Chuck Boteler promised in an October 27, 2000 MediaPost story that his Newspaper Connection had a new concept in online advertising buying to show the world. And he's getting ready to do so. "Just when you thought traditional media buying could not be easily combined with the concept of ad exchanges into a simplified format," says Boteler, "I'm introducing NewspaperTest.com which disputes that very notion."
Due for launch in February, NewspaperTest.com will test a network of nearly 1,000 newspapers available for test marketing purposes. Agencies not currently considering print to test market a new product, service or creative execution will have access to more than 25 million circulation nationally at discounted prices.
"Newspapers typically aren't considered for test market programs, as they are perceived to be difficult and expensive to buy on a trial basis," said Boteler. "We're taking the concepts of discount pricing, online convenience and absolute simplicity to the advertising world in one package. Any agency looking to test market any new ad campaign should be aware of this new service."
Among the newspapers in the NewspaperTest.com stable are the New York Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dallas Morning News, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.
The concept is simple. All newspapers participating in the network have agreed to accept a flat cost per thousand for new business placed at one of three specific sizes through NewspaperTest.com. However, newspapers may reject an ad that it perceives as existing business. Clients may use the pricing structure (30-70% less than general newspaper rates) for up to six months. NewspaperTest.com adds a network fee to the net media space to cover operating expenses, but insists that the savings realized more than make up for the small charge.
Users will operate a simple drop down menu of states and rates and check off papers they would like to run in. The user can check the quote in real time, print it out, return to it later, adjust the quote and send as an order when ready to begin the test marketing phase of the campaign.
"NewspaperTest.com, in essence, works as an agency's media buying partner," said Maggie Fernandez, senior account supervisor, Corinthian Media. "This service simplifies what can be a tedious process for an agency media buyer."
What's in it for the newspapers? "As with any negotiation process, everyone needs to come out ahead," said Boteler. "For the agencies and their clients, it's the unbelievable simplicity, strong reach of a sample population and great rates. For the papers, it's quick payment, flexibility of scheduling and new business."
Mike Moran, advertising manager of the Illinois Press Association, agrees.
"Illinois newspapers are attracted to the Test Market Buying Service because it is targeted to sell new accounts, not current newspaper advertisers."
The system brings together buyers and se