Newspaper Research Budgets Are Lacking

By: Lucia Moses

Major fluctuations in technology, consumer behavior, and the economy require newspapers to change their priorities, but they lack the research budgets they need to understand and take advantage of the changes, according to a new International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA) report.

Papers need to spend more to understand consumer behavior to make their product really valuable, concluded the 49-page document by Kannon Consulting, called “Market Intelligence.”

Among the findings: newspaper general managers feel their papers’ market research is only somewhat useful — and while researchers cite insufficient budgets as the greatest obstacles to research effectiveness, managers are more likely to blame a lack of skilled staff and poor quality of vendors.

The study also found newspaper researchers are less educated than their counterparts at consumer packaged goods companies, and that marketing and sales departments use research more effectively than circulation and news.

The report is the first to come out of the INMA’s Smart Newspapers initiative, a three-year project aimed at helping newspapers grow by adopting best practices of other industries.

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