Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company’s Data-intensive Applications
Ed. note: This article
originally appeared on
MapInfo's website and is reprinted here with permission.
For more than a century, Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company (ETPC) - a
Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper publisher serving more than 105,000
subscribing households North of Boston every day - based its recipe for
business success on readers' strong community connections.
In the newspaper business, it's all about connection. And, to keep
customers coming back for more, savvy publishers have always honed a
keen understanding of what excites current and prospective readers.
"In tight-knit city neighborhoods and nearby rural towns, everybody
knew everybody," explained Dan Griffin, ETPC's Vice President of
Marketing, who grew up in the area. "And our newspapers grew and
succeeded simply by reflecting and reporting on that closeness. Even
now, when the paper regularly publishes news about your friends,
neighbors and colleagues at work, you're going to come back for more."
"But establishing and maintaining that vital bond to readers is a
greater challenge today - when families no longer have the kinds of
traditional community connections we once took for granted," Griffin
said. In a nutshell, we still value connection - but, more and
more, we're connected differently: "Now," Griffin said. "It's not only
who you know, but what you share."
To ensure current and prospective readers keep coming back for more,
ETPC recognized the need to conduct a comprehensive study of its daily
readership and potential to lure new customers in the increasingly
dynamic North of Boston marketplace.
The study, initiated in 2003 under the direction of ETPC Research
Director Forbes Durey, began after the purchase of basic MapInfo
"Beforehand, we had a suspicion that this was a rapidly changing market
- that a lot of people moving in weren't necessarily the same types of
people who'd lived here for 30, 40 or 50 years," Durey said. "MapInfo
enabled us to visualize the demographics of our market and to see how
closely our overall readership was aligned to the market as a whole."
As the research initiative grew, ETPC strengthened its connections to
MapInfo by adding TargetPro and the PSYTE segmentation system, along
with business and consumer-expenditure data, to its arsenal of
Then, Durey united MapInfo with newspaper-industry research on the
demographics of those most likely to subscribe. "Newspapers are no
longer a mass medium," Durey said. "Increasingly, we find readers share
common demographics. MapInfo helped us to search the whole North of
Boston market and focus appeals on prospects who share those
TargetPro and PSYTE provided ETPC with key analytical tools necessary
to profile existing subscribers, to target "new movers" and other
prospects in neighborhoods most likely to be home to newspaper readers,
and, ultimately, to maximize marketing returns. "We were able to use
MapInfo tools to show how customers who we thought were similar were
actually very different," Durey said.
"Essentially, MapInfo helped us to succeed by enabling us to develop a
much sharper perspective," Griffin added. "We're still doing what our
newspapers have done for 100 years or and more - finding out as much as
we can about our customers and how to strengthen our connections to
"But, now, MapInfo gives us the power to visualize our customers and
prospects in entirely new and deeper ways," he concluded. "When we know
where and how they live, we not only do a better job of appealing to
them, but also of creating local news products that keep them coming
back for more, every day."
With a deeper understanding of the demographics of newspaper readers
throughout the North of Boston market, ETPC has partnered with area
retail businesses and nonprofit organizations to offer more enticing
advertising and circulation appeals. Recent initiatives include:
â¢ A marketing partnership with the trustees of reservations (TTOR),
conservator of the area's most pristine beaches and wildlife
sanctuaries, targeting likely newspaper readers with a strong
preference for outdoor activity. The initiative added top-quality
subscribers to ETPC's North of Boston readership and hundreds of
families to TTOR's membership rolls. "MapInfo's targeting software made
this campaign possible," Durey said. "By allowing us to screen the
entire market and select only prospects with specific demographic
attributes, MapInfo helped to cut postage and printing costs while
increasing the prospects for a strong return."
â¢ A circulation campaign targeting newspaper reading families most
likely to shop at nearby Simons malls. ETPC's North of Boston
marketplace is home to two Simon malls - including the largest mall in
New England. A combined direct-mail and telemarketing campaign offered
valuable and mall-specific premiums to mall shoppers who became new
subscribers. "Once again, MapInfo enabled us to craft and send an
appeal to families likeliest to be mall shoppers," Durey explained.
"Now that 'Do Not Call' rules have greatly restricted our ability to
telemarket prospects, the power of a focused appeal and a valuable
offer is even more critical. MapInfo provided that power."
â¢ An advertising-growth initiative focused on the region's growing
creative economy. When Salem (Mass.) State College's Enterprise Center,
a small-business incubator, sought ETPC's help in assessing the
region's creative economy, the result was a comprehensive presentation
to regional business leaders and government officials that positioned
the company as the leading source for information on North of Boston
economic and demographic trends. "Using MapInfo's products, we showed
key decision makers where the area's creative-economy businesses are,
how they're linked together in a web of new and undiscovered
opportunity, and how ETPC's products and services could be used to open
new doors," Durey explained.
MapInfo has enabled Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company to focus its
marketing initiatives on prospects most likely to subscribe and
advertise - as ETPC Publisher Richard M. Franks says, "to fish
where the fish are."
Published Friday, April 13th, 2007