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I was very interested in the title of this piece, because, as the author of the first new model of advertising effectiveness in 50 years*, I have long believed that marketing is ready for a more nuanced and nimble approach to advertising.

This, in particular, attracted my attention:

“Local publishers’ shift away from chasing clicks and toward a base of local, loyal, engaged, paying digital subscribers presents a head start in offering advertisers a captive, high-quality audience that will see their message in the context of high-quality, relevant journalism they sought out.”

I completely agree, and I believe that this is the royal road for publishers to return to profitability and stability in an industry that has been turned on its head by the digital revolution. But they must become smarter and more disciplined on the business side as well as the editorial side, as Mr. DeRienzo suggests.

This means a sharper focus and stronger messaging about the benefits of newspaper advertising in the marketing mix, as well as more intensive training of the sales force to help advertisers strengthen their own targeting and messaging. One of the things Facebook got right was to deploy teams to help advertisers become accustomed to its platform. They even staffed a presidential campaign in 2016, with results that made the campaign staff look like heroes and masters of a new world of targeting.

There is no better time to re-shape and strengthen the newspaper value proposition, if publishers resolve to invest. Covid has turned the world upside down and created new distribution channels, and marketing everything from house wares to diapers to automobiles has changed forever.

* “Advertising's Double Helix: A Proposed New Process Model" Journal of Advertising Research, (May/June), 43-51.

From: Local News Publishers Need to Dig Deeper for a Better Advertising Model

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