Inside the Industry's Marketing Realignment

Article excerpt

Inside the industry's marketing realignment

A perceived lack of leadership is at the heart of industry dissatisfaction with the American Newspaper Publishers Association and the Newspaper Advertising Bureau, each of which spends only a fraction of its multimillion-dollar budget on the issue, according to a report from Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc.

The confidential Booz-Allen study presentation outline, a copy of which was obtained by E&P, found that members are concerned about service effectiveness from NAB and ANPA, as well as they value relative to the cost of membership, administrative costs, and the degree of industry leadership provided.

Citing an "acute" concern about the visibility of staff leadership, respondents said they need staff leaders to create an industry agenda, implement ideas and inspite unity, as well as provide a "creative spark."

Within the NAB there was seen a need for a senior industry spokesman to take the lead with advertisers, develop creative marketing and value-added strategies, and "sell" ideas to publishers.

Of the $17.5 million annual ANPA budget - which does not include the $1 million spent annually by the ANPA Foundation - only $1 is spent on industry leadership and strategic planning.

Similarly, only 1% of the NAB's $16.9 million annual budget is spent on leadership and strategic planning.

According to the study presentation, the largest piece of the ANPA budget, 27%, is allocated for technical programs, with administrative spending taking 22%; government/regulatory, 19%; other programs, 17%; labor costs/work force professionalization, 8%; decline in newspaper circulation and penetration, 4%; and new revenue sources, 1%.

Addressing newspapers' declining advertising share eats up nearly three quarters, 74%, of the NAB budget, while administrative costs total 18%. New revenue sources and other programs each take 4% of the NAB budget, while addressing competition from other media is allocated 1%.

Among the newspaper industry budgets studied for the report, after ANPA and NAB the next-largest budgets belonged to the American Press Institute at $2.4 million and the International Newspaper Advertising and Marketing Executives at $1.4 million. Budgets of the six other major industry associations mentioned in the report were under $1 million a year.

The report noted, however, that, while newspaper association expenditures were higher than broadcasting, cable tv and magazine associations, as a percent of industry revenue they were much closer and, in fact, lower than cable tv.

The Booz-Allen report noted that realignment among the major newspaper industry organizations - notably NAB and ANPA - is "crucial" to the industry.

The report tells of member dissatisfaction with ANPA and NAB services in a number of areas and suggests that declines in advertising, circulation and penetration, which are seen as "long-term structural issues," will not be fixed by "doing more of the same."

Among other things, the study found some $10.7 million in potential savings could be gained from merging and streamlining a number of NAB and ANPA functions.

Industry representative viewpoints were garnered through more than 110 interviews with newspaper executives, board members, a sample group of advertisers, and association staffers.

Although associations were seen as important to address issues that require cross-newspaper cooperation and in providing access to resources, a number of key issues identified in the ANPA and NAB mission statements are similar.

"However," the report stated, "there are questions as to whether the appropriate integrating mechanisms exist, given interdependencies implied by the separate mission statements."

For example, while the NAB focuses heavily on declining advertising share, it has little linkage to other newspaper functions. …