Wednesday, 17 September 2008

City Founder: In New Economy, Focus on 'CP-Relevant Customer' Not CPM (Media Bistro)

The nearest I get to a foodie magazine is the cafe conversation on a Thursday morning at my local market, so I have never heard of 'foodie fixture' magazine City and its founder John McDonald.

However, here is a quote, courtesy of Media Bistro who know such things, from John McDonald.

We caught up with McDonald and asked him how it's possible to engender loyalty among advertisers when the dollars they have to spend start shrinking.

"You're not dealing with CPM, you're dealing with more like a 'CP-relevant customer.' You want to really, really connect the dots between those brands, between key, key people who you can define who they are. If you can own that community, those people are always going to be really, really important, but when you have a lot of that, that's diluted down I think it would be tricky."

A few year back, IHT research director Brain (sic) Shields tried to show, through a research project called A.I.M that IHT readers might be less in number but they were worth more because of how attentively they read the IHT.

The comment above is an evolution of that argument, and although what follows from McDonald in his interview with Media Bistro is less relevant to the IHT (save perhaps a desire by some to chase the luxury market, and certainly the need to be more aggressive about being relevant), I like the term CP-relevant customer.

So if you're an IHT ad sales person going out to bat this morning, take that one with you.

"Our business is so small that I don't think I have a really relevant point of view. We're not in that game — if I was Details or I was a big book — you have to be really, really competitive."

So are you above it because you peddle a more luxury product?

"In a weird way, we're below it [because of our small size] which sneaks us in. You're not dealing with really big out of pocket expenses. When you're talking about anything in that niche world where you're marketing solutions are in $10-15,000 per page scenario, it's a little bit different.
At the same time, the truth is that if you're not really vital to [the advertiser's] plan, then you can also be the first to go. ... You have to be more aggressive about being relevant."

One thing I think the NYT is NOT faced with is their need to persuade advertisers they are relevant. How relevant now, for this or that sector, during this or that market, perhaps. But not just the basic notion of being relevant.

I'd like to see a few more NYT ad sales people come and do placements at the IHT and learn that themselves, instead of hearing it all the time from the IHT sales guys.


International Herald Tribune
New York Times

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