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Asociación Técnica de Diarios Latinoamericanos
Boletín Semanal Noviembre 11, 2018

Dallas Morning News Reinventa la forma de manejar el mercadeo digital local

Plus one. Plus two. Plus three. Call it the new addition, and it's the now-more-public new business strategy of A.H. Belo Corp. (AHC - Get Report) , longtime owner of the fast-changing Dallas Morning News.

On Tuesday, Oct. 31, A.H. Belo restructured itself into two operating divisions. Belo Media Group (BMG), formerly DMN Media, concentrates on the local news and information business. The second, Belo + Co., pulls its diverse digital marketing experiments under one umbrella. Each of those pluses stands for a new digital marketing service that Belo has innovated -- started up or acquired -- over the past five years. All totaled, Belo + Co., housed in the Campbell Centre building five miles north of the Morning News, now counts 145 employees.

Belo + Co. proclaims local knowledge: "The Oldest Company in Texas Knows Texans." Which leads to its up-to-date services: Prospecting. Lead generation. Conversion. Marketing automation. Social and content marketing.

Both newspaper people and their advertiser customers have gotten familiar with those terms over the past decade. Belo's new trick: taming that blizzard of buzzwords into a manageable, and increasingly profitable, business. Take what has been a sometimes ungainly set of digital marketing tools, and offer them -- holistically, and backed by business intelligence -- to midsize businesses.

"It's what I call the local enterprise space, maybe what some would call more of that mid-market space," explained Grant Moise, executive vice president of A.H. Belo and general manager of The Dallas Morning News. "I don't know of anyone else who has gone and done it the way we have."

Belo + Co. becomes a single brand, encompassing what had been the Vertical Nerve (search engine marketing and optimization and conversion), Distribion (multichannel marketing automation), MarketingFX (print material marketing), Speakeasy (social and content marketing) and Connect (programmatic advertising) businesses. One integrated sales staff -- "one service, one reseller" -- represents its diversity of services, in the chart shown below, with specialists called in as needed for each account. Belo bought 80% of three of the companies -- Vertical Nerve, Distribion and MarketingFX -- in January 2015. This January, it bought the remaining 20%. Tim Storer, a founder of those companies, now serves as Belo + Co.'s president.

"We see the pain points in the market," Storer said this week. "And we're seeing systemic change in the marketplace." In short form, Belo + Co. aims to build a big new business by addressing these new realities.
The big idea: Sell midsize and larger local companies vital digital marketing services, often in addition to advertising space itself. Sell them space -- print and/or digital -- and a service. That's plus one. Sell them two services. That's plus two. Sell them three services. That's plus three.

It's more than an idea. It's become the strategy separating The Dallas Morning News from most of its peers in the newspaper trade. Most importantly, it's a strategy seems to be slowly bearing fruit.

The Transformative Aim
On Monday, Belo released its third-quarter financials. Like its peers, the company suffered more major declines: down in double digits in print advertising, leading to a 9% decline in overall advertising revenue.

The silver lining in those numbers? Through the third quarter, digital advertising and marketing services in 2017 amounted to 39.3% of total advertising and marketing services revenue. That means that the company depends on print for about 60% of its ad revenue. As digital advertising and marketing services -- the majority of which is now driven by Belo + Co. -- cross the 50% of ad revenue threshold, Belo's transition to a digital future becomes easier. That becomes an important number. The fact that Belo's percentage tracks just below The New York Times' (at 43.3% of all its ad revenue counted as digital in its third-quarter financials) proves out a key strategy. By comparison, most newspaper companies can count only 10% to 25% of ad revenue as digital.

In assessing Belo's public financials, it looks like its total digital advertising and marketing services now represent more than $50 million annually. That would be up more than 8% over 2016.
That's good growth, if still insufficient to offset those industrywide print ad losses. At this point, Belo is still about 6 percentage points off, annually, in offsetting its print loss.

For CEO, president and chairman Jim Moroney, a proud member of the founding Belo family as great-grandson of Morning News founder George Dealey, this is a once-in-several-generations transformation required of those families still believing in the community role of newspapers.

Moroney said the shift away from print to digital spending toward the end of the past decade set him on a new path: "My customers were still healthy, but I was getting a smaller and smaller share of their marketing budget. My share was declining. We still had a good relationship with them. The brand was still strong. So I said, 'What do we need to do to earn new market share from our advertisers?'"

That's what started the impetus to a full-spectrum marketing services business. The goal here: Make the business more digital-reliant and less print-reliant, as print fortunes continue their deep decline.

Clearly, there Belo is succeeding. Through the second quarter of 2017, core print advertising now makes up 28% of the company's revenue. That's down from 46% in 2010. (The comparative number from the industry leader, The New York Times, which has launched itself into a different universe than large metro papers, is 17%.)

Digital advertising and marketing services make up 22% of revenue, up from 7% in 2010. Beyond revenue, though, the sometimes stealth issue is profit. Digital sales profit margins are slimmer, in general.
That's one reason that Belo has moved its marketing services business up the food chain.

Daily newspaper companies have embraced the marketing services trade for a half a decade or longer. Hearst Corp.'s LocalEdge pioneered it. GateHouse Media LLC has won attention for its Propel, recently renamed UpCurve. Gannett Co. (GCI - Get Reportbought and is integrating ReachLocal, after several internal development efforts. Digital First Media Inc. relies on Adtaxi in that field.

In talking with these companies over the years, a couple of points have emerged. There's a business there, given merchant need for digital marketing help. Second, it's a tough business with high churn and too-low margins. It takes a lot of work to produce too-meager profits. They've also learned that reselling others' products -- such as Google and Facebook ads -- produces skimpy profit margins. All newspaper companies confront these realities and have been restrategizing their marketing services approaches.
Here, Belo + Co. swings more for doubles and triples in the marketplace.  Belo + Co. materials emphasize: "Focus on the 'M' in SMB." The new Belo + Co. target: companies earning $10 million to $750 million in revenue and spending at least $1 million for marketing. In other words, forget the little guys; they are too much work for the money.

The Belo + Co. strategy, then: Focus on midsize enterprise customers and on self-built services to make higher margins.

Axel Springer confirma que su operación digital sigue solida en el tercer trimestre

Germany’s Axel Springer , publisher of the best-selling tabloid Bild, confirmed its guidance for the full year after reporting a 7 percent increase in third quarter core profits that was in line with expectations.
The gain was driven by Springer’s digital outlets, which account for more than three quarters of its profits and which it is separating from its traditional print titles in a strategic reshuffle.

Group revenues were 860 million euros ($996 million), up 7.3 percent from a year earlier and above average expectations of 843 million euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to 156 million euros. Analysts had on average forecast 155 million euros.

Springer reiterated its full-year guidance for core earnings and adjusted earnings per share to show high single-digit growth. ($1 = 0.8632 euros) (Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

Tecnología y herramientas claves para la transformación digital

Tecnología y herramientas para ganar en la nueva economía digital es uno de los tres paneles que dan forma a la primera jornada de la Digital Media LATAM 2017, que se lleva a cabo en la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (Argentina). Hernán Marsili -Consultor de Medios Digitales- rompió el hielo con su exposición Performance como aspecto clave del crecimiento de un medio, que profundizó sobre la importancia de la velocidad de un sitio para el incremento del tráfico web. 

“La performance es un concepto amplio que comprende la sensación y percepción del usuario, un conjunto de métricas y la interacción contínua”, explica el director de CMS-MEDIOS.comsobre esta funcionalidad que apunta a la evolución. A través de los casos de éxitoSoyCarmin.com y debate.com.mx, Marsili dialogó sobre las ventajas y desventajas de no contemplar la performance en las estrategias de planificación de proyectos de medios de comunicación en América Latina. 

Las personas presentes en la sala escucharon atentas los consejos de Hernán Marsili sobre una performance modelo, a través de siete puntos prácticos de los cuales el más importantes de todos fue “aprendizaje e innovación contínua”. 

Después llegó la charla a cargo de Marcos Christensen -Vicepresidente de ventas de ComScore Inc- que profundizó sobre El impacto económico del fraude publicitario, de la publicidad de la marca y de la visibilidad de la publicidad digital.

“¿Cuánto valen estos anuncios?”, preguntó Christensen al mostrar una imagen de un anuncio en la vía pública y una imagen de un anuncio en la vía pública tapado por un árbol. Así inició la presentación sobre el fraude en publicidad. Internet está lleno de contenido ilegal y de baja calidad, y este factor es fundamental a la hora de planear la publicidad digital de un proyecto, ya que tal como expresó el Vicepresidente de ComScore Inc, el fraude publicitario en la región está en alza. 

En esa línea, Marcos Christensen aconsejó que en el proceso de planeación de la estrategia de publicidad digital, además de trabajar por la “visibilidad del anuncio”, hay que considerar otros factores como la “seguridad de la marca”.

El futuro de la publicación digital: el crecimiento de las Progressive Web Apps (PWA) fue la charla con la cual finalizó la primera parte de Tecnologías y herramientas para ganar en la nueva economía digital, en el primer día de la Digital Media LATAM. 

Marta Rocamora -Gerente de Alianzas Estratégicas de Marfeel (España)-  estuvo a cargo de un rápido análisis sobre el ecosistema móvil, las expectativas del usuario, las progressive web apps, la evaluación del éxito e ingresos publicitarios. En ese sentido, la exposición ahondó en la necesidad de pensar en una “estrategia móvil 360°”, y es ahí donde entran en juego las PWA, un híbrido entre lo mejor de la web y lo mejor de las apps, aspecto clave al pensar en el futuro de los medios digitales. 

Las Progressive Web Apps se rigen por cuatro pilares que tienen que ver con la seguridad, el engagement, la confiabilidad y la velocidad de los sitios webs, sumamente importantes para la transformación digital de los medios en la región.

Después de un receso, llegó Juan Manuel Lucero -Director de Negocios Digitales, Google News Lab-  quien presentó Google Trends, una herramienta que muestra los términos de búsqueda más populares en diversas regiones del mundo. 

Google Trends: ¿qué le interesa saber a la audiencia” exploró en profundidad una herramienta que no sólo permite saber cuánto se busca un tema puntual, sino también qué aspectos específicos de ese tema le interesan a la audiencia del medio. Un panel dinámico y divertido liderado por Lucero, que de manera práctica explicó cómo funciona la herramienta y de qué manera los comunicadores pueden exportar dichos datos para insertarlos en sus páginas webs y otras plataformas.