TargetCom Hits the Bull's Eye With Chicago Tribune

Share this content:
The Chicago Tribune named direct response agency TargetCom, Chicago, agency of record this week as it moves to expand its readership.

"We have made several improvements during the past couple of years that may not be as obvious to infrequent readers," said Brent Katzmann, director of marketing communications at the Tribune. "Direct marketing can help us communicate the value these sections, columnists and improvements bring to new audiences."

He said TargetCom understood the need to communicate the newspaper's value as an information product beyond price and premium. He said the newspaper experience is different today and prospective customers need to be reminded about how much they'll get from a Tribune story. "I think it's something we've been inconsistent in communicating in the past ... we have to identify more of the areas of content that might motivate people to become subscribers. It's a challenge because you have to go about articulating the value of spending your time on a particular media."

At TargetCom, Lou Bart, director of ideation, agreed with Katzmann that much work was ahead noting that newspaper readers today are busier and more sophisticated about news.

"Chicago is a very unique but changing newspaper market that now requires more integrated marketing with an increased focus on targeted campaigns by region." According to Bart, readers today are looking for something in their daily newspaper that represents their lives and speaks to them as individuals.

"In the past, things were very broad, very mass," he said, adding that some neighborhoods will get a higher frequency of mailings than others.

TargetCom said it will create more segmentation within the overall direct mail program, which makes up about 70 percent of the paper's direct marketing efforts. There will also be sales promotions and events. Primarily, though, the agency will employ its "one-to-some approach" using different campaigns with different targets that communicate a particular kind of relevance to prospects based on feedback from existing customers and what they enjoy about the Tribune.

In research groups, Bart said, participants were most focused on relevance. He says that TargetCom will be focusing on communicating the "relevances" to the reader's life overall.

"You really have to think about how the newspaper fits into consumers' lives," he said. "That's the challenge. This isn't just about increasing newspaper subscriptions by thinking in terms of technical direct marketing words like acquisitions and attrition. We need to think of customers as people with certain [perceptions]. If you want to change people's behaviors, you have to change their attitudes. You do that by focusing on the relevance the product offers to their lives."

TargetCom is a full-service direct response agency known for developing Relevance Marketing, its own dialogue building concept formulated to help companies increase communications to customers and prospects. TargetCom's clients include Bally's, Sears and Spiegel. The agency also operates bang!zoom, San Francisco, and etelligence, St. Louis.

The Chicago Tribune has been publishing for 150 years.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above