Summary of WAN/IFRA White Paper

WAN/IFRA just released a 72-page white paper entitled “Million Dollar Strategies for Newspaper Companies”. Suzanne Raitt, VP Marketing and Innovation, Canadian Newspaper Association, has summarized the key highlights for consideration within your newspaper.

Advertising Department recos

  • Digital goal – Most papers currently garner 10% of revenue from digital according to Moritz Wuttke, founder NextMedia Initiative, former CEO of PubliGroupe Asia. He states 30-35% of revenue should source to digital in 5 years.
  • Sales training – One of the top areas for development and a real priority according to industry studies. Many newspapers are training sales reps in cross-platform sales, such as the Houston Chronicle which has cross-trained generalists and (fewer) online-only specialists.
  • Consultative sales – Focus on the customer and what they need (not on what you are offering). A few sales organizations, such as the Houston Chronicle, are becoming total sales solution houses (i.e. selling competitive media).
  • Audience focus – Some papers (e.g. Daily Telegraph in London) segment their readers into attractive audience segments highlighting which of the paper's products/services target these key groups. The Sacramento Bee uses database marketing to profile advertisers’ customers and then create a targeted campaign.
  • New products/Innovation – Launching new products was deemed one of the top challenges for newspaper companies by Eric Wilberg Management. The report suggests experimenting. Creating iPad newspapers (free or paid) with premium priced ads, ads on apps, more local online ads, creating multimedia campaigns for clients, increasing the use of non-traditional advertising (e.g. unique shapes, having an ad be interactive – adding text response for instance) were posed.
  • Tracking yield management – This is suggested to identify: the effects of competition on price, negotiating ability of salespeople/teams, the impact of offers/discounts over time, the net contribution of categories and individual advertisers, and the short and long term market price trends.
  • Evaluate ad networks – Networks aggregate audiences for sites that are too small. To create the best ad network strategy, Rich Gordon of NorthWestern’s Media Management Center recommends: know your site (where traffic/ad demand is high or low), know your customers (who will buy more and who can’t you sell), and focus on yield & inventory (create premium ad positions for those willing to pay but be careful about adding too many ad positions).

Content Revenue

  • Charging more for print subscriptions – Many newspapers find that their readers are willing to pay more if they believe there is value. And findings suggest that monthly subscriptions are the most palatable (i.e. when subscription payments are expressed in quarterly or annual amounts they are perceived as too expensive).
  • E-editions – For outlying areas, deliver (and charge) for e-editions – The Denver Post saved millions. Readers like the e-edition as it offers a beginning and end vs. the website. Readers also like the multimedia and linkable content, the flawless delivery and the fact that it is environmentally friendly.
  • Loyalty clubs – Can be a money maker (i.e. newspapers offer advertisers the ability to target loyal members) but papers must provide worthwhile benefits to belonging. For example, Asahi Shimbun readers earn points for answering questionnaires and at