Marketing + Content = New Audience

Most of you know I work for a mid-sized newspaper company, and like most newspapers, we’ve been undergoing quite a bit of change lately, forcing me to think about how the marketing department for the “online division” provides value to the organization.

Media, it’s consumption, and as a result marketing to people has become fragmented. Therefore capturing and fulfilling the expectation (need) of a new audience is different. Yet somehow the “Newspaper Online” operational structure and product structure reflects that of “Newspaper”.

Why is this a square peg in a round hole scenario? Well, it’s scalability (thinking large) vs. agility (thinking small). It brings back the theme of applying “New Marketing” to “Legacy Product”; which results only in a “Big Mess”. It no longer works to be everything to everyone anymore.

To attract a new segment we need to think small. Where are these people, what are they doing? With the resources, effort and focus on citizen media, as well as the concern in gaining market share, this is more important than ever.

Also, success is not only defined by the “big number” (pageviews). Measurement of success for new audience includes engagement (pages consumed and time spent) and loyalty (who is coming back).

Attracting new audiences is not all about the technology or platform involved, it’s about outreach and building teams that can do the following:

– Conversational writing, listening: The content becomes the marketing, and vice versa, it’s a two-way conversation.
– Group interactions, events, mingling, networking
– Guerilla marketing

New audience development is about the cycle of the user experience online and offline, with the common goal of creating value for the audience: getting them there and keeping them there.

2 thoughts on “Marketing + Content = New Audience

  1. yonigre

    Hey Monica – Interesting piece. I was wondering though, if you are not going to focus on the “big numbers” how will you sell a site to advertisers? Quality audience (returns/time spent) is great but that can be a small number in comparison to the “big numbers.” Just wondering what your thoughts were.

  2. Monica

    Hey Yoni – Thanks for the feedback. Just to clarify, I agree, the “big number” is important. We do want to drive those page views for ad inventory purposes. But I’ve noticed that a lot of attention is given to that “big number” when many times it’s only indicative of those drive-by users who visit and never come back. As you know, there’s not a whole lot of value there. The challenge, for us, lies in the smaller number, and keeping those in mind when developing new products. Engagement is the way we’ll increase our local footprint.

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