It’s no secret that newspapers are going through a tough time, in terms of circulation and advertising revenue. But it’s also testament to the fighting spirit of some titles that has seen some papers take innovative steps to take the fight to the streets, and right into potential readers’ space.
Die Burger has done just that with a competition – to win one of four Chevrolet Sparks – that is tempting readers into buying the paper, a partnership Sasko and Huisgenoot, Media24’s top selling weekly magazine, and the determination to “available and visible during demanding timeframes and peak periods, i.e. early mornings and late afternoons”.
According to Heino Gehle, business manager for Afrikaans titles at Ads24, the promotion is part of a three-fold proactive campaign to “spark circulation, foster interaction between readers and their newspaper and provide value for advertisers. The promotion gives us an opportunity not only to reward consumers, but also to give advertisers even more value for their advertising spend, he says.
Ads24 has thrown its weight behind the promo, supporting it with street posters, radio advertising, online advertising, a Facebook promotion, and t-shirts for the promotional team.
The Sasko promo is already impacting on sales. To enter, readers buy a copy of Die Burger with a loaf of Sasko bread via retailers such as Spar, Pick ‘n’ Pay, Checkers, Shoprite, USave and OK Foods. “The promotion has already resulted in a distinct spike in sales – an average of 2 000 additional copies sold per day the first two weeks,” says “Mark Herman, GM Die Burger.
The daily paper, Die Burger, and its Saturday edition, have already shown marked improvement on last year’s ABC numbers. According to the latest Audited Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures, the circulation of Die Burger and Die Burger Saterdag currently stand at 60 354 and 77 668 respectively.
In her recent newsletter, Ads24 CEO, Linda Gibson, said she was “delighted to see that the group’s Afrikaans daily reader research investment is paying off in circulation increases in those titles. Die Burger leads the way with almost 12% increase year on year. There is high-level commitment to drive circulation growth through consumer marketing plans and renewed focus on distribution”, she said.
But it took a concerted effort by all stakeholders to improve the papers’ fortunes.
“The positive Die Burger circulation figure is influenced by a few factors – reviewing and improving internal processes, intensive market research and implementing constructive promotions,” says Gibson.
“With the current economic challenges, our main strategy was to stabilise the declining figures and identify and fill the required gaps,” she says. “As a result of the gaps being filled we improved retention in our subscription environment. Street sales are doing well, as a result of the Die Burger/Huisgenoot co-branding initiative.”
The Die Burger/Huisgenoot promotion has seen the two publications bagged in a branded plastic bag and sold together via the street network for R20. It’s a winner.
These gains have promoted a more positive sentiment, generally.
“The global economic downturn has started to impact on media as a whole. Although growth has slowed, most of Media24’s titles have managed to hold their own and we anticipate a positive turn-around heading into 2013,” Gibson says.
Ads24’s optimistic outlook is underpinned by industry organisation, Print and Digital Media South Africa (PDMSA). “Print and digital media remain a strong proposition for advertisers as they continue to reap the benefits from campaigns in the sector,” says Ingrid Louw, CEO.
She was responding to Price Waterhouse Cooper’s South African Media and Entertainment Outlook 2012-2016 published last week. The report revealed that revenue from advertising in newspapers and the print media last year increased by 5.7%, equating to R11.4 billion, and that the sector was expected to grow at an annual rate of 5.1%.
“With regards to print media, advertisers have always been assured that readers are loyal, particularly in newspapers, and that its diverse audiences can easily be segmented. Print media can also reach consumers on a daily basis in the communities in which they live resulting in one of the most effective ways of targeting specific markets,” says Louw.
“The synergistic relationship between print and digital media is a vital component of communication strategies from both an advertising and PR perspective. Advertisers are clearly getting solid returns on their investments, with all signs indicating that this will continue.”