Newspaper Association of America: Conference Summary

Suzanne Raitt, VP of Marketing & Innovation at the Canadian Newspaper Association, attended the May 26-28 NAA newspaper conference in New York and provides an overview.

Key Takeaways:

There were some themes that emerged again and again over the course of the conference.

Partner:Work with competitors (including newspapers and other media) to reduce costs and take advantage of external expertise.

Mobile is the new black: Plan for a mobile future now. Currently, news, weather and sports are hot mobile content.

Consider pay-for models: People will pay to save time (i.e. curation), to “socialize” with the like-minded or to obtain a specific info/service (e.g. high paying jobs, dating). Test pricing in market (not surveys as people “honestly lie”). Options: specialized or curated content, metered site, basic site (and pay for more) or with & without ads.

Social media is driving traffic to sites: We saw research indicating that social media provides more traffic to newspaper sites than Google. Make your content sharable.

Leverage each platform:Online suits breaking news and video. The iPad (which is like a pop-up book on steroids) can provide layers of information (e.g. click-through on elements of a photo – on the shoes to buy them, on the dog to get information on the breed).

Data is the new oil: Are Google and Apple in the data business?  The information on who is viewing, what and when is valuable and can be further leveraged (e.g. e-mail marketing). Maintain ownership of the consumer and the data.

  1. Combine online and print internally: Separating them is not positioning us for the future agreed Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
  3. Sales “solutionists”: The move is to consultative selling (i.e. acting as an idea generator and advertising advisor). The focus has shifted to selling audience rather than platform. And reps. have digital experts available as needed. Some sell competitive media and sharing reps. (one rep. for all media) was discussed.
  5. e-readers are a paid model: Present not just content but an experience which (if done well) consumers will pay for.

Summaries of key speakers:

New York Times Study Tour

Zoom in maps– Olympics venues, Best places to go in 2010 (w/ readers photos), Community map (with shop & eat info) sponsored by Sotherby’s which can place in their real estate offices and properties into the local map if consumer agrees (i.e. permission based)

Volcano-related airport cancelations– Updated every few minutes

Video newscast– Once a day and sponsored (by Fedex)

Reaching new audiences: NYTposts 3-5 videos a day to You Tube to draw new users to the brand. Provides JetBlue with 1 hour in-flight branded programming.

Pricing: Consider pricing to consumer that allows access across any device.

Buying a device: Bundle the device in with an annual subscription to your paper. Device is offered at a reduce price to the consumer.

Jonas Bonnier (CEO, The Bonner Group, Stockholm, Sweden) on positioning for the future

  1. Online innovation:

Bonnier insists that newspapers retain the relationship (and the data) with our consumers. To that end, he is violently opposed to selling to ad networks where we lose control over the price. He note