News & Publishing, Printing and Imaging

Data, Technology and Digital Readers are Shaping How the Printed Newspaper Looks Today

By Gretchen A. Peck

If newspaper design had a motto, it might be: “Stick to the format. The design and layout is the brand.”

And that remains true today with iconic titles of newspapers rendered in familiar fonts and layouts that are distinctive in their own right. Think of how familiar and distinctive a title like USA Today is when you flip through the pages. The color, the layout, the way the headlines grab your attention—all part of the brand.

Newspaper publishers, by and large, have always understood this. But the notion that printed newspapers’ design should never deviate from the template is being challenged, and it’s because of digital and mobile publishing and the rising cost to paper. Still, that hasn’t stopped publishers from experimenting with their print product.

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News & Publishing

Getting readers is one thing; keeping them is another

From Behavioral Data to Exclusive Content, Newspapers are Creating Valuable Strategies to Retain Readers

By: Gretchen A. Peck
The “Trump Bump” phenomenon experienced by national and larger regional newspapers in the wake of the presidential election brought a sea of new subscribers to their print and digital titles. Whether that was a direct response to the anti-press rhetoric that’s been pervasive in national politics, or whether people just finally realized that news has value, is still up for speculation and study. But the phenomenon was real for those larger titles, which now must make concerted efforts and campaigns to appeal to these new readers, and to keep their interest and retain their subscriptions.
Photo courtesy of The New York Times
News & Publishing

Intersections: Data and Digital Advertising

By Gretchen A. Peck

As they now become digital publishers, newspaper organizations have a glut of audience insight into what both readers want and advertisers want to know.

“Newspapers are among the most trusted brands for providing valuable and useful content. Further, they have long-standing relationships with huge numbers of consumers,” said Peyton Marcus, practice executive at Digital Media Solutions, Infinitive. “But they must learn to think along the lines of truly digital and 100-percent audience centricity if they are to thrive as ad-driven businesses. That means seeing more clearly the links between the technology they use to run the business, how it impacts the customer [and] audience experience, and how they use data to manage their businesses.”

In buying or selling targeted digital advertising, it’s prudent to know the target (in this case, the newspaper publishers’) audiences, and among them, advertisers’ prospects. Marketers may wish to target members of the community based on demographics alone, but may be more easily compelled by greater insight into preferences, interests, geography, chronology, behaviors, hot buttons, shopping histories, and other information afforded by digital media.

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Published in Editor & Publisher magazine, February 2014