Conference Summary: INMA/OPA Europe

The International Newsmedia Marketing Association (INMA) and Online Publishers Association Europe (OPA Europe) partnered to host a conference on September 29 to October 1 in Krakow, Poland. The focus was on marketing strategies that work for print and digital, potential partners for newspapers and generating ideas for increased ad revenue. Presented is a summary of key points based on the conference reports.

Secrets of Newspaper Success: Two top European newsmedia companies suggest that the emerging model is content that is local, digital and paid. Mecom, which owns a variety of European newspapers, highlighted Edda Media (Norway) which is “thinking about reducing its print frequency as it makes the shift toward a digital focus.” Schibsted’s Aftonbladet (Sweden) highlights that half of its profits are from paid content. Aftonbladet focuses on “passion niches” to generate revenue such as:

  • Weight Club: A successful weight-loss club attracted 200,000-plus paying members and has now been exported to six other European countries
  •  Insomnia Club: A club for insomniacs launched in June
  • Web TV: A pay-per-view model (not profitable yet but close)
  • Other: Travel guides, tax lists, and more with margins of up to 50%

Google on Google: Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, Google’s Vice President for Southern & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, presented Google as a collaborator with newspapers. Biondo states Google can:

  • Increase newsmedia outlets’ online audience (Google sends online news publishers 4 billion clicks per month)
  • Engage consumers, with tools such as Google Living Stories (an experiment, done in cooperation with The New York Times and the Washington Post, in which complete coverage of an on-going story was gathered together and prioritized on one URL) and Google Fast Flip, Google Earth and Google Moderator
  • Boost revenue, with Google AdSense and Google News “First Click Free”

In the future, Biondo indicates Google plans further collaboration through richer visualization and mobile media.

Microsoft on Microsoft: Peter Bale, Executive Producer, Microsoft UK and former Online Editorial Director of The Times and The Sunday Times, indicated that Microsoft is working with Reuters, Sky News and The Week, to change the search experience and present news as part of storytelling. Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, is using tools such as videos and Visual Search to change the way web searches are conducted.

What do Advertisers Want: Fabrice Dekerf, Managing Director of Germaine Agency in Belgium, highlighted that agencies want media-neutral campaigns on interactive platforms, which occur in real-time and are useful, engaging, personalized and social. While advertisers’ needs are similar, they want instant results. They demand high impact campaigns with clear and instant return on investment, reach to the right people, traceability and consumer interaction.

Beyond the Print Ad: Magda Bulack, Innovation Manager, Metro Poland, highlighted their ad service, mTarget, which presents more than just print solutions to its advertisers. It offers ideas and solutions such as targeted distribution, small events, street surveys and/or sampling, and custom publishing. For example, a flash mob was organized featuring an iceberg, one of the movie characters, Scrat, and 15 mTarget ‘animators’ dressed in “Ice Age 3” T-shirts that attempted to  “steal” the chara