Why are Marketers jostling for the Sunday Mail or Thursday Herald prime spots?



presented recently at the AMH Digital workshop where I spoke on the theme migrating from traditional to digital. I shared some thoughts on how marketers can and should take advantage of the abundant opportunities in digital media and particularly social media. As a follow up to that, I felt compelled to write a piece to buttress the point that traditional media is going down and the time to migrate to digital media is now or face the inevitable reality of becoming redundant and irrelevant as a marketer.


I deliberately chose this title after observing how local marketers battle and jostle for space in pages 5 and 7 of the Sunday Mail and the Thursday Herald newspapers. The jostling is so bad that the these local publications are at times cornered by bigger clients who muscle their way in to get these “prime spots”.  The reason why traditional marketers are battling for space is simply because the Sunday Mail and Thursday Herald are more popular than other publications because of the inserts, job sections and also has the highest print run, of course assuming more people want to buy to access the job alerts! I would like to, in the next paragraphs demonstrate how some of us are wasting company funds by continuously placing press ads in the local papers. First let’s look at this table:

Below is a table showing the costs of advertising in popular publications.

Publication Spot Cost ($) Daily Print Run
Sunday Mail Full Page 5,278 80,000
  Half Page 2,639 80,000
  27 x 5 1,319 80,000
Thursday Herald Full Page 4,166 75,000
  Half Page 2,083 75,000
  27 x 5 1,041 75,000
NewsDay Full Page 3,696 40,000
  Half Page 1,848 40,000
  27 x 5 1,782 40,000
Daily News Full Page 2,242 30,000
  Half Page 1,121 30,000
  27 x 5 1,081 30,000

Source: Zimpapers and NewsDay Advertising Costs 2013

From the above, it’s crystal clear that advertising in our local papers is pretty expensive, the cost per reach per 1000 is $0.063 for the Sunday Mail, well assuming of course the 80,000 copies have all being fully sold out and all of them have seen your ad.

Now let’s go back to our original discussion, our traditional marketers are scrambling to reach 80,000 souls at a once off cost of $5,2K with a full page advert? Now if you give me, a digital marketer $5,000 to spend on a campaign this is how I will spend the money.

Tool Media Channel Cost ($) Reach
SEM Google Adwords Text  Ads 500 350,000
    Banner Ads 500 350,000
Social Media Facebook PP Click Promoted Post 1,000 400,000
    Promoted Page 1,000 400,000
Digital Displays Digital Display Ads Herald 650 800,000
    NewsDay 1,200 700,000
    DailyNews 1,200 600,000
  Total   5,000 3m

Source: (Some of you might want to know the source of these numbers, get in touch and I’l break it down to you)

As shown above, digital media is a cost effective means of advertising as the cost per reach is very low at $0,0017 per 1000 compared to traditional media. A traditional marketer spends $5,000 in a day but with digital media I can run a campaign for a month, reach 3 million+ customers at the same cost and also see the customers who expressed interest in my product, who are they, where are they and what they use to access my ad online! So this begs this set of questions;

1.     Why are local marketers scrambling for space in these publications to spend more to reach only a handful of customers?

2.     Why are local marketers spending more on trying to reach an audience they don’t know? Why?

3.     Why are local marketers spending more to reach an audience they can’t tell whether they read their ads or not? Why?

4.     Why are local marketers spending more money in a one-way model of communication? Why?

The questions above should worry any serious marketer, it calls for a paradigm shift in the way we do our marketing. Technology has changed our customers, they have gone social, gone search and are making use of these tools to search for information, review products and services etc.

Social media and these other new forms of digital media are here to stay, it’s either we adopt them or face the painful reality of withering away, soon or later. I stand amazed as to why local brands are not making use of Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Digital Display Advertising? here are some of the advantages of online marketing I presented:

1.     Cost per Reach

As alluded to earlier the cost per reach is significantly lower than traditional means of advertising. Needless to reiterate this point.

2.     Lead Generation 

Online banners and search campaigns helps you create sales leads and you can direct your customers to your websites where you can provide more information.

3.     Building Relationships

Digital media is inbound marketing, you’re able to participate in customer conversations and thus create and build relationships with your target audiences.

4.     Customer Insights

With social media, you know what customers are saying about your brand. They are no sacred cows, they will tell you in your face your brand sucks! And these are rich insights that you can use to craft your marketing strategy.

5.     Brand Visibility

Through paid search marketing, you can increase your online brand visibility. Customers are now resorting to search engines when seeking information, they simply ask “Uncle Google” and if your website is not search optimized you’re missing out.

In conclusion, the future of marketing is in digital, the question is of “when” and not “if”, it’s either we collaborate or we perish! If you’re marketer you’re faced with what I call the fierce urgency of now, the death of traditional marketers is nigh, shape up or ship out! I have layed out only a few tips with the hope that our focus begins to change as we plan for the new year.

I rest my case!



The views expressed in this article are sorely mine and do not represent any organization or entity therefore I will not be responsible for any loss or damage that may accrue as a direct or indirect result of using some or all of the information above. 


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