Posts Tagged ‘Mail Tribune’

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MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK DIGEST #4

April 2, 2018

Monday Morning Quarterback Marketing Digest. Each week I highlight market research that could make your marketing efforts stronger. Want to conduct your own research? Let us help.

IS YOUR DATA HOT? Mail Tribune Reporter Kaylee Tornay wrote an interesting story that shared a Southern Oregon view on the national Facebook data breach story. I was quoted in the story talking about the importance of market research and the role online panels can play. Click here to read the story.  If you live in Jackson County, I would like to invite you to join our online panel. Click here to learn more.

CAN YOU DEFEND YOUR BRAND? Peter Sage has a daily blog that provides his observations and commentary on American politics and culture. Peter has lots of liberal friends (and conservative enemies), but if you are a political junkie it is worth reading. A recent post pointed out the importance of understanding your brand weaknesses (problems) and how someone can attack you. While Peter was talking about political brands, the lessons apply to all business. Good marketing advice, click here to read.

WHY DO PEOPLE PICK YOUR SERVICE OR PRODUCT? One of my “PowerShift Marketing” strategies is that most people do not have a favorite product or service. They pick the least objectionable. Many businesses that dominant a segment think they are first because people love them. Truth is, they just don’t like the other guy. That is why a new business can come in and take your market. A recent study by PEW Research supports this. Again, it is a political study, but it certainly applies to business marketing too. They found that negative views of an opposing political party were a major factor in supporting another party. You don’t love your party, but it is the least objectionable. Click here to read.

YOU CAN TARGET ALMOST ANYONE. I am currently researching online marketing opportunities for several clients. It is fascinating what you can now target. Below are some of the audiences you can retarget (on mobile or desktop) from just one digital provider.

Retargeting: I talked about this last week, you target people that have visited your website in the past but have not bought your product.

Mail Retargeting: Target people based on the commercial email messages they receive – by sender domain. You can even target competitor emails to increase market share.

Look-a-Like Targeting: You build a look-a-like audience, similar the profile to the people that bought your service/product. You reach relevant users with a similar online profile based on 1st party data, their online activity and search behaviors.

Interest Targeting: Focus your ads at a specific interest: arts & entertainment, health & fitness, home & garden, just to name a few.

Purchase Receipt Targeting: You target individuals that completed a purchase or payment on your website. You can offer them new items or related products.

Ok, thanks for reading. If you have any research or marketing question, let me know and I will try and cover them in my weekly MMQB Marketing Digest posts.

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FINDING CUSTOMERS WITH MONEY, REVISITED

June 12, 2014

I’ve blogged on this before, but a story in the Medford Mail Tribune by Greg Stiles, one of the most prolific and best business reporters I know, shared a variety of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that should be important to people who are selling goods and services. The marketing takeaway in Greg’s story is not that we have a lot of broadcast technicians, but how low wages are overall in Southern Oregon.

Yes, you can find high paying jobs here. As Greg reported, “the average wage for health care practitioners and technical occupations in the Medford area are 15 percent higher than the national average.” In talking to my physician friends, they are paying top dollar to attract practitioners (and their reluctant spouses) to a rural area. But BLS reports that the bulk of jobs in the area; health care staff, office and administrative workers, and retail jobs, all pay less in Medford.

David Kong, a statistician with the BLS in San Francisco, stated, “In general, wages are lower in Medford for some reason. I think it has to do with the mix of occupations and concentrations.”

David, I agree, but the “some reason” could be that our school system is creating a lot of unskilled workers who want to stay here and they have to accept less. Also, many educated workers that want to live here are willing to be under-employed (college grads working below their pay grade, as they say). The real reason is that our local economy is driven by very, very small businesses (with less than 20 employees) that find it hard to pay big city wages.

Finding and targeting consumers with money to spend has always been a critical marketing goal; in Southern Oregon it is downright essential. They may be one reason why my research division, DCG Research, has seen a 150% increase in local research projects over the past year. More businesses are using research tools to find these people.

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WHERE WILL YOU FIND YOUR GAME-CHANGER?

March 6, 2014

I was reading an editorial in the Medford Mail Tribune about how the Oregon economy is improving, but not fast enough to provide relief to most of us living in smaller towns. The Tribune was making the case that real growth comes from a game-changer, something that really makes a fundamental difference in the economy. As the editorial stated, “Oregon can either wait for that external force to appear or it can be proactive.”

I think this is great marketing advice too. Going back to a popular theme in my book, because we are so busy working “in our business,” we simply don’t take the time to be proactive, to work “on our business.” How do you find your game-changer, something that will make a fundamental difference in your business? It takes a personal commitment to listen more to your customers and your team, then embrace new, perhaps risky, ideas. As the editorial concluded, “Perhaps the best game-changer would be a business plan that currently resides in someone’s head or garage.”

So, make a commitment to find your game-changer. Most of us just don’t take the time to find them in someone’s head, but they are out there!

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BIG CHANGES COMING TO MEDFORD

September 9, 2013

If you read the Medford Mail Tribune, you know that Dow Jones has sold all their community newspapers including the Medford and Ashland papers. So, what will this mean? Quick and dramatic changes I predict. Say goodbye to the Ashland Daily Tidings (a separate paper in name only). Say hello to new digital editions for various cities.

Buried in the paper’s story (Greg Stiles did an excellent job explaining a complicated transaction) are several facts from a presentation by the new owners are very revealing.

1. More than 80 percent of today’s newspaper readers rely on local newspapers, and existing infrastructure and trust create real barriers for new papers. The newspaper industry has also added revenue streams, with 35% of total revenue now coming from non-advertising sources, up from 18% in 2005.

2. Dow Jones under-managed their newspapers. Digital revenue is far below industry norms, costs are not low enough, and revenue is down 40% during the past three years.

Bottom-line: You have a strong product that people like and trust, which has major barriers to entry, and you haven’t reduced expenses enough or generated enough income from new sources. That is a recipe for major changes…stay tuned.

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DOWNTOWN MEDFORD – REALITY VS. PERCEPTION

May 28, 2013

I’ve got a vested interested in seeing downtown Medford succeed. My son Chris runs two businesses there (Elements and Beerworks). He also stages Medford’s annual Beer Week in downtown. The reality is that the hard work of people who own businesses in downtown and MURA (Medford Urban Renewal Agency) investments are paying off. It’s great that more people want to join the parade to downtown and that the Mail Tribune recognized this in a recent editorial. Unfortunately, the perception of downtown hasn’t changed much. Why?

Downtown marketing has been non-existent. First, no one can agree on a brand and stick with it. The only brand that had some money behind it over the past three years, Medford’s OldTown, was thrown out by the Heart of Medford team because, I guess, it wasn’t their idea. After deciding to throw away three years of minor branding success by a group of restaurant/bar owners, the Heart of Medford Association created an entirely new brand, Metro Medford.

Didn’t most of us move here to get away from living in a metro area? Branding the downtown as a metropolitan area is almost a joke and it certainly isn’t very appealing to most people who need to spend money there. That’s probably why the name had to come from consultants from a real metropolitan city far, far away. But, OK, let’s go with Metro Medford (it has a nice sound and logo). Now, where’s the money to promote the brand? Since its launch last October, marketing money is nowhere to be seen.

As I point out in my book, marketing doesn’t deal with reality, it deals with perceptions. So, pick a brand (any brand) and spend a ton of money to promote it and you will be successful.  I believe this is the final development needed in downtown Medford.

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DESPERATION PARTIES

May 14, 2013

Right now TV networks are holding their “upfront” meetings with major advertisers and agencies to generate interest and sales in the coming season’s programming. Back in the 80s and 90s, when I was a partner in a Southern Oregon ad agency, local stations also held lavish upfront parties too. Those days are gone. Yes, some agencies and advertisers get invited to smaller, one-on-one presentations, but don’t expect a party atmosphere.

Local stations and TV networks are desperate to find more viewers. The Wall St. Journal’s William Launder notes that a huge number of pilot episodes have been developed this year in an effort to find something that will stop the rating slide. New York Times also created a quick round-up of what shows worked and what shows didn’t over the past season. It’s a fun read if you are a TV fan.

To get a perspective on why TV ratings matters, Mail Tribune’s Digital Manager, Greg Thompson, offers an interesting blog on research of local media choices. It has a bit of a digital slant, but it is certainly worth reading if you buy local media.