Publisher’s column: You’ve been targeted — and it’s good |

Publisher’s column: You’ve been targeted — and it’s good

Mike Bennett
Staff Photo |


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I am on a new mission to try to reduce the advertising clutter in your daily lives. We are bombarded with about 400 advertising messages on the average day. That’s 146,000 ad messages that are put in front of us on average annually. And thanks to the wonderful world of websites and social media, that number is growing rapidly.

You may be asking, “Mike, are you saying you want your team to sell fewer ads?” Of course not. How do you think we are able to provide you with a quality newspaper both in print and online 24/7 and 366 days this year? Shop local and thank our advertisers for helping to fund your daily local news habit.

Our goal at the PI is to help educate our local businesses to eliminate the clutter and provide you with the advertising messages you wish to view. Online advertising has made that possible. Sure, we have our print newspaper that you have come to rely on each day for shopping information. But did you know that we provide our local businesses with 16 digital platforms and products as well?

We will continue to put out one hell of a newspaper daily. In fact, the American Society of News Editors just awarded Editor Randy Essex and the Post Independent the Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership for our stance on immigrants. These awards are typically won by newspapers in major cities such as New York, Boston or St. Louis, not in little towns like Glenwood Springs.

I would argue that the quality of the PI is superior to what it has ever been over the last 124 years, and print advertising is quite effective in blanketing all of you with our local businesses messages.

Newspapers, like radio and television, are aging. Digital marketing is the new kid on the block, and this kid is growing quickly. In fact, while our print readership is holding steady, we have far more digital readers of the PI monthly, and most of those readers are reading us on their smartphones or tablets. Laptops and desktop computers are so 2008.

According to Borrell Associates, local Garfield County businesses invested over $24 million in advertising last year. National businesses invested another $36.5 million advertising in our county. Nearly half of that expenditure is spent online.

In five years, we are forecast to see nearly $73 million spent on advertising in Garfield County, with online advertising growing to 60 percent of the total spent. Our parent company, Swift Communications, has invested heavily in research and development to provide our local businesses state-of-the-art digital technology to provide you the advertising you want when you want it.

Digital advertising has become the No. 1 tool for our businesses to provide you the advertising you want when you want. In today’s world unless you live with the inconvenience of operating your laptop with the cookies turned off and your mobile device with your GPS turned off, we not only know your interests, we know where you go.

We don’t know specifically who you are, but we do know generic people’s interests and locations. Based on this information, we can be far more effective for both you and our customers who pay our bills. There is very little waste when buying programmatic targeted digital advertising.

How does targeting work? Let’s say that you are a foodie and enjoy dining out frequently. If your cookies and GPS are on, we can target you with dining advertising. We contract with a local restaurant and discover that you are into dining based on your activities. If you are on Yelp and looking at restaurants; if you are on online searching for or reading about fine food and restaurants; if you are going to a restaurant or restaurant-related website; or if you go into any restaurant and carry a smartphone — you will then begin seeing our customer’s ads.

It may sound creepy, but marketers have been sending you ads for a few years in this manner. Have you ever done an online search for a product and all of a sudden you start seeing ads for that product most everywhere you go online? If your answer is yes, then you’ve been targeted.

Our digital services include website development, search engine optimization, targeted digital marketing, email targeting, contests, quizzes, sweepstakes, reputation management, native advertising, deals, display ads and video, with much more to come as the digital world is constantly changing.

As a reader and a consumer you may not think too much about the ads that come your way. For the average local business owner it is a real challenge. On Monday, I will begin writing a weekly blog to help our customers navigate today’s marketing world. Cutting the clutter will be a challenge, but we work with local businesses to provide you the advertising messages you want when you want them.

Michael Bennett is publisher of the Post Independent.

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