a tote bag that was viewed as a hot commodity,” she said. “News is a brand and it stands for certain types of values you want to associate yourself with and that becomes even more important in this political climate.”

“By values I don’t want to just mean liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican,” she continued. “It’s a lot more complex than that. These stand for lifestyle values, this stands for how you see yourself, whether you want to be identified as a socially conscious intellectual who value the arts or a snarky contrarian who knows obscure political arguments.”

Rosen, from the Atlantic, said that, for younger people, he’s seen this type of broadcasting on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. “We’ve heard from even high schoolers who share Atlantic content on social media that, when they share the Atlantic, they know that they’re signaling that they’re thinking more deeply and critically about the world,” he said.

That signaling can also be a stand against Trump. Dwayne Sheppard, the vice president of consumer marketing at Condé Nast, which owns the New Yorker, said that he’s also observed a sense of brand identification—but said that, for millennials, it extends beyond social media and into the real world. Those subscribing to the New Yorker can choose between a print and digital subscription or a less expensive digital-only option; Millennials, he said, are opting for print at a rate 10 percent higher than older demographics.

“Millennials are choosing print overwhelmingly, or digital and print,” he said. “It’s a physical manifestation of the relationship. You’re on the subway or you’re in the airport and you’re carrying your New Yorker, that’s another signal of what you care about and what you choose to read.”

In the age of Trump, a dog-eared New Yorker or Atlantic may serve as a small token of resistance, but the question remains whether this trend of younger people paying for news is sustainable. Newman, from the Reuters Institute, said that even when the Trump effect wears off, millennials’ embrace of subscription services is a positive sign for the industry.

There was a strong correlation in his study, he said, between people willing to pay for streaming services for music and video and those willing to pay for news. “Other online services have basically given people the grammar by they can understand what subscription is,” he said, in terms of offering different levels of subscriptions and various types of insider benefits. (Newman acknowledged, though, that part of the connection was simply having disposable income).

Both Rosen and Sheppard are bullish that the trend will continue. Shortly after the election and around Trump’s inauguration represented the biggest surge, but “We’re not seeing a downshift or a quieting of interest in subscriptions,” Rosen said.

For all the good news, the truth remains that those willing to pay for journalism still represent a relatively small group—according to the Reuters Institute study, 84 percent of Americans do not pay for online news. Subscriptions are not cheap, and Newman pointed out that there is danger in quality journalism becoming an increasingly elite product. “The danger is that you get a two-tiered system,” he said.

Still, for an industry that has been pummeled for more than a decade by terrible financial news and, for the last 10 months, by the President of the United States, the growing willingness of millennials to open their wallets is welcome news.

“It’s not going to save journalism,” Newman said of the past year’s millennial surge, “but it’s a hopeful sign that people are prepared to pay for quality.”


Author: Jason Schwartz

Source: politico.com URL: https://goo.gl/q6s8q7

Is The e-Book A Dead Format?

By: Simon Rowberry

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Nowadays, the ebook has a reputation for technological conservatism - so it is easy to forget that there was significant anticipation for the Kindle’s arrival ten years ago.

In a 2009 editorial, The Bookseller declared the device was “a giant leap for all”. The Kindle was frequently compared to the iPod’s transformative effect on the music industry. No wonder - the ebook format promised several advantages. Users could adjust typographic settings for improved accessibility; there was an increased level of portability; and the move to digital distribution promised the ability to purchase publishers’ extensive back catalogues.

But despite the early promise of the ebook, many are questioning whether it has lived up to these expectations. In recent years, the ebook has faced significant backlash amid reports of declining sales in trade publishing. The Publishing Association Yearbook 2016 noted a 17% slump in the sale of consumer ebooks while physical book revenue increased by 8%. Over the last couple of years, audiobooks have replaced ebooks as digital publishing’s critical darling on the back of a rapid increase in revenue. In this climate, several commentators have asked “how ebooks lost their shine.”

However, few of them offer more than woolly opinions. On the surface, the narrative of the ebook’s demise may appeal to bibliophiles who cherish print - but the reality behind ebooks’ recent plateau is more complex.

The Publishing Association’s data is still adjusting to new publishing models. Just as the music industry needed to adapt to the rise of streaming, initiatives such as Amazon Charts are reacting to the rise of ebook subscription services and audio/ebook hybrids that don’t map to traditional metrics of publishing success.

The ‘ebook plateau’ argument also ignores emergent sectors of digital-only sales, including self-publishing, where new genres drive a vibrant and divergent market. Amazon facilitates most self-publishing sales, and the company steadfastly refuses to provide sales data for books published exclusively on the Kindle. So a potential increase in sales for emergent digital-only genres is hidden by the headlines about traditional publishers.

The fall in revenue from ebooks is a direct consequence of legacy publishers’ prioritization of print sales at the expense of digital books. The Kindle’s North American launch in 2007 marketed new ebook titles at $9.99, a discount of at least $10 on the hardback equivalent. This approach was unsustainable, but it set readers’ expectations for the cost of ebooks. Agency ebook pricing has brought ebook prices closer to print, but at the cost of the perceived value of digital publications. As expectations of an ebook’s value were lowered by the initial discounting, the recent resurgence in print sales cannibalizes ebook’s growth.

There have been plenty of discussions around the ‘ebook plateau,’ but the technological challenges for ebooks go under-acknowledged despite their precarity. Both EPUB and the Kindle’s proprietary format are based on 20+ year old technology in an age of rapid technological obsolescence. The recent merger of the Independent Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF, the organization maintaining the EPUB format) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) may prove to be a pivotal moment in digital publishing history and poses a significant challenge to the ebook format.

W3C will continue supporting EPUB, but the non-profit is also piloting Portable Web Publications (PWP), a self-described “vision for the future of digital publishing based on a fully native representation of documents within the Open Web Platform.” In other words, PWP moves ebook reading out of dedicated apps and into native web browsers. This has many advantages, but how will books cope in the complex attention economy of web browsing? Given the scope of the format, digital books will become just another type of publication to use PWP and as a consequence, the standard will not just serve the needs of publishers, a core design element of EPUB despite its limitations.

If PWP supersedes EPUB, Amazon will be the primary company to maintain an ebook format, as it is invested in proprietary specifications and continues to release updates for Kindle Format 8 (KF8). Amazon’s resistance to EPUB may have been prescient if PWP replaces EPUB as the industry standard, but this relies on Amazon itself maintaining interest in the Kindle. It is still possible to read ebooks on a first-generation Kindle, a feat unthinkable for platforms such as the iPhone or videogame consoles, but elsewhere there is evidence that Amazon’s interests are turning away from books to a range of other ventures not limited to videogame streaming, winning Emmys, grocery shopping, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things. Their tablet line is now just ‘the Fire,’ having dropped the Kindle moniker in 2014. The Kindle brand, and books, are now just one small part of the Amazon juggernaut.

For the moment, reports of the ebook’s death are exaggerated. If the disinterest of Amazon and resistance from the book trade continue, however, there is a chance that the ebook is killed off - in my view, prematurely. Publishers should see ebooks as complementary to print rather than as competition. Letting the ebook die may benefit print sales in the short-term, but the wider transition to digital media consumption presents a longer-term threat. Books need to remain visible and distinct from other genres of writing in the competition for attention. Publishers may wish to build upon the success of ebook/audiobook bundling to build a sustainable future for the ebook.


Author: Simon Rowberry

Source: thebookseller.com URL: https://goo.gl/wMxv9h