Who knew? One of the first things we did after my arrival was to purchase some research about our audience. This research has been an aid in our efforts to provide relevant content and help us communicate to prospective clients who their advertisements are reaching. The supplier of this information is Scarborough Research. http://www.scarborough.com/
They conduct Mid-Tier studies in 40 markets as well as a National Syndicated Study conducted in the top 75 U.S. markets nationwide. They use a mailed 24-page booklet resulting in 1,022 interviews in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties over two months during Spring 2010 and 2011.
The first thing we learned is that in any given week, the Sentinel audience in print and online reaches two thirds of Santa Cruz County adults. That’s 135,000 local adults every week. That’s four times the weekly audience of the most listened to radio station, twice the weekly audience of the most watched cable network and 65% larger than the most watched television station audience.
To our surprise, the weekly Sentinel audience in print and online is larger in size than the number of county adults accessing Google. Can you believe that?
However, it’s not just size that matters. Here too, our audience characteristics are impressive. The Sentinel audience mirrors the county in gender and race. It’s slightly older and somewhat better educated with more college graduates. Sentinel readers are more likely to be employed and have an average income six percent above the county average. Sentinel readers are more likely to own their homes, which have a higher average value.
I think it’s also important to stress that almost 6 in 10 county adults under the age of 35 are members of the Sentinel’s weekly audience. It’s nonsense to suggest that young people don’t consume our content.
|Age||County Adults||Weekly Sentinel Audience|
All of this informs our construction of advertising packages and recommendations. We value frequency over size, both in print and digital because it takes advantage of the Sentinel’s strengths. That’s true of all media. Why frequency is effective: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_frequency
I have a quick story about advertising and ad frequency. Early in my career, I was on a sales call with my boss who told a prospective client he’d see more benefit buying flowers for his wife than buying just one small black and white advertisement. That’s truer today than it was then, given the demands on the consumer’s attention.
Next time, I’ll share audience characteristics based upon behavior. For example, 129,000 adults dined at a Mexican restaurant last month and the Sentinel’s audience included 91,000 of those folks.
You knew people in Santa Cruz read the Sentinel, but you might not have known that almost everyone reads the Sentinel. Thanks to the research, we can now say for sure. And if you are ever part of a conversation with someone saying that no one reads the paper, you’ll be informed enough to tell them that is a bunch of baloney.