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October 2013

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This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
Empathy And Authenticity in B2B Content Marketing
ASME Updates Guidelines, Releases Native Ad Rules
Events Calendar
Newspaper Coupons First Choice for Savings
Tips & Techniques: Samples

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Overdrive Randall Reilly
Tuscaloosa, AL
Overdrive is the premier brand for reaching the world of owner-operators. Through cutting-edge media platforms, Overdrive allows you to make multiple impressions to an engaged audience of truck drivers.

Total Landscape CareTotal Landscape Care
Randall Reilly
Tuscaloosa, AL
Total Landscape Care serves the landscape design, installation and maintenance industry. This includes design and guild landscape contractors, lawn maintenance contractors, in-house maintenance departments, lawn irrigation contractors, lawn chemical application companies, ornamental tree and shrub services, residential landscape nurseries, landscape architects, and others allied to the field.

Tow TimesTow Times
TT Publications, Inc.
Winter Springs, FL
Tow Times is a monthly magazine that provides details and information for running a successful towing business as well as ideas to make and save businesses money. Editorial includes the latest news and legal updates for the towing industry, a monthly safety column and real recovery incidents with detailed photos. Additionally, each issue has the latest in equipment, products and services related to the towing industry.

Oakland Post | Richmond Post | El Mundo | Marin Post
Post News Group, Oakland, CA
Post News Group The Post News Group is the largest African-American weekly newspaper in Northern California. Serving the San Francisco Bay Area communities of Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Marin, South County (Hayward, Fremont, etc.) and San Francisco, the weekly Post newspapers report and advance the issues and events impacting those identified communities.

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Empathy And Authenticity in B2B Content Marketing

AuthenticIt can be hard for B2B marketers to connect with target audiences inundated with messages about improving revenue, lowering costs and increasing efficiency. Companies the world over make the same pitch, with creative that can be depressingly similar.

Great content-marketing efforts can be a real antidote to this same-as-everyone-else approach. But what makes content marketing great?

It starts with empathy. Content marketing is most successful when it's more about what your target audience needs than your need to pitch your own products or services.

Whether developing a weekly newsletter, an e-book or a sponsored article for publication online, it's important to put yourself in your target's shoes. What are their biggest concerns in business and in life? What trends do they follow? What processes do they struggle to improve? What does continuing education look like for them?

Producing content that speaks to these concerns and provides real value as a result has a much greater chance of capturing your target audience's attention. It also means they're more likely to pay attention to your messages the next time they come around.

What also makes content marketing great is authenticity. As Rand Fishkin, CEO of MOZ, tweeted earlier in the year: "Ours is an era of authenticity. As marketers, we must atone for the sins of our predecessors and build brands worthy of our customers' love."

While it's one thing to address the concerns and aspirations of your target, it's also important to speak to them as one human being to another. Marketingspeak can routinely be so impersonal, so anodyne, that it ends up not really saying anything at all. We live in an era of authenticity, and if folks feel like they're getting some kind of washed-and-sorted boilerplate, they'll see it for what it is and dismiss it. Forever.

Find a unique voice for your content-marketing efforts, and then use it consistently across all your communications. Ideally, one person or a small number of people in your organization will own this voice and, through real empathy, find authentic ways to consistently connect to their target audience.

The results? Better engagement. Repeat business. New business leads. And high regard for your brand.

© MediaPost Communications 2013

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ASME Updates Guidelines, Releases Native Ad Rules

Scale is ImportantNative advertising is a hot new trend – so new, in fact, that so far there haven't been any guidelines for publishers thinking about offering native ad products. But that is beginning to change, thanks to the American Society of Magazine Editors, which has released an updated version of its editorial guidelines with new suggestions for best practices surrounding native advertising.

In its updated guidelines, ASME suggests that native advertising "should not use type fonts and graphics resembling those used for editorial content and should be visually separated from editorial content." The source of such content and the affiliation of the authors should be clearly acknowledged.

ASME also suggests that magazine publishers differentiate native ads by labeling them "Sponsor Content," as well as prefacing or accompanying them with a prominent statement or link to a statement "explaining that the content has been created by a marketer and that the marketer has paid for its publication."

For good or ill, the appeal of native advertising in the eyes of many advertisers is that it resembles editorial content both graphically and in its positioning. Any move to distinguish native ads from editorial content with a different visual appearance and location will necessarily diminish its efficacy and desirability as an advertising channel.

In the area of content, although the ASME guidelines make it clear that editorial staff may not create ads themselves, they leave it unclear how much assistance they may give to advertisers creating native advertising content.

Like the rest of ASME's guidelines, the suggested rules are inspired by the industry organization's basic principles of editorial integrity, including "the value of magazines to advertisers depends on reader trust;" "the difference between editorial content and marketing messages must be transparent;" and "editorial integrity must not be compromised by advertiser influence."

In practical terms, that means "media consumers should always be able to distinguish between content produced by journalists and content delivered on behalf of advertisers. In other words, no fooling the reader."

Adherence to the ASME rules is strictly voluntary, but publications that run afoul of the industry organization's guidelines (and refuse to take measures to respond to official ASME complaints) can suffer sanctions, including exclusion from consideration for the National Magazine Awards.

© MediaPost Communications 2013

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Events Calendar

Events Calendar2013 ANA Real-Time Marketing Conference
presented by Starcom

December 4, 2013
New York, NY

The Visual Revolution Summit presented by Chute
December 5, 2013
New York, NY

2013 MPA Digital: Technology Advancing Publishing (TAP)
December 10, 2013
New York, NY

2013 SIPA Marketing Conference
December 11 – 13, 2013
Las Vegas, NV

AMA Content Marketing: Philadelphia, PA
December 12 – 13, 2013
Philadelphia, PA

If you have an event that you would like to announce,
please send your information to


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Newspaper Coupons First Choice for Savings

According to the Valassis annual Purse String Survey, millennials rely more heavily on print for their shopping behaviors than you might expect. With newspaper as their number one source for coupons and deals, these promotion-sensitive millennials are getting their savings the same way as all other consumers across age groups and income levels, with 51% indicating this print source is their first choice for savings.

Millennials' Sources of Coupons and Deals

All respondents most often get their coupons and deals from the newspapers and emails/coupon alerts. For millennials, in-store exceeds their use of retail circulars by 4 percentage points to rank fifth. From print sources, millennials get their deals:

  • 33% from the mail
  • 21% from retail circulars
  • 20% from coupon books

Over the last 12 months, 27% of millennials indicated they are using more mobile coupons compared to 17% of the overall findings. Millennials actually are using their smartphone to a greater degree than the general population:

  • 45% access a coupon in an email on their smartphone compared to 24% of all respondents
  • 41% access a coupon code on their smartphone versus 24%
  • 36% compare deals versus 20%
  • 32% download a coupon to a loyalty card compared to 20%

"The survey results are somewhat counter intuitive from what you might expect," noted Lisa Reynolds, Valassis Vice President of Consumer Engagement. "Though heavy digital users, this group also embraces tried and true methods for savings, as any other age group, from both print and digital."

Millennials share at the highest rate (90%) among all age groups:

  • Word of mouth – 71% versus 56% of the general populace
  • Social – 43% versus 29% with Facebook as their channel of choice accounting for 33% of their social sharing, 10% higher than overall findings
  • Text – 30% versus 19%

Looking for savings, 85% of millennials seek out grocery coupons compared to 78% of the overall findings, followed by clothing and dining out.

How millennials share (select image to view or download a larger PDF):

Millennials Let's Share a Deal

© MediaPost Communications 2013

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Tips & Techniques: Samples

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Tips & Techniques: Samples

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2013 Verified Audit Circulation