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Comparative Effectiveness
Local Publication Sites vs Yahoo! Local Sites


Trends in Publication Marketing and The Internet
Researched and written by Ray Wyman, Jr.

This business report was compiled December 2000 for an Internet marketing company.

In major markets across the U.S., online newspapers are some of the most recognized and visited Web sites among local-oriented Internet destinations. According to aggregated marketing surveys from more than 10,000 online consumers in 17 major markets from January to June 2000, 66 percent of all online consumers were, on average, aware of online newspaper Web sites. Nearly half (48 percent) of online consumers had visited the local newspaper site, and more than 22 percent (an estimated 4.97 million online users) had visited in the past 30 days.

In addition to driving strong traffic, NFO found that online newspapers also drive a higher volume of more valuable traffic for potential advertisers and their efforts to attract shoppers. As a result of visiting the newspaper Web sites in the research, nearly 1.4 million online consumers report contacting a business in the previous 30 days and more than half of those 750,000 made either online or offline purchases.

Each of the 17 markets in the NFO study had local competition from America Online's Digital City service, Lycos Cityguide, and Ticketmaster/CitySearch. In addition, NFO also assessed the performance of online newspapers against Yahoo's local city guide equivalent, Yahoo!Local, in seven major markets (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, and Washington D.C.). Across these seven markets, online newspapers had an average awareness of 74 percent among online users compared to 34 percent for Yahoo!Local; 56 percent of online users visited newspaper sites, on average, compared to 16 percent for Yahoo!Local; and 28 percent indicated visiting newspapers' sites in the past month relative to Yahoo!Local's 4 percent.

It is clear from this study that within the local markets major newspapers have found a way to effectively leverage their existing traditional brands to drive significant online traffic volume. Online newspapers, as other online forms of traditional print media, are in a strong position to build significant user traffic that is not only interested in gathering news and local market information, but it is also interested in shopping. The most compelling value for prospective online advertisers is that this model offers enhanced exposure from print and online vehicles; for publishers, the compound revenue potential should be irresistible.

Business Professionals still Rely on Print

The Internet and business-to-business magazines are synergistic not competitive media, concludes a year-long survey of executives and professionals conducted early last year by Cahners Business Information. Contrary to the images of dot-connected executives armed with laptops, Internet-capable cell phones, and PDAs only 12 percent of those that buy or set the specifications for projects look to the Web first. Business-to-business magazines remain the most popular place to seek out information on products and vendors. When starting new projects, 39 percent of professionals look to magazines first, this number is unchanged from last year. Sales representatives were listed by only 12 percent of those surveyed down from 20 percent a year ago.

The importance placed on magazines will not diminish in the near future, according to the survey findings. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of those responding said their reliance on professional magazines is likely to intensify through the year 2002. One-third (33 percent) said they will rely on professional magazines in the 21st century as much as they do now. Only 2 percent predicted a decrease in magazines' importance. -HP

Media Factoids

According to the Newspapers Association of America (NAA) and the Magazine Publishers Association (MPA), there are 1,483 daily newspapers, about 9 thousand smaller non-daily newspapers, and 17,815 magazines published in the United States today.

According to information from the 1999 edition of Standard Rates and Data Service (SRDS), more than half of all newspapers have a circulation of less than 250 thousand and more than 70 percent of all magazines have a circulation of less than 100 thousand.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), there are 12,717 radio stations and 1,663 television stations licensed to operate in the United States as of September 29, 2000. According to the CIA World Factbook, as of January 2000, there are over 21,500 television stations and over 44,000 radio stations worldwide. On average, each commercial broadcaster has an audience of 800 thousand, with about 200 to 400 advertisers annually.

NOTE: The Magazine Publishers Association draws data from five other sources: the National Directory of Magazines, Standard Rate and Data Service, Audit Bureau of Circulations, BPA International, and the Publishers Information Bureau.


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