Location intelligence uncovers new growth opportunities for MediaNews Group

The ability to leverage core strengths and diversify into new product lines is vital to the publishing industry, notes Shawna Federoff, research director for Inland Custom Publishing Group, a division of the Inland Newspaper Group. When Inland decided to expand its offerings through niche publications, it needed to tap into a new audience and identify new business targets for advertising and find efficient distribution strategies. The company turned to Pitney Bowes for location intelligence solutions.

Pitney Bowes’ MapInfo product shows Inland exactly where the publisher’s target readership lives. By providing insight into the demographic and psychographic characteristics of the company’s magazine and newspaper readers, location intelligence helps the editorial team plan content, identify advertisers, determine distribution routes and strategize for future diversification.

Inland initially used MapInfo to help locate pockets of high-income households that it wanted to target with the launch of Inland Living, its first glossy lifestyle magazine. For a regional magazine like Inland Living, local content is paramount to capturing readers’ attention and establishing long-term relationships. With the help of Pitney Bowes MapInfo’s mapping capabilities, the editorial team can determine the neighborhood boundaries where target readers live and use this insight to develop stories that will resonate with the desired audience.

Since then, Inland has launched three additional magazines and has come to rely on MapInfo for strategic as well as execution support. “We use it for so many different things,” says Federoff. “[MapInfo] helps us understand where we are and where the opportunities lie. We use it for direct mail, telemarketing, door crews for circulation. With a company like ours, it’s all about the local market and understanding the geography. When we decide to do something new – a new product or strategy – MapInfo is the first thing that hits the table. It gives us an understanding on how to chart the course.”

Another way Inland has used MapInfo is to provide more efficient distribution of its magazines and nine local newspapers, including its flagship, Los Angeles Daily News. “Dropping 50,000 magazines out of order on a carrier would not go over well,” Federoff says. “Using MapInfo allowed us to put the route into an efficient, sequential order for our carriers.”

Federoff says the value of MapInfo in her company has been demonstrated across many areas, due in large part to the solution’s flexibility and her team’s eagerness to test new ways to use the tool to solve problems. But the bottom line is that MapInfo has improved her company’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness. “We have a product people want every single day and we use location intelligence to find those people,” she says. “[MapInfo] helps us avoid making costly mistakes.”

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