Why is CIRCULATION REVENUE consistently the ONLY CATEGORY TRENDING UP when stats about Newspapers are released???

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Brand eCRM, CPG, Digital Coupon, Digital Strategy, Load to Card, Loyalty, Online Marketing, Printable Coupon, Retail Disruption, Strategy | 0 comments

  Why, why, why is CIRCULATION REVENUE consistently the ONLY CATEGORY TRENDING UP when statistics about Newspaper Ad Revenue are released??? The Decline of Newspapers Hits a Stunning Milestone This is a rhetorical question, I know “why”… sort of…I just don’t like the answer. Summary of the actual U.S. Newspaper Industry report on its own health… The headline is that there is, once again, no headline. Consistent with 20 YEARS (?!?!?!?) of reports from similar sources…. “revenue trends were largely unchanged” …which remains consistently surprising given how few consumers read or buy the newspaper anymore. Overall decline in ad revenues was consistent with prior year, about 6% each – mostly driven by decline in print ads. Hardly a cliff. How much innovation could actually be happening if year after year, one of the biggest channels for RETAIL & CPG MARKETING  (nearly $11 Billion annually!) consistently reports that things are  “largely unchanged”???    Are we RETAIL and CPG MARKETERS being boiled really, really slowly – like frogs – so we stay comfortable and don’t jump out of the pot?   I KNOW we are a smart group of people, so I try to unpack it… Circulation revenues increased 3.7% Digital only circulation revenue up 47%. Print + Digital BUNDLES are up 107%. Print only circulation revenue is is down 20%. Umm…so, are they printing more circulars or fewer circulars?  When offering a Print+Digital Bundle, how is the discount weighted? I’m guessing that the part with the low to no variable cost (digital) may be bundled into the print for free, which means if we’re being honest with ourselves, we’re not REALLY being all that adventuresome and innovative, are we? COME ON RETAIL AND CONSUMER GOOD MARKETERS!!!  If we want to really break new ground and innovate, we have to STOP DELUDING OURSELVES.  While we’re at it, we also have to stop doing the same thing online that we’ve always done in traditional media (i.e. digital circulars and pre-roll video of the same advertising we run on TV). The only logical conclusion is that there is INSUFFICIENT INNOVATION happening in our space.  The money goes where it’s always gone simply because IT. DOESN’T. HAVE. ANYWHERE. ELSE. TO GO.  At least it doesn’t have anywhere to go that the point of diminishing returns on ROI doesn’t time out earlier than the audience. What say you? What’s the most promising company or solution you’re seeing now? What are the issues we need to address?  Are circulars really ALL THAT and more? Is it really all in support of in-store merchandising? Susan O’Neal Gear has over 20 years of experience at the intersection of consumers, marketing and technology. Passionate about all aspects of a consumer’s relationship with...

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Coupon Fatigue? Calling All Digital Grocery Coupon Burn-Outs!

Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Brand eCRM, Burnout, Consulting, CPG, Digital Coupon, Digital Strategy, Learning, Load to Card, Loyalty, Online Coupon, Online Grocery, Online Marketing, Printable Coupon | 0 comments

In no area of marketing does innovation have greater potential to positively and significantly impact the daily lives of more people than in the weekly task of GROCERY SHOPPING.  And yet for all the money, technology, data and brainpower invested, we have very little to show for it as an industry (no offense to those who have been trying, I’ve been right there with you for more than a decade). The best opt-in rates for digital consumer engagements in grocery are less than 10% (lower than that on average).  Maintaining that engagement is a whole other challenge. Most grocery consumer engagement is funded through and by digital couponing, a tactic that appeals to less than 15% of U.S. Households on an ongoing basis and is currently “out of vogue” with brands desperate for new ways to build brand value (and profit margin). Less than 1% of Grocery sales occur online (although this is changing, more on that in another post later). As a result, there are literally billions of brand and retail marketing dollars stuck in increasingly inefficient marketing channels – not because they don’t want to go online (many famous pronouncements have been made to move budget dollars online over the last 15 years) – but no existing solution has the scale to spend that kind of money (not even the biggest dogs in the digital CPG fight). Never, never, never has there been a spending population more patient and willing to test nearly anything and everything – and the fact that there has been no true game changer – well, I’ve literally seen it break hearts. The heart breakers – “great ideas” that turned out to be not-so-great; super cool companies with value propositions that left consumers cold; hot and hungry teams  that turned out not so “hot” at follow-through; “game changers” and “killer apps” with funky or ambitious names that … in the end …have struggled to deliver the only things that really matter: meaningful, scalable, repeatable impact on volume of units moved “brand value” creation store preference and retailer share of their customer’s spending. Many of the pioneers, thinkers, doers, and innovators that I’ve run across along my journey have given up – clients and colleagues – they call it “coupon fatigue” (because a lot of these efforts centered around varying consumer currencies like coupons). They jump out and start businesses in other industries, where the ground is more fertile for innovation…and the consumer value proposition is, quite frankly, easier to deliver. But it’s not the time to give up! It’s time to admit that (I hate to say it), is going to take a village. We need to pool together the collective insight from...

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