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Market Voice 22 Mar 2021 - 3 min read

Is it time to change your perception of news as an advertising platform?

By Vanessa Lyons - General Manager, ThinkNewsBrands | Partner Content
Think News Brands

Lyons says marketers need to rethink their media mix – because 10 million Australians are paying attention every day of the week.

Vanessa Lyons is aware of the perceptions of news as an advertising channel. After all, she was a CMO herself. But following new research into the effectiveness of the platform, Lyons says marketers need to rethink their media mix – because 10 million Australians are paying attention every day of the week.

Coming from a CMO background, I understand the perceptions surrounding news as an advertising channel. From it supposedly having a declining audience, to the perceived lack of reach, or impact it can have on consumers – I had some of these beliefs myself. And so I know from firsthand experience that marketers are redirecting advertising spend because of this understanding. However, these decisions are based on misconceptions and it’s time to reappraise this view. So let’s get started.

When it comes to reach and frequency, news holds its own

With more than 10 million Australians reading news on any given day, news outperforms most media platforms and even stands up against prime-time TV. Take, for example, the ratings for blockbuster Married at First Sight. In Sydney, the average daily audience figure for the program is 288,000 while The Daily Telegraph has a massive 530,000 readers each day.

And research shows news is usually consumed first thing in the morning over a cup of coffee or during the daily commute which means by advertising in news, you can reach your desired audience well before evening prime time. Any other advertising platform will find that hard to beat.

News audiences are growing

The perception that news is in decline is straight-up incorrect. As a platform, news has pivoted and evolved and as it has, audiences have grown and continue to increase. According to emma readership data, news audiences have increased 3.4% in the last year which is pretty impressive for a so-called old-fashioned platform.

News reaches young people

Readership data also shows that across all age groups, news consumption is high. It may surprise you to learn that readership is evenly spread from the hard to reach 14-to-34s to 35-to-54s and 55 plus. What this means is advertisers don’t always have to resort to social platforms to reach younger demographics. News is a viable alternative no matter how old your customer is.

News is a highly effective platform for advertising

The emergence of advertising channels that seemingly provide data on advertising effectiveness in real-time has led many marketers to abandon more traditional channels. But effective advertising is about much more than just clicks.

To build brands and deliver growth, you need to insert your brand into the memory of consumers in the short and long term while increasing their propensity to purchase. New research shows that news is a master at both.

The Benchmark Series is a landmark global study that compares news – in both print and digital – to run of the internet.

The study found that advertising in printed national and metro newspapers yields 8.5 times greater unprompted recall. Digital news is also a strong performer delivering an uptick in unprompted recall and the combination of print and digital news generates 3.5 times greater brand lift compared to the run of the internet.

Overall, news – in print and digital – delivers stronger brand choice lift and a high propensity to purchase, which is exactly what you need to grow your brand.

News is great for light category buyers

Speaking of growing businesses, leading academics including Professor Byron Sharp have long stated that brand growth comes from light category users: people who buy the product once rather than the same people buying the product multiple times. So light category buyers are extremely important for brands looking to grow and The Benchmark Series found news advertising widens the effectiveness gap with this crucial audience with almost three times the brand lift compared to run of the internet.

The takeaway for marketers is clear: don’t base your media decisions on outdated perceptions. This total picture of news makes a compelling case to reconsider your view of news as an advertising channel.

Vanessa Lyons is the General Manager of ThinkNewsBrands.

Get the full story. Download The Benchmark Series here.

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