By Brett Knobloch
Today an Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) report cited the average sales of newspapers overall declined 7.1 percent between October and March compared to the same six-month period the previous year. Of the 557 U.S. newspapers reporting their Sunday numbers, average circulation fell 5.4% in the March 2009 period, to 42.1 million.
Given the dire conditions in the newspaper industry ABC is canceling its annual conference in Toronto. It promises to reschedule in 2010. My guess is they’ll need a smaller hotel.
Large groups of local advertisers have taken notice as well. At a recent meeting I heard that the share of co-op spending on local newspaper advertising has slid in a few short years from 70% to half of that figure.Where is the money going in this case?Broadcast TV and radio — likely because its easiest to buy among the traditional media.
Why aren’t more dealers spending more on local Internet search?After all it is more measurable, lower cost and can zero in on only those consumers searching for specific products and services.Local Internet search is still mysterious to many local dealers.It contains new acronyms like CPC, CTR, Keywords, Quality Scores and more.Dealers don’t have a secret decoder ring (i.e. a local sales rep) to guide them through a myriad of choices and make the right decision.Don’t hold your breath waiting for the “Internet guy” to show up in your retail store to help.Until brand marketers deploy automated adbuilder systems that make it easy — to take the mystery and guess-work out of the process – don’t look for any large co-op funded dealer groups to leverage the power of local search.