Au­di­ence re­search: vi­tals to grow your rev­enue


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We of­ten hear that me­dia com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially print, are not do­ing much re­search, in­clud­ing au­di­ence and read­er­ship sur­veys. This in­cludes im­por­tant re­search on who reads and uses their print and dig­i­tal prod­ucts.

Some com­mon rea­sons we hear why news­pa­pers do not use re­search in­clude:

• Lack of bud­get

• No re­search or mar­ket­ing de­part­ment sup­port

• No staff to an­a­lyze data and in­ter­pret re­search find­ings

• Low pri­or­ity com­pared to other items

• News­pa­per/me­dia com­pany too small to do re­search

• No need to, it’s an ex­pense

News­pa­pers with­out re­search de­part­ments or cor­po­rate sup­port can still con­duct au­di­ence and read­er­ship sur­veys that pro­vide valu­able in­for­ma­tion for both the news and ad­ver­tis­ing de­part­ments. It does not need a large bud­get. The re­sults can en­hance cred­i­bil­ity and gen­er­ate rev­enue.

A key rea­son that re­search should be con­ducted, es­pe­cially au­di­ence re­search, it adds to the bot­tom line – rev­enue.

Print and dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ers are keenly in­ter­ested in who reads news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines and uses web­sites. They are also in­ter­ested in know­ing who reads and uses niche prod­ucts and even spe­cialty prod­ucts – like front page sticky notes.

Re­search com­pa­nies like Nielsen, Scar­bor­ough, Sim­mons Mar­ket Re­search, in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors and small re­search firms with me­dia ex­per­tise in the news­pa­per in­dus­try can help.

The best way to be­gin, though, is for the me­dia and news­pa­per ex­ec­u­tive to de­ter­mine clearly what he or she wants to know and achieve with the re­search.

Ac­cord­ing to Re­search Di­rec­tor On De­mand, these three ob­jec­tives usu­ally break down into the fol­low­ing ar­eas:

1. On the news side, pub­lish­ers and ed­i­tors want to know who is read­ing their news­pa­pers both on­line and print prod­ucts. They also want to know what parts of the news­pa­per, or its web­site, are be­ing read with the in­ten­tion of ad­just­ing news cov­er­age or ad­ding features or ser­vices.

2. On the ad­ver­tis­ing side, sales direc­tors and man­agers want mar­ket in­for­ma­tion and in­sights that can help their staff sell. They want to show that print and dig­i­tal reaches their client’s tar­get de­mo­graph­ics.

3. The third ob­jec­tive is mar­ket­ing - show­ing ad­ver­tis­ers that read­ers are en­gaged in their news­pa­per and dig­i­tal prod­ucts for com­mu­nity news and in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing ad­ver­tis­ing and ad in­serts.

Read­er­ship Sur­veys prove that lo­cal news­pa­pers aren't dead. In fact, news­pa­pers, whether print or dig­i­tal, are still a very im­por­tant and a pri­mary source for in­for­ma­tion. They're a store­house of in­for­ma­tion that con­sumers can get when they need it.

That's some­thing we have to keep re­mind­ing ad­ver­tis­ers who are losing in­ter­est in print. Print is still an im­por­tant vi­tal source of pro­duc­ing cus­tomers for them as well.

In ad­di­tion, it’s im­por­tant to re­mind ad­ver­tis­ers that au­di­ence and mar­ket reach goes be­yond just print read­er­ship as a sell­ing point. It en­com­passes not just print read­er­ship, but a news­pa­per's web­site and its use of dig­i­tal, email blasts and mo­bile de­vices. News­pa­pers are the voice of their com­mu­ni­ties, and to­gether with dig­i­tal, that au­di­ence turns into rev­enue.

Re­search com­pa­nies, such as Re­search Di­rec­tor On De­mand, of­fer spe­cial­ized me­dia ser­vices to fit your bud­get. For ex­am­ple, they of­fer news­pa­per read­er­ship and au­di­ence sur­veys, web­site us­age, prod­uct-spe­cific pre­sen­ta­tions (about read­ers are their buy­ing habits such as where they shop for fur­ni­ture, their next new or used ve­hi­cle, real es­tate, ma­jor ap­pli­ances, etc.).

Cost ef­fec­tive­ness is on the minds of re­searchers as well as pub­lish­ers. News­pa­pers ex­ist­ing data­bases put them ahead of the game. In a way, news­pa­pers are for­tu­nate be­cause a lot of them (both large and small size pa­pers) have their own data­base. In that data­base, they have the re­sources of their sub­scribers and read­ers. From that you could pull a fairly good sam­ple of peo­ple who read the pa­per for au­di­ence re­search and sur­veys. Plus it saves them a lot of money.

If you are in­ter­ested in see­ing some ex­am­ples of the many re­search, sales sheets and pre­sen­ta­tions we have done, please con­tact us any­time.

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