Over the last several years, the newspaper and magazine publishing industry has been turned upside down. Part of the reason for this, is because the Internet is creating an alternative medium that providing readers with free information. As a result, a host of different newspapers and magazines have been struggling with declining subscriptions. A good example of this can be seen with the continued implosion in the total number of newspaper subscribers nationwide. According to recent statistics provided by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, they found that newspaper subscriptions were down 8.7% in the first six months of 2010. While Sunday circulation, was down by 6.5% during the same time. This follows declines of: 10.6% and 7.5/% (in daily as well as Sunday subscriptions) for the same period in 2009. (Vanacore 2010) What this shows, is that the newspaper industry is undergoing a tremendous transformation. As a result, those organizations that are creating unique business models are able to evolve with the changes that are taking place. In case of the new publication that is being launched (IPPY), there needs to be more of an emphasis on how the marketing strategy will address these issues. To fully understand how to achieve this objective requires: examining the strategic / operational marketing plans, identifying three consumers / two organizational segments for the new publication, looking at different ways to improve the product, examining how it will be accessible to consumers, understanding the marketing mix, providing recommendations for pricing, examining promotional / communications activity for the next two years and understanding how marketing efforts should be different between the various segments of readers. Together, these different elements will provide the greatest insights, as to how IPPY can be able to make a successful transformation as a digital publication.
The roles of both strategic and operational marketing plans, within the context of the organization's objectives and the broader marketing environment.
In order for IPPY to be at the forefront of the publishing industry, requires that they use a strategy that will embrace new ideas that are relevant in the future. This means that the publication must avoid the common challenges that will often occur at most news organizations. What happens is many of the editors and writers are focused on creating content that is considered to be newsworthy. As they are concentrating on covering those stories and events that are most relevant to their readers, then publishing them in the traditional print or online subscription-based formats. In the past this model has worked well, as most individuals would pay the various fees to read the latest news. However, the evolution of the internet has meant that many publications are ignoring the changes that are taking place, as many websites are offering free news related content. This is problematic, because it has meant that many news organizations are caught trying, to adapt to these changes when they are: seeing an implosion in circulation and readers. As a result, they are having trouble adapting to these shifts that are occurring, which is causing many publications to face the possibility of bankruptcy. (Antony 2010)
To avoid these kinds of challenges requires taking into account both: the operational and strategic marketing plans of the publication. Where, IPPY will need to focus on reaching out to the readers through traditional print and online mediums. This means that the operations of the organization (to include: writing and publishing) must take into account the type of content that readers are looking for and it must provide a brief summary of the information (in an entertaining format). Inside the different stories that are being produced, this part of the organization, would ensure that all content is optimized for the search engines and is using phrases / keywords that will catch the reader's attention. As taking this kind of focus, will ensure that the IPPY is able to: produce content that will be widely read and can easily be found in both the print as well as online media. (Woll 2006)
Inside the strategic marketing plan, an emphasis must be placed on reaching out to print and online readers. This means that both traditional forms of advertising (such as direct mail) must be used in conjunction with various online initiatives (such as the pay per click marketing and social networking). In this case, the idea is to use both forms of the publication, to increase the overall bottom line as much as possible. At which point, IPPY can be able to reach out to all of the different demographics of readers. (Woll 2006)
Identify at least three consumer and two organizational segments which you recommend IPPY should target with its new publication.
Three consumer segments that IPPY could reach out include: minorities, individuals under the age of 35 and the 35 to 65-year-old demographics. Even though a number of different print publications have continued to see a decrease in the amount of readers, many minority-based publications are seeing circulation remain fairly strong. A good example of this can be seen with Hispanic-based newspapers and magazines. According to Alloy Access & Consulting Service, they found that with these kinds of newspapers / magazines, reader loyalty is as high as 57%. This is despite the sharp increase in the number of Hispanic related content and news providers online. What this shows, is that IPPY could be able to see to stable circulation rates among minority readers.
At the same time, there must be an emphasis on two different age demographics. As far as the under 35-year-old age group is concerned, this demographic of the population reads the majority of the news online (in comparison with the traditional print version). At the same time, the 35 to 65-year-old demographic is turning to the internet to keep up with the latest news. Evidence of this can be seen with the total number of people that are reading the news online, as this is accounting for 72% of these two age groups. (Teens Prefer Reading News Online 2010) The below table illustrates the different breaks downs of the population that are using the internet for obtaining news related information.
Total Amount of the Population Using the Internet for News Related Purposes
Percentage Using the Internet for Reading News
30 -- 49
50 -- 64
65 and Over
(Teens Prefer Reading News Online 2010)
What this shows, is that a comprehensive strategy must be able to identify those groups that would be most inclined to read the publication. As a result, an emphasis must be placed on: minorities, the under 35-year-old age group and the 35 to 65-year-old demographic. This will ensure that IPPY is reaching out to its intended group of readers.
As far as organizational segments are concerned, IPPY would focus on two areas: issues that are important to minorities and news that is targeted to the two different age groups mentioned above. Where, there will be an emphasis on content and stories that are related to these segments. This would be accomplished by providing unique stories and content that will address specific interests. Once this takes place, it will ensure that IPPY is able to reach out a unique audience, while addressing specific segments and topics that are of most interest to them.
What facilities and features would add support to improve the product it offers to these segments?
To improve the appeal of IPPY, a comprehensive strategy will be required that provides these readers with the content that they find most interesting. This means that the editors must constantly pay attention to the most popular tends through: various social networking sites and chat rooms. At the same time, they must be watchful for those stories that are receiving the largest number of page views. This is important, because the print and online versions of the publication; will be able to provide those unique stories that are most interesting to the target audience. (Woodward 2006)
At the same time, a strategy must be utilized that will create a buzz around the publication. One way that this can be accomplished, is through strategically partnering with various news organizations, who could help to introduce IPPY to their readers. This will increase circulation, by exposing the publication to a larger audience. You could also offer select content for free, to introduce and create a following for IPPY. Where, select amounts of content will be offered for free to the general public. You would then, provide a certain amount, as a part of the overall subscription. When you step back and analyze this approach, it is clear that this will help to improve the product, by discussing those stories that are most important to the target audience. The free give away of select amounts of content will help to create a following of loyal readers, as a certain number will regularly read articles that are published by IPPY. While the partnering with established publications,…