Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Helping Advertisers Lock in on Their Target

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Helping Advertisers Lock in on Their Target

Article excerpt

Helping Advertisers Lock In on Their Target

Newspapers and advertisers alike find themselves in an environment which grows more competitive every day. Newspapers' competition from other media continues to intensify. It is crucial for newspapers to use innovative techniques to compete for market share techniques which help the advertisers improve their position in the market and further cement the advertiser/newspaper relationship.

Providing information which enables the advertiser to evaluate their merchandising, expansion and other business plans in the market helps a newspaper to develop a solid partnership. Giving the client accurate, timely and actionable data is smart business.

At the Sun-Sentinel research department, one tool we use extensively is Donnelley's Conquest system. The Conquest system is PC-based and can move a research department into today's age of finely tuned marketing.

In use at the Sun-Sentinel since 1988, Conquest is an integrated database and mapping system containing in-depth demographics, product use estimates, product expenditure potentials and Dun's Businessline information--to name just a few of its features. All of this information can be mapped or output in tabular form down to the ZIP code or census tract level. When the 1990 census is on the line in 1992, data will be available at the census block group level, a unit containing approximately 50 to 100 households.

There are many ways our newspaper uses Conquest to lock in on a client's target. Here are some examples:

1. Existing Site Analysis: One advertiser had three contemporary furniture showrooms in the market and expressed a concern about the performance of one of his stores. Using the Conquest system, we did an in-depth analysis of all three locations, putting the locations into a PC, and asking the system to provide detailed information.

Demographics for each store's trading area--defined as one or more ZIP codes or census tracts or as a circle or polygon around each site--showed past, present, and projected population characteristics. The age, sex, race, income, household size, length of residence and other characteristics of the populations around each site were compared.

In addition, furniture expenditure estimates gave a good picture of potential furniture sales for each trading area--both in total and per household. In the case of the furniture showrooms, we found that expenditure potential was similar for all three stores, and that the total populations and income levels for all three stores were also similar. Upon closer inspection, we found that the age distribution around the store which was doing poorly was significantly older than the other two. We proposed a shift to more traditional lines in this store to appeal to the older residents around the weak store.

2. Proposed Site Analysis: Using the same tools as those outlined above, we can aid present or potential advertisers to make informed expansion decisions. A tire store owner was considering two sites for a new store. Conquest identified not only total automotive aftermarket sales potential for each of the sites but even gave estimates for specific products--tires, gasoline, tune-ups and many others within the automotive category.

The database also contains summary information on auto registrations, allowing us to provide information on the number and age of all the autos in any given trading zone. …

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