Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Return to Newspapers: Supermarket Chain Abandons Newspapers for Direct Mail, before Heeding One Newspaper's Winning Pitch

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Return to Newspapers: Supermarket Chain Abandons Newspapers for Direct Mail, before Heeding One Newspaper's Winning Pitch

Article excerpt

ONE NEW JERSEY paper didn't give up after losing a major supermarket advertiser to direct mail, but worked up an attractive solution and won the account back.

The Record, based in Hackensack and focused on the wealthy suburbs of Bergen County, now has all of the area's supermarkets as advertisers. But a couple of years ago, Kings Supermarket Inc., headquartered in West Caldwell, pulled out of the Record--and all other New Jersey newspapers--to experiment with direct mail, explained Lou Stancampiano, display advertising manager for the Record.

When Kings left--dumping the Record as its preprint distributor for ADVO direct mail advertising--it left the Record no option to appeal.

"We felt we could do what ADVO does. They never gave us the chance to do that," remarked Stancampiano.

John Kimball, vice president of sales for the Record, admitted that direct mail worked, and is still working well for Kings. But that didn't stop his staff from trying to put together a plan--including newspaper advertising--that would also work.

The newspaper exploited its strong hand. It pitched the idea that the Record could become a one-stop advertising shop, taking care of prepress production, separations, printing, and distribution--functions the supermarket was paying three different vendors to do.

"If they gave us everything, we could supply everything they were getting at a better price," Stancampiano explained."We could perform all of those functions for them for less money--so much we could add ROP"

It's no secret the Record has been in the commercial printing business for the past three years. But, explained Stancampiano, the Record probably could have printed Kings' advertising without it, and would have tried to win the business back, anyway.

If a paper can print a paper, it can use the same "cold printing" methods to print an insert, he explained. Technically, a paper uses its printing facilities once a day. The rest of the time, the presses sit available. With some creative thinking, papers could use those presses in other ways. Unfortunately, many papers lack the manpower and expertise to sufficiently utilize their presses, he said, but the opportunity is there.

Not only did the paper alleviate the grocer's headache of working with different vendors, Kimball said,"we convinced them we could do all of these things plus give them the value of being in the newspaper."

"It worked out for them economically and expanded their reach," he said. …

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