How advertisers reach their audience in 2012


Historic City News is a St Augustine based operation of Historic City Companies, Inc.

We began with a different business model in news reporting than was available in the St Johns County market. We have grown and become more profitable year after year — not just for our shareholders, but also for our family of advertising sponsors.

Within the first year of operation, admittedly, we were immersed in a virtual experiment to learn if our approach would be accepted; and, if it would, could it be sustained profitably without having to charge readers a subscription fee.

Five years later, I am pleased (and a little surprised) to report that it can.

Advertisers are bombarded with gimmicks and novel ideas to reach new customers. They advertise to maintain existing customers with more traditional means.

For example, 50 million users listened to the radio — but it took 40 years.

By comparison, 50 million users watched television — it only took 13 years.

50 million users were surfing the Internet during the first 4 years.

Facebook hit 100 million users in the first 12 months.

The common goal is to get an advertisers message in front of as many potential buyers as possible — to that end, new media seems to provide the most bang for the buck.

Not only does Historic City News provide excellent reach, in terms of number of eyes who peruse our pages every day, but we know more about those readers than ever possible with mass media like newspapers.

In comparing advertising effectiveness, for example, what figures do you think are more important? Is it better to know that a newspaper distributes 18,000-20,000 copies daily, or would it be more important to know that a competing news source is read by 15,000 people daily?

What advertisers are learning is that it is possible to reach potential buyers of their goods or services without paying to reach thousands of people who aren’t interested.

America Online learned that they can afford to “give away” their online Internet service, because of the added value they can offer their advertisers through targeted advertising.

Integration of analytics, enhanced with demographic data collected locally, allows Historic City News to tell you a lot more about our readers than you might think.

If you are promoting a circus, you want to reach readers who are likely to have school-aged children. Money spent reaching those 65 and older, for example, is wasted or of negligible value.

If you are selling contact lenses or eyeglasses, wouldn’t it be more important to know that your ad reached readers whose driver’s license had a corrective lens restriction than simply to know that 18,000-20,000 people saw it?

Profiling your potential customer and employing intelligence-based, targeted advertising is here today.

As consumers, we should expect to receive more advertising for subjects of interest to us than was previously experienced in mass media.