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Corporate Canada Needs More Entrepreneurs

We have all heard about how entrepreneurial the top digital organizations are such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and the list goes on and on. These companies encourage their employees to come up with new ideas, show innovation and be entrepreneurial all while working in a corporate environment. This is after all how these companies have taken over the advertising and marketing world by consistently reinventing themselves along with innovation. So why is it that traditional media advertising doesn’t follow this model? And when I say follow the model I mean be more entrepreneurial.

I for one see myself as an entrepreneur working for a corporation. I did after all start up my own company (FlyerMail) and sell it to Metroland in 2012 less than 3 years after its launch. I like to move quickly in a fast paced environment. You could say I am always on with a brain that is always thinking of a better way to do things. As an entrepreneur I like to think I can always find a solution regardless of the current challenge I am facing. I have taken this approach my whole career whether it’s the company I work for or the company I’m running.

For much of the corporate world from what I have seen we tend to look for corporate experience, experience managing people, experience with a similar product or service, you know all of that stuff we can easily put in a box and pass it around the company. In a nutshell I am talking about those skills that we can teach. The message this sends is that we are happy with the status quo. In the traditional media advertising biz nothing could be further from the truth. We do need to get better, we need to find innovative solutions so we can compete with the Google’s of the world well at least eat into media buys which they are getting a huge chunk. To do this we need to think outside the box, bring new ideas to the table, do things differently, think advertising 24/7, devote at least 1 hour per week to new product development ideas, find the most skilled/driven/passionate staff, come up with efficient systems, and most importantly be more entrepreneurial. What I would love to see is my industry follow the lead of Google and Facebook and hire more Entrepreneurs, let them free and watch the positive impact this has on the traditional advertising industry.

Follow me on Twitter @GeoffJosey

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Using Metroland to Promote your Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales

By now it is no secret that Black Friday has turned into a major retail event for Canadians. We may not have caught up to our neighbors to the north yet but it is definitely a growing phenomenon. This year 19.3 million Canadians plan to shop on Black Friday/Cyber Monday with an expected spend of 10.3 billion dollars. Metroland has the perfect audience to advertise your brands with 170+ community and daily newspapers across Ontario. We also have numerous digital platforms not only in our newspaper markets but also province wide as well as national verticals and platforms like Save.ca and WagJag. Then there are the 3 million opt in emails, mobile geofencing (can include the US), tie in behavioral targeting, a content marketing campaign, takeovers on our community network and national sites, and of course impressions on any of the verticals.

To summarize our audience Metroland print products (Mostly newspapers) deliver to over 3.7 million households in Ontario, our digital audience (our own websites including 39 community sites) has about 9 million monthly unique visitors (imagine the impact of branded content) and as I mentioned 3 million opt in emails via Save.ca, WagJag and Travel Alerts. We also have over 30,000 of Canada’s leading websites (roughly 90 percent of the top sites in Canada) as part of our ad exchange if you want to run geofencing or behavioral targeting campaigns. Not to forget automotive we have 2 of Canada’s leading automotive sites in our arsenal Wheels.ca and Autocatch.

Now comes the fun part. If you book a Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaign we have some super deals. We will craft a digital package for you at 25 per cent off our rate card rates. If you book a holiday campaign in our newspapers as long as you buy a Black Friday ad we will give you a future ad of the same size in the same market at no charge as long as you run within a 6 week window. Keep in mind this is a corporate sales promotion as opposed to a local one. Simply get in touch if you want me to put together a proposal for your company or client.

Follow me on Twitter @GeoffJosey

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Newspapers still a strong source for local community information

A Vividata study says 75 per cent of Canadians rely on community newspapers as a primary source of local community information. The study includes digital media so more evidence that print is far from dead. Follow the link below to see how newspapers compare to other media.

Follow me on Twitter @GeoffJosey

Newspapers dominate as a media source for Local Community Information

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January Is Coupon Month

If you are like me somewhere in your home you have a drawer full of coupons that magically landed in your mailbox. For me personally given the fast food junkies who live in my house that drawer is full of restaurant coupons such as Mcdonald’s, Harvey’s, Montana’s Cookhouse, East Side Marios, Boston Pizza you get the idea. And yes that is really what is in that drawer as I just double checked. If you pay attention like I do you will notice that your mailbox is jammed in January with these types of deals. This is not a coincidence as these chains have focused marketing departments that rely heavily on analytics while being very ROI driven. In reality the most important stat for coupon advertisers is redemption and simply put this is higher in January than any other month hence the repeated annual cycle. So why the heavy response in January? It really is a common sense approach. The month of December is our biggest retail month of the year in terms of spending for obvious reasons. Many Canadians put themselves into debt and spend the coming months catching up. So naturally this results in consumers looking for deals, and more specifically coupons over the coming months. This hits its height in January as the credit card statements are actually coming in, the weather is gloomy, people are more depressed and everyone is looking for a bargain. In some cases this may be a psychological effect but either way it drives major spending through coupons.
There are numerous ways to reach this audience such as your local Metroland newspaper, one of our direct to door products such as FlyerMail, a direct mail campaign (see Metroland’s Simpofly for an easy way to do this) or an online campaign through a deal site such as WagJag or Save.ca.
I am going to provide one example of one of my direct to door advertisers A&W who often has a campaign in January. If I take just one market of 54,000 doors in FlyerMail which is a $2500 total investment they will get upwards of 2000 coupons back which is a 3.7 per cent redemption rate. You don’t need to be a mathematician to figure out when the offers are structured properly this has a very high ROI.
So the time is now to start planning for January, get your offers in place and come up with a strategy so that you can tap into an audience that is out there looking for deals and ready to spend but you need to have the correct bait to reel them in.
Follow me on Twitter @Geoffjosey

The Modern Day Print Advertising rep

Oh how the life of a print advertising media rep has changed. For the first 20 years of my advertising career life really was pretty simple. I sold one product which for most of that time was flyer distribution inside newspapers. I worked very hard, built up an account list in excess of 1 million dollars annually which is a lot of local flyer distribution. My job consisted of convincing local business owners as well as national agencies, big box stores, grocery chains etc that they should be distributing their flyers in newspapers that I represented and I did that job with much success. This is after all how I initially established myself in the industry. At the time I saw myself as a passionate, hardworking “flyer guy” and if you asked me then I would have told you that what I was doing was very complex and it was to an extent. Most newspapers did have specialists to deal with this part of the business and still do. I decided to move on for a new challenge and start my own company FlyerMail which provided me the opportunity to diversify myself by adding commercial print and graphic design to my areas of specialty. Again this seemed to be a huge challenge at the time but I was about to discover that my life as a print media advertising sales professional was about to drastically change with the sale of FlyerMail to a multimedia giant in Torstar.

After I sold to Torstar I came back thinking that I would continue to drive FlyerMail for the new company which I did. I knew there would be some minor changes such as the format, design, new printer etc but overall I would be pushing one product. Sure there was the co-branding with an online flyer site in save.ca but for the most part my life would be the same. What had changed since my last stint in the industry was the business was no longer just about newspapers. In fact newspapers were no more than one of the many core products that I was expected to push. I was expected to push our many digital platforms which included content marketing, daily deal sites, flyer sites, impressions, IP targeting, take overs, audience extension, retargeting and this barely scratches the surface. There were magazines, newspapers, direct mail products and a heck of a lot more. What happened to the days when all we had to worry about was asking “do you want to buy an ad in next week’s paper?”  Well it was clear those days were gone. The message being sent was simple if our industry was going to survive we were going to be hitting the streets with a multimedia approach with a heavy focus on digital. So that’s just what I did. We were now packaging digital with FlyerMail which was a natural for me as we had a Flyer site (save.ca) and to be honest adding a measly $120 for the online portion on a $3000 direct mail campaign was easy. But I had so much to learn in a short period of time. I knew I needed to embrace the digital world so I quickly learned all about our content marketing initiatives (In Your Neighborhood) and I sold this is waves. I was shocked at how easy this was and how badly my clients craved this once I hit the street. And for $300 per month which included business profiles, monthly content, video production, online advertising, social media there was a lot of value for the price.  And guess what? About 80 per cent of these customers bought newspaper advertising as part of their annual contract. So we were using our strong digital platform to sell newspaper display advertising. What a far cry from the old days when we sold all print customers a $12 upsell on their ad to put the ad online.

My life as a print advertising rep has definitely evolved as now I call myself a true multimedia rep. It’s about listening to the customer and selling them what they need which for me is more and more becoming a digital platform whether on its own or part of a print buy. For print media reps to not only survive but grow they need to embrace this approach or very shortly they simply won’t exist. The days of “a half or a full page this week?” are gone. Listen to your customer and put them in the advertising product that will best suit their business even if that isn’t a full page in the local newspaper.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous blogs

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/print-advertising-is-dead-i-guess-i-missed-the-memo/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tis-the-season-if-you-work-in-advertising/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/online-advertising-its-about-more-than-just-the-click/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/multimedia-blog/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/have-local-business-interests-get-involved-in-the-community/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/using-twitter-as-a-business-tool/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/extreme-couponing-in-canada/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/why-all-small-and-medium-size-businesses-need-a-content-marketing-strategy/