Verified Audit CirculationViewPoint
Volume 4 | Number 2 | February 2008


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This Month's Features:
Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Industry Outlook: 2008
Make Your Website Advertisers' Darling
Valassis Launches RedPlum
Events Calendar
Print Inserts Pass TV Ads as Important Influence in Purchase Decisions
Tips and Techniques – Using "Free" to Generate Paid Subscriptions


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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Creative LoafingCreative Loafing Sarasota
Creative Loafing, Inc.
Sarasota, FL

Creative Loafing Sarasota began as a weekly publication in 1998 and offers stories rooted in a commitment to the community, giving an independent perspective that puts the greater interests of that community first.

Fastline PublicationsFastline Farm & Ranch and Fastline Truck
Fastline Publications
Buckner, KY

Fastline Publications are illustrated buying guides for the farming and trucking industries. The publications contain ads from farm equipment and truck dealers, as well as from businesses related to these industries. The publications contain no editorial. There are 28 editions circulated in 48 states. There are 6 truck publications circulated in 17 states, and 22 farm publications circulated in 48 states.


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Industry Outlook: 2008

Industry Outlook: 2008Thank you for being a loyal reader of ViewPoint, Verified's e-newsletter. As we progress into the new year, Verified is asking its clients to help define their greatest challenges for the year ahead.

We invite you to fill out a short, three-question survey that will take no more than five minutes of your time. Your feedback is invaluable to us and we look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Click here to take the survey!

Survey questions:
1) What do you think are the three biggest challenges facing publishers in 2008?
2) What are the most significant trends in publishing at this time?
3) What do you think is the most valuable attributes that publications can provide that other media cannot?

The results of this survey will be published in a future issue of ViewPoint.


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Make Your Website Advertisers' Darling

Simply, Solutions, ServiceEven with all the doom and gloom hovering over the economy right now, experts are forecasting sunny days ahead for online ad spending. According to a study by TNS Media Intelligence, U.S. ad expenditures will jump 14% this year. In addition, the Yankee Group reported that online ad sales will reach $50.3 billion by 2011, more than doubling 2007's revenue.

With the wide array of choices available to advertisers, your website needs to stand out to media planners. Here are 3 tips to make media planners choose your site.

1. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Although the Interactive Advertising Board (IAB) includes 18 different ad sizes, you don't have to as well. Instead, create a smaller number of standard ad units to keep it simple for media buyers.

2. Bigger is better – sometimes.
Some media buyers prefer larger websites because they have a greater reach. For smaller websites to stand out, you have to carefully target a niche or hard-to-reach audience. Another way to stand out is to offer innovative, custom solutions other websites can't.

3. Service matters.
Customer service needs a proactive attitude that can be summed up as: I care and I can do. Great service from your sales team makes the job of media buyers easier and gets your website noticed.

There are no real secrets to make advertisers' love your website. However, using the strategies above can make your website more attractive and help get you your piece of the online ad spending pie.


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Valassis Launches RedPlum

RedPlum.comThe familiar name of ShopWise will be seen no more. Marketing giant Valassis announced it has retired the ShopWise name and is rebanding as RedPlum. In addition to the name change, Valassis has launched RedPlum.com, an online interactive site with coupons and discounts as well as short articles about fashion, beauty, entertainment, and local events.

Because ShopWise and the Valassis free-standing inserts have been an important part of the newspaper business for a long time, Verified took a special interest in RedPlum brand and the new RedPlum.com. We asked Katie Brown, Communications Specialist, Corporate Communications for Valassis, about the changes.

Q: Why the name RedPlum? It's a very interesting name.
A: We wanted a name that was unique in the marketplace, both with consumers and among our competitors. The name suits our brand positioning: encouraging pleasure in life and helping consumers afford the little extras. It's a fresh, rich, memorable name and logo.

Q: Will the addition of RedPlum.com affect print newspapers and magazines?
A: Redplum.com is not replacing our direct mail package, the inserts in newspapers, or any of the many advertising vehicles we provide our clients. The purpose of our extension to the Internet is to provide an avenue to reach people who prefer to shop for values online. Newspapers and the postal service will continue to be important avenues for Valassis and RedPlum. Valassis' aspiration is to deliver value to consumers how, when, and where they want to receive it.

Q: Are there any plans to use newspapers' websites to drive traffic to RedPlum?
A: Not at this point in time.

Q: One of the advantages of using newspapers is that advertisers are able to target a specific market/geography. Will RedPlum.com have that same capability?
A: Yes, advertisers will have the opportunity to target their promotions by ZIP code. One of the advantages of RedPlum.com is that it will enable consumers to find local, regional, and national deals. If they want to shop locally, they'll be able to find local offers by entering only their ZIP codes.

Q: Now that you have launched the RedPlum program, do you think others will follow?
A: Valassis' entire media portfolio carries the RedPlum name, led by the rebranding of the "ShopWise" direct mail package and the Valassis free-standing inserts. Our clients are now able to capitalize on the unprecedented and diverse power of the RedPlum portfolio which reaches 90 percent of all U.S. households, over 100 million consumers per week, ultimately making RedPlum ubiquitous among consumers as their ultimate source for value. Redplum.com is different from competitors in that it aggregates the existing content and values contained within our portfolio, requires little information for a consumer to take advantage of the offers and deals, and provides varied lifestyle content as well.


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Events Calendar

Newspaper Association of America Annual Convention and NEXPO
April 12 – 15, 2008
Washington DC Convention Center, Washington, DC
www.naa.org

4th Annual Marketing to Women Conference
April 16 – 17, 2008
Old Mill Inn & Spa, Toronto, ON
www.opendialog.com

The min Day Summit: Maximizing Your Magazine Brand in a Digital World
April 14, 2008
Grand Hyatt, New York, NY
www.minonline.com

26th Annual National Association of Hispanic Publishers Conference and Expo
April 16 – 19, 2008
Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
www.nahp.org

34th Annual Association of Alternate Postal Systems Conference
April 19 – 23, 2008
Westin Cancun Resort, Cancun, Mexico
www.aapsinc.org

New Communications Forum 2008
April 22 – 25, 2008
The Vineyard Creek Inn & Spa, Sonoma, CA
www.newcommforum.com

Cal Western Circulation Managers' Association 89th Sales Conference
April 23 – 25, 2008
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, Sacramento, CA
www.cscma.com
Verified will be presenting at this event.

Association of Free Community Newspaper Annual Conference and Trade Show
April 24 – 26, 2008
Westin Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage, CA
www.afcp.org

Association of Directory Publishers 2008 Annual Convention
April 24 – 26, 208
Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, Orlando, FL
www.adp.org
Alan Levy, VP of Marketing & Sales will be attending this event. If you would like to meet with Alan, please call 415-461-6006, ext. 213 or email him at alevy@verifiedaudit.com.

Western Publications Association 2008 Publishing Conference
April 30 – May 2, 2008
Westin Hotel at Los Angeles Airport, Los Angeles, CA
www.wpa-online.org

If you have an event that you would like to announce, please send your information to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com.


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Print Inserts Pass TV Ads as Important
Influence in Purchase Decisions

Vertis CommunicationsBased on research findings released by Vertis Communications, 27% of adults indicated they look for information in advertising inserts as part of making a purchase decision. That's up from 19% ten years ago. Television advertising is no longer the main influencer in purchasing decisions, according to Vertis. TV ads are now the main influencer for 8% of consumers, compared to 22% in 1998.

Other research findings indicate that women have become more involved in the decision-making process for purchasing home electronics products. In 1998, about 69% of women 18 to 24 participated in such decisions, but as of this year 91% report being part of the process.

The report, Vertis' Customer Focus: Decade of Data study revealed that for adult men 18 and older, TV advertising is no longer the main influencer in their purchasing decisions, down 8% from 1998 to 22%.

Advertising inserts have grown to become the most influential medium for both adult men and all adults in America. A total of 24% of men and 27% of total adults indicated that they turn to this medium when making a purchasing decision, compared to just 16% and 19%, respectively, 10 years ago.

Vertis Communications: Decade of Data"Americans' use of new media, entertainment, and information vehicles have become increasingly more fragmented," said Scott Marden, Director of Marketing Research for Vertis Communications.

Looking deeper into the study, young adults have drifted away from personal interaction when choosing leisure activities. Since 1998, the number of young adults participating in team sports has decreased from 19% to 13%, while the amount of time spent with computers has drastically increased, from 8% to 21% in the same 10 years.

Additionally, the number of young adults going out to the movies has decreased from 13% in 1998 to just 3% in 2008, while the number of adolescents staying home to watch television or rent videos has increased from 24% in 1998 to 32% in 2008.

Marden continued, "Tracking trends in leisure preferences and media activities arms marketers with an acute awareness of where and when this important consumer group can be reached."

The Customer Focus: Decade of Data study, which surveyed 3,000 consumers via telephone, further revealed the following:

  • In 2008, 91% of women ages 18–24 report they are a part of the process, with cell phones, desktop computers, and digital cameras being some of the most popular purchases for this age group.
  • 68% of women age 50 and older now have access to the Internet, up from 30% in 1998.
  • In the past 10 years, the percentage of women ages 25–34 who are single or living with their significant others has increased from 30% in 1998 to 38% in 2008.
  • In 2004, 31% of adults indicated they entered a store without any prior research; this number is down to 17% in 2008. Prior to entering a store in 2008, the study indicates approximately 57% of adults will look through advertising circulars, 50% will conduct research on the Internet, and 38% will utilize catalogs to retrieve additional information.
  • In today's current crises in the housing and gas markets, 40% of Americans indicated they're less likely to make purchases over $100 in the coming year, 24% more than after 9/11.
  • Adults are shifting their vacation agendas in 2008 to include fewer trips via automobile, decreasing 5% since 1998, while fewer adults are planning to take a vacation in 2008, down from 70% 10 years ago to 67% today.

2008 MediaPost Communications.


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Tips and Techniques – Using "Free"
to Generate Paid Subscriptions

Using "Free" to Generate Paid SubscriptionsWhen marketing your publication, you can create an offer where the entire subscription term is meant to be qualified as paid but part of the subscription term is promoted as "free," "trial," "at no additional cost," "bonus," etc.

To qualify this circulation as paid, the following criteria must be met:

  • The offer must state a value for the entire subscription term (12 months for $12).
  • The subscriber must take some action to order the subscription (check a box, sign a card, send an email, etc.).
  • The minimum price paid must be at least $.01.

Examples of acceptable offers:

  • YES! Please send me 3 free issues of the Chronicle City Magazine and bill me for 9 more. That's 12 issues for just $12!
  • Don't Miss Out! Get TWO FREE YEARS for the price of ONE! You'll get 24 issues for the low, low rate of $20. Fill out the card below and send it NOW to lock in your savings!
  • Fill out the form below to subscribe to Chronicle City Magazine for over 30% off the newsstand price. You'll get 12 issues for $12. It's like getting 4 issues FREE!

For the audit, please provide a copy of all subscription offers used during the year.

By following the guidelines above, you can design creative marketing programs that help increase your paid circulation. If you have questions regarding whether your promotion meets Verified's requirements, please contact us at 415-461-6006.



Please send comments and story ideas to e-newsletter@verifiedaudit.com or contact us at:

Verified Audit Circulation
900 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 295
Larkspur, CA 94939-1758
415.461.6006
415.461.6007 fax

2008 Verified Audit Circulation.