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AHEM - Hem's Curated News Capsule - Issue 02


Cool Yule
IF we don't drop in to your inbox again before the festive season, have a good one! Happy Hanukkah, Christmas, Ramadan, Yule or atheist vacation, from HEM with love..


Hark! Heralding Holiday Habits
Want to know where consumers are buying their festive loot?

In the interest of spreading peace, love and yuletide bliss, here's 10 pre-silly season insights from Yesmail.
  1. Many consumers started shopping in September/October
  2. Consumers plan to spend the same or more money this year than last
  3. Shoppers use review sites less in the holiday season
  4. Almost everyone (97%) buys stuff online "several times a year"
  5. Fewer people than you think buy stuff using their smartphones
  6. In-store shoppers prefer weekends, while online shoppers buy on weekdays
  7. Online shoppers browse in the evening
  8. Discounts are important in email offers, followed by free shipping, rewards points and gift-with-purchase offers
  9. Social media influences online shopping habits more than in-store shopping habits
  10. Social media festive marketing campaigns create less engagement


Is print dead?
With pronouncements proliferating that print media is a 'broken business model,' HEM presents a few considered thoughts...

IS PRINT dead? If you listen to the global pundits, the answer is a definitive 'yes.' And the evidence appears to be firmly in their court. Some go so far as to predict that global digital media advertising spend will outstrip the newspaper/print media ad spend in 2013. If no one buys print media anymore, advertisers will desert that space, in favour of cross-platform approaches, right?

Last week HEM was 'offered' an annual subscription to a reputable print media outlet's product, wrapping up access to both online and print versions in the (astronomical) fee. Was there a focus on relationship in the offer? No. Was there value offered? No. An experience? No. Our answer to the 'offer'? A resounding no.

Therein lies one reason why print may well be dead. According to Gavin Heaton of Constellation Research, the power dynamic between consumers and brands has "seismically shifted." Did print media brands fail or simply elect not to notice? The earth clearly didn't move for them. But didn't they notice that the media consumer wants news on their terms, when and how it suits them? Clearly not. And here's the rub. Print media still expects consumers to buy a product that has been replaced by online content that is faster, timelier, easier and cheaper.

".. the power dynamic between consumers and brands has shifted and print media brands failed to notice"

It's argued by some that, as consumer demand for online content increases alongside mobile access, so too will the digital advertising spend. As we speak, print media companies are reportedly writing down the value of their assets as ad revenues drop. Newspapers are laying off staff. The evidence mounts. But where is the ad spend going now, if companies are deserting the print media space? Is it going to digital?

Pit the 'print is dead' argument against recent research demonstrating that an apparently huge percentage of marketers (up to 2/3rds in Australia) say they do not have a strategy for integrating mobile into their marketing mix. Research cited by B+T shows that of the small proportion (reportedly 14%) of marketers who said they have a mobile marketing strategy, most are only using QR codes and apps.

So if the print media spend is dropping, where is it going? Where are advertisers investing? Many are not. In the midst of a post global downturn, many have simply stripped away at their marketing budgets. Those that continue to invest are reportedly relying heavily on location-based marketing. Geotargeting (delivery of content dependent on location) is the new location-based marketing frontier. So is print media embracing geotargeting? Yes, but slowly and ineffectively. Stay with us here..

Another recent report found that marketers are wedded to "old marketing paradigms which don't respond to the current landscape." Why, you may well ask, if this is causing companies, including global media brands, to fail? Because the supposed "campaign-based thinking" that has dominated marketing for eons fails to value the Big Three. The Big Three, you ask?
  1. Relationships
  2. Value
  3. Experience
If you're not focused on these in your brand offering, forget it. Our recent experience of the print media subscription 'offer' demonstrates this in spades. Print media is indeed clinging to an old paradigm that no longer works. Forget sentimentality for journos and romanticism for declining mastheads. The journos will get work in the digital sphere if they are worth their salt and the mastheads will go where many of them should have gone long ago.

But, we hear you ask, is the digital future better? Are we seeing better quality media content? Probably not, but in the long run, quality will be bound up in the relationship/trust paradigm. Just as we learnt to trust those mastheads that we grew up reading (and then later learnt to mistrust), it will take time for consumers to trust digital media brands and then invest in them via digital subscriptions. Paywalls are the subject of another piece, but suffice to say that the provision of some (read: a lot of) free content will stand media in good stead as consumers make this transition.

The digital sphere is a wide-open road. If quality writers, editors and media owners want to get into that space, they'd better remember the Big Three, as well as the following:
  • Consumers are not all the same
  • Relationship is everything.
  • Engage with customers on their terms it's a demand-led world.

As we send this to your inbox, research fresh out of SE Asia today confirms the big slide facing print media, with the following facts:
  • Print newspaper readership in Singapore has crashed, with drops in circulation and display advertising
  • Digital newspaper edition uptake rose 11.3%
  • TV viewing dropped by 6-12% over 12 months
  • Magazines are facing the same fate as newspapers


Things that go 'POP'
This is where we spruik about who and what matters to us at HEM. It's the fun part.


YOU MIGHT HAVE noticed a new giftware store next to Bay Merchants in Middleton Beach (Rosemary + Thyme), but did you know that the Albany RATS Bar is due to open any day now? Brainchild of Trish and Ralph Flowers of Bay Merchants fame, RATS is a chi-chi mini oasis of delectable delights and divine local wine. Visit now for your fix of luscious tapas and tempting Great Southern oenological offerings. While you're there, trawl the three spanking new pop-up shops adjacent to RATS for last-minute Christmas gifts. Visit soon for your fix.

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+61 420 760 895
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In this issue
Hark! Heralding Holiday Habits
Is Print Dead?
Thing that go POP
Love this? Get in touch!
About HEM
HEM is a full service communications agency at the forefront of industry innovation and transformation.

HEM services clients with the following services:
  • marketing + communications
  • publicity + public relations
  • branding + creative
  • content + digital

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