COLUMN 

Advertising dollars: how to get more of them

A panel session at Newsworks’ Festival of News looked at the importance of trust when it comes to selling advertising.

By James Evelegh

Advertising dollars: how to get more of them
Discussing advertising at the Festival of News (L-R): Amy Caven (Boots), Clare Chapman (Carat), Deborah Rosenegk (Evening Standard), Niki West (Newsworks) and Ryan Uhl (Mail Metro Media). Photograph: Newsworks.

In the Q&A that followed the panel session (‘Why journalism matters (to advertisers)’) at the recent Newsworks’ Festival of News event, News UK’s David Dinsmore asked the question on everyone’s lips: “With 80% of the world’s ad dollars still going to Google and Facebook, does the panel see that mix changing in the next five years?”

To which, Clare Chapman, CEO of Carat, answered: “Scale is often the most important thing and that’s what we hear time and time again from our clients… So I don’t think spend is going to roll back that much.”

Presumably not the answer David was hoping for, but even if advertisers and agencies don’t see the mix changing significantly any time soon, there were still indications from the panel discussion that the share taken by “trusted” news brands would continue to grow.

The following sneak preview of some upcoming research from Newsworks, provided by Niki West, director of agency and client services at Newsworks and the panel moderator, neatly sums up why: “76% of people believe a headline designed to inform an audience on an important topic when seen in a news brand, compared to 36% who believe a similar headline in a non-news brand.”

‘Trust’ is what news brands have and social media doesn’t and the contextual advertising advantage provided by professionally curated journalism is something that news media needs to be double down on. It’s their USP and the commercial revenues that accrue from it will continue to grow.

Amy Caven, senior media manager at Boots, said that it was important that “new brands continue to innovate and let us use first party data.” When news brands did so, she continued, “allowing us to onboard our first party data and make some amazing dynamic campaigns”, they ticked a lot of boxes for advertisers.

In short, news brand should continue to innovate, invest in UX, never drop their guard on the issue of trust, continue to build scale and ease-of-purchase through cross-publisher collaboration and invest heavily in first party data.

Even if Google and Facebook’s share of ad dollars is unlikely to shift significantly in the short term, I don’t think it’s just wishful thinking to say that the direction of travel favours news brands.


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