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Monday, Aug. 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Radio and the Internet Put the Smackdown on Newspapers

By Jeff Sexton
August 10th, 2009

Or at least why the assumptions behind the review are off-base

newspaper-association-america-survey-mori-primary-medium-checking-advertising-2009According to the nifty pie-chart to the right and the related study, because  print newspapers reach people who are actively looking for, or “checking,” ads, they are still a solid advertising medium.  How these people can conclude one thing from the other is utterly beyond me.

While newspapers may be a medium that still draws people  who are actively searching out ads, that hardly means newspapers are a solid advertising medium for most advertisers.

As Social Media Today rightly points out, the idea of “actively looking” basically implies the following scenario:

“To me it says, ‘I want a new job (or car etc), let’s check the ads.’ And sure, newspapers and online will come first when that’s the motivation.

I would simply add 3 things to that analysis:

1) Newspapers and Yellow Pages are inevitably being displaced by the internet. Local, lower-level job listings may remain a stronghold of local newspapers, but other than that, most prospects feel they’re better off starting with a Google search or a quick check of Craig’s List.

2) You might NOT want to attract the more eager scourers of the local paper.  Especially when advertising a job position.  Seriously, would you rather find an applicant who, while still holding down his present job, thought your position perfectly described his strengths, qualifications, personality, and so on, or would you rather get the guy who’s between jobs, is desperately seeking paid work, and who saw your position in the paper?  Might I suggest that radio, blogging, or social networking sites might be a better option for attracting the first type of applicant over the second?

3) Old school, intrusive media muscle still puts the smack-down on newspapers - especially when the radio or TV campaign is followed up by a strong web presence.   Ad-dollar-for-ad-dollar tests show radio providing a 14:1 increase in driving response over newspapers.

Why Radio + Internet kicks butt for regional and local businesses

Radio & InternetIf you hear a compelling radio message on something for which you’re not yet in the market, but you continue to hear that same offer/UVP/message from the same brand or company, what do you think will happen when you DO come in the market for that product or service?

Do you think you’ll:

  • a) search Google using general category terms?

Or

  • b) Type in the offer, campaign name, or brand name from those compelling and memorable radio ads?

I’d guess b, and my experience promoting website via radio strongly suggests the same.  If you do a solid job advertise your offer and your company on radio, you will influence what they search on when they’re finally in the market.

So what happens to your competition when people search on your brand name instead of a category term?

With that scenario, your competitors are pretty much screwed right from the starting block! And that’s a traffic driving system most of us can get behind ; )

P.S.  If you’re interested in learning more about this technique, the great Chris Maddock and I will be teaching Writing for Radio and the Internet in Austin on the 25th and 26th.

Add Your Comments

Comments (37)

  1. I wouldn’t be to hard on newspapers. You talk above only about newspapers and classifieds, particularly job ads. Considering how much different advertising there is in a newspaper, you are missing a vast majority of people that could is it effectively.

    People trying to draw people into their stores for sales or promotional items will likely do very well in the paper, better than radio, I don’t know depends on what it is. Groceries definitely the local paper is likely your best bet to drive in store traffic.

    I think the Internet is the perfect advertising media for most advertisers, but don’t just blast the newspaper as a poor way to find purchasers and then use jobs as your only example, even if you have a valid point about jobs.

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for the comments – they got me thinking about, and wanting to clarify, a few of the points that you took issue with. First I’m not blasting newspapers so much as the idea that “people check the newspaper for ads” magically and always leads to “and therefore you should advertise in newspapers.”

    As you mentioned, for event-specific ads (read sales and coupons), newspapers do OK, precisely because people who are actively in the market for what you sell will seek out and find your ad. I get that.

    My points are that

    1) Most good advertising ISN’T event specific. If you are looking to create a positive bias towards your product or service in the minds of the general populace for your trade area, you will have to reach people who are not currently in the market for what you sell, but who likely will enter into that market at some point in the near future. Event-based advertising won’t do that for you.

    2) Newspapers are continuing to lose out to online sources for much of their event specific stuff and so are becoming less and less effective by the day, even for advertising events and sales.

    3) Even when comparing the ability to promote a specific, one-off event, radio still wins out over newspaper on a dollar for dollar basis.

    I don’t mean to be harsh on newspapers, but since my aim is to offer readers sound advice on what would likely constitute the wisest and best use of their advertising and marketing dollars, I feel inclined to lay out the facts as plainly as possible. And in most situations, the facts militate against running ads in the local paper.

    - Jeff

  3. [...] Radio and the Internet Put the Smackdown on Newspapers …: P.S. If you’re interested.. http://bit.ly/2ftAKoVazou o processo do MPF NA INTERNETis back in melbourne but hopefully NOT back to her internet [...]

  4. An interesting article, Jeff.

    I am not sure it is the same in Denmark, where I am from.

    But I guess it is because Danes use radio in another way than you guys.

    In Denmark most people listen to the national radio (where advertising are not allowed).

    Several advertising-based radio stations have opened – and closed again. There is no money in it for them.

  5. Newspapers are about dead, now. One of the big issues with newspapers is they only give you the side of the story they want to tell or cover.

    People today are to wise to this type of reporting.

  6. Jeff,

    Thanks for further clarification. I still think newspapers likely do some things well, but completely agree that overall there is better things to be had for your dollar than newspaper ads.

  7. Yes definitely Internet has gained importance.People prefer G News instead of Times of India Newspaper.But Still it will take a lot of effort to displace newspapers.Neither the social media will want that because they are still a very healthy source of revenue.

  8. i think in todays world, everyone has an internet at home or at least in the office where they work. newspapers is still used by older peoples, but someday or in the near future, people will look/search for products or services directly on the internet.

  9. i would be agree with the media first one and then cheap and best is web as every age group are using internet

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  11. I like this post.
    It is insightful.
    i think someday maybe near in the future the internet will replace the newspaper.

  12. I remember when encyclopedia was so expensive and popular back then until technology pave way to computers and internet ~ This has the same effect to newspapers nowadays.

  13. If you are looking to create a positive bias towards your product or service in the minds of the general populace for your trade area, you will have to reach people who are not currently in the market for what you sell, but who likely will enter into that market at some point in the near future. Event-based advertising won’t do that for you.

  14. Personally I thought Radio, Internet and Newspapers have their own customer which them is different and Newspapers have the largest market share because their customers have more purchasing power than others.

  15. It is the nature of human being that he/she search relaxation and every day people read news papers and if there is some advertiment then this advertiment can incerase the business of the company, but it is not very good way of advertising.

  16. I like this post.

  17. Many people believe, the arrival of internet would result the death of newspaper, like the prediction television was going to kill newspapers. But nothing happened. Internet,radio and newspaper coexists comfortably now. Coming in to business, web advertisement alone can do nothing, still the popularity is for newspapers, as many of the people are traditionalist. Also, the news paper can have the local coverage.
    Meanwhile there is a slight decrease in newspaper circulation, only because of business mind. They are guided by corporate gain. Hence, they hiding the truth from public.

  18. Newspapers might always remain the first choice for the readers.

  19. @ Business Listings

    Definitely not, maybe in the short time they will stay competitive, but not in the long run. Their only chance is to convert completely to online.

  20. @ Jeff

    I wrote a good post about the Huffington post business model. This is something that newspapers simply cannot compete with, without going online themselves. Huff has over 3,000 writers, covering every keyword nice Google has with tons of great original content. A building full of beat writers for the local paper can’t win against that.

  21. Couldn’t agree with you more regarding an applicant for a position posted on the Internet vs. newspaper. I wouldn’t want to hire someone who wasn’t technologically savvy enough to go online to find a job.

  22. The internet is a green technology as and is more pleasing and comfortable to use. The internet can take a static page and be used over and over and brought back up unlike radio.

  23. Yeah newspapers are going bye bye

  24. Along with anything else that isn’t prepared for the greatest information shift in the history of mankind…

  25. I would be agree with the media first,and then cheap and best is web as every age group are using internet.

  26. This has the same effect to newspapers ,I can notice this .

  27. In Denmark most people listen to the national radio (where advertising are not allowed).
    Several advertising-based radio stations have opened – and closed again. There is no money in it for them.

  28. Goodbye newspapers :D

    I never like reading them anyway. I prefer going elsewhere for news.

  29. The internet can take a static page and be used over and over and brought back up unlike radio.

  30. the future is internet.Newspapers
    and all kind of old fashion media will be die very soon.

  31. This is something that newspapers simply cannot compete with, without going online themselves. Huff has over 3,000 writers, covering every keyword nice Google has with tons of great original content.

  32. Yes definitely Internet has gained importance.People prefer G News instead of Times of India Newspaper.But Still it will take a lot of effort to displace newspapers.Neither the social media will want that because they are still a very healthy source of revenue.

  33. Along with anything else that isn’t prepared for the greatest information shift in the history of mankind…

  34. - It is a fact that the importance and influence of internet has increased incredibly. It is considered that a company can surely make a mark by having a prominent presence on the internet as its popularity grows and same is the case with radio advertising. The deadly combination of radio and internet advertising mentioned in this article will surely give the right competitive edge to the companies and this is indeed one of the best ways of making your brand stronger.

  35. Yes definitely Internet has gained importance.People prefer G News instead of Times of India Newspaper.But Still it will take a lot of effort to displace newspapers.Neither the social media will want that because they are still a very healthy source of revenue.
    .

  36. No radio and news papers plays a major role in advertisement, but it is expensive and for a time being,we need such methods those are permanents and give us more benefits.

  37. good artical. I never like reading them anyway. I prefer going elsewhere for news.

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Jeff is a Persuasion Architect, Web copywriter, blogger, and instructor of FutureNow's Persuasive Online Copywriting workshop. Follow Jeff Sexton on twitter

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