Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

We all know that data is very important to understanding your market and creating your business plan for the year. We use data to track our local demographics, spending habits and also cultural trends that permeate individual decisions. However, it’s important to understand the individual as well. Based on an article found on, many companies are creating archetypal characters based on big data that still have individual and irrational characteristics. By doing so, the author, Jonathon Salem Baskin, believes that companies can uncover more nuanced behaviors and individual mannerisms that allow companies to get a clearer picture of their customers. 

When February rolls around, there might be a certain amount of listlessness in the air now that the holiday season has concluded. Make sure you keep spirits high in your community by creating lively and exciting events for your town while offering great advertising opportunities to your clients. Just because the budget-busting holidays have passed doesn’t meant that there aren’t any more revenue generation opportunities for your department. When we think of February, Valentine’s Day comes to mind without fail. You may think this is the only go-to February holiday for advertising campaigns and event marketing, but you’d be wrong. While you would be amiss to ignore Valentine’s Day this year, we’re here to offer you a few other holidays you might not have considered to make sure you keep your revenue stream active and lucrative during this relatively quiet month.

More and more, consumers want to feel a deeper connection to their favorite brands. And more and more, straightforward one-dimensional ads are not cutting it. Of course, it’s crucial that both your newspaper and your clients get creative with the design and copy of both print and online ads, but if you’re not delving more deeply into multimedia marketing, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Specifically, it’s time to start considering a video marketing strategy if you and your advertisers aren’t already. Video is a proven way to more deeply resonate with consumers and it offers boundless opportunities to get innovative with your marketing — so don’t miss out! Make sure you are offering this advice to your clients that can use it, but you should also consider a video marketing strategy for the newspaper if one isn’t already in place.

After the ball drops at midnight on Jan. 1, we all look for new beginnings and make resolutions to become our best selves, in hopes that this year will be better than the previous one. While the holiday season virtually comes to an end after New Year’s Eve, that doesn’t mean there are less opportunities to boost revenue in your department and for your advertisers. In fact, the ringing in of the New Year could mean a whole year’s worth of new profits if you look in the right places. Keep the holiday spirit going by focusing on New Year’s resolutions this January. We’ve selected a few holidays that focus on both personal and business resolutions to get you started. These ideas will be sure to encourage you, your advertisers and your readers to get the year off right, all while increasing your revenue!

As the ground begins to dry from the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, people’s power is restored, prospective marathoners help clean up and commuters are beginning to be able to get back to work. While the relief effort continues, some businesses are being criticized for their marketing efforts during the storm. These stores offered discounts or free shipping, causing many affected by the storm to cry out in anger, accusing the stores of trying to turn a disaster into a business opportunity. I would agree that the tone of many of the ads is both inappropriate and insensitive, however, there are ways to use natural disasters as part of marketing approach to both help the relief and get the local economy going again. Because a storm can stop people in their tracks, local businesses and customers alike risk losing their livelihoods. 

Keep your advertising and event marketing creative and thoughtful all year-long with the help of our Business Building Calendar. The holidays offer many advertising opportunities, but be sure to check out what else is in store for December 2013 to ensure a high ROI before the New Year.

When November rolls around and the leaves have finished changing their colors, we are undoubtedly preparing for Thanksgiving. For ad departments, that marks the beginning of the holiday season and boundless revenue opportunities. This year, make sure you're reaching your full potential with the help of Above the Fold's Business Building Calendar. While you probably know Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's like the back of the hand, check out November 2013 for holidays you may not know!

Ghost, ghouls and goblins — oh my! Your department is surely no stranger to Halloween and all the themed advertising opportunities that come with it every October. Make sure you're keeping an eye out for other advertising possibilities this October with the help of our Business Building Calendar! The BBC will be sure to inspire your advertising plans for October 2013.

Once Labor Day passes, everyone, both young and old, shake off summer to settle back in to their routines. With the holidays not quite on the horizon, keep your advertising fresh and exciting with the help of Above the Fold's Business Building Calendar. Take a look at the holidays September 2013 has to offer your department to increase revenue potential this fall.

August is a time for transitions; from summer to fall and from vacation to the school year. Transition your advertising this August with the help of our Business Building Calendar. The BBC will give you some inspiration for to create themed advertising and events based on holidays, both mainstream and obscure. 

While you may be so familiar with planning advertising around July 4 that you know it like the back of your hand, why not think outside of the box this year? Get creative with your advertising with the help of our Business Building Calendar! The BBC offers all kinds of holidsays, both the popular, like the Fourth of July, as well as the more uncommon. Keep reading for ideas for July 2013.

Jump into summer with the help of our Business Building Calendar. Above the Fold's BBC offers a wide variation of holidays — both popular and obscure — to help guide your advertising all year-long. We'll help you start the summer out right with the June 2013 below.

Spring forward this May with the guidance of Above the Fold's Business Building Calendar. Our calendar offers holidays and month-long celebrations; some you will recognize, some you won't. No matter which you choose to celebrate this May, the BBC will be sure to help kick up your department boost revenue this spring.

With the help of our Business Building Calendar, you can make your advertisers, your community and your bottom line smile this April. Our calendar offers major holidays as well as atypical ones, both offering opportunities for your department to create revenue-generating events. 

Is your ad department feeling a little uninspired as of late? Have no fear, just turn to our Business Building Calendar! Our list of holidays, both traditional and non-traditional, offer opportunities for you to create events to meet the needs of your clients and community, but also boost revenue.

With the help of our Business Building Calendar, you can create unique and thoughtful events and advertising all year long. Our calendar offers you both traditional as well as unexpected holidays that can kick up your department's revenue when things get slow, while offering your community entertaining and educational opportunities. Read below to get your creative juices flowing for February 2013.

Create unique events with your advertisers that celebrate both popular and the obscure holidays this month using our Business Building Calendar! These “special days” can produce limitless revenue, that in the past may have been overlooked. Here's a look the holidays in January 2013. 

Before Christmas or New Year’s sales even register on the minds of consumers, they gear up for Black Friday in order to get the best deals on gifts for their loved ones in preparation for the holiday season. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when more than half of Americans wake up before dawn to stand in long lines to get jaw-dropping sales at their favorite stores. According to a 2010 study, customers spend an average of $350 per person on Black Friday. In fact, the consumer holiday has become so popular that it has expanded into an entire weekend, including Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday has become such a staple of the American consumer experience that it is essential for businesses to create separate advertising campaigns designed specifically for the day, and that includes car dealerships. Not only are cars a more common holiday gift than you may think, dealerships across the country offer some of the best deals on Black Friday. Therefore, it’s crucial that you equip your transportation advertisers with the best strategies possible for this holiday. We’ll help you get started below with a few Black Friday ideas to boost not only your clients’ revenue, but your paper’s too.

As I was driving to work today, I heard an interesting bit that, although over audio, could be implemented in you community with your newspaper to increase awareness. This advertisement, which was actually more of a conversation, used the partnership of a local housing non-profit with a seasonal attraction. Proceeds from the attraction (a haunted house that I would totally visit were it not for the subsequent and guaranteed nightmares) went to the housing non-profit, to both bolster their funds as well as raise awareness for their organization. This partnership — to promote both the attraction and the organization through the news media — is a great way kill three birds with one stone, so to speak.

Last week, we posted an article that introduced our readers to augmented reality. Since augmented reality is such a new concept, we decided to contact a newspaper that has started to use augmented reality as part of their advertising and news strategy. So we reached out to the Hoosier Times, more specifically, the Times Herald in Bloomington, Ind., to ask them about augmented reality and how they implemented it. We talked to Shaylan Owen who is their resident expert on augmented reality and the application they use to deliver it, Aurasma. The Herald Times began using Aurasma, Aug. 27, 2012, and have reached 1,500 Android and iPhone downloads since its launch. 

After Thanksgiving, it means one thing for advertisers and consumers alike: the holiday season! Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year are only a few of the holidays celebrated during this month. This means big advertising dollar signs in the eyes of your department and your advertisers. After all, this time of year means consumers will be doing even more shopping than usual, trying to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Therefore, it only makes sense that you and the rest of your department are right there, making sure your clients are meeting the needs of local consumers, while also increasing their revenue. While end-of-the-year sales and Christmas Eve discounts are a great way to guarantee those profits, why not break away from the traditional holiday advertising techniques? Or, you could at least create additional advertising solutions that not only offer great revenue opportunities for your department and your clients, but also an ample amount of opportunities for your community to celebrate the holiday season. Create community-wide events and newspaper special sections to really get the newspaper and the whole community in the holiday spirit!

Home inspections are an essential part of the real estate business. Both the buyer and the seller rely on a qualified and honest inspector to ensure that the deal goes off without a hitch. However, that isn’t always the case. Inspectors have been blamed, both justifiably and otherwise, for numerous sale derailments and unhappy purchases. Recently, Inman News’ Barry Stone — resident advice columnist, home inspector and founder of California’s Action Home Inspection Service — was asked the question, “Can I trust my home inspector?”

In terms of driving online traffic to your advertisers’ websites as well as your own newspaper’s website, social media presence and well-developed SEO play a huge role. Of course, traffic means more readers, more views per page and ideally, increased revenue. In the wake of new developments in technology, newsletters may seem like old news, but don’t let them get lost in the mix. Newsletters are still a proven way to drive traffic to websites, although they don’t garner the same results as search engines and SEO. However, according to a survey conducted by Ecommmerce Quarterly, newsletters do surpass search engines and social media when it comes to conversion rates by website traffic as well as “Add to Cart” rates. This means that there is a great likelihood that newsletters drive your readers not only to your site, but if you are selling products or services on that site, they are more likely to make those purchases as a result of subscribing to your newsletter. Newsletters are often seen as having low ROI, because of the time spent creating content and design, but the boost they offer to your advertisers’ website traffic is worth it. Plus if they follow some quick steps to monetize their newsletters, they might be more than what your advertisers originally thought — so let them know!

Although talks about social media and QR codes are still a buzz with new ways to harness their capabilities into increased revenue, there is a new technological innovation that can help you bring more information to the fingertips of clients and consumers in your area. Augmented reality, a way to make two-dimensional ads come to life on your smart device, is full of possibilities for your newspaper.The way augmented reality works is through the recognition of an image or code on a two-dimensional advertisement that then opens up a three dimensional or dynamic follow-up of your tablet or smartphone. This enables consumers to see 360-degree views of anything, as long as the user has the appropriate application installed on their smart device.