Small Business Marketing Makeover, Radio & Newspaper Decline

Newspaper Radio Decline
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For decades, Radio and Newspaper advertising worked reasonably well for local business. Much of this success was due to the pseudo-monopoly held by media companies. (They controlled printing press & FCC controlled airwaves)

Before the Internet became wide-spread and easy to use, business owners had no choice but to deal with fast-talking broadcast and newspaper sales reps. And we, as consumers of content, typically connected and were dependent on our favorite radio station, morning paper, roadside billboards and TV at night.

Today, these dominant media / consumer relationships are in rapid decline. In it’s place: an online firehose of news, commentary, podcasts, pics and video. Much of it is noise that often distracts and buries other potentially more vital forms of news and information.

With the dramatic rise of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other independent online news sources like, a growing number of media companies have either closed, merged, or have dramatically scaled back staffing and product offerings. News gathering, curation, editing and distribution have become commodities. ‘Good enough’ journalism is taking root. The Real Estate sitting under the building could soon be more valuable than the Newspaper itself.

The long-term health of the newspaper industry has been in doubt for years, and the sharp drop in circulation in 2015 suggests things aren’t about to improve. Weekday circulation declined by seven percent in 2015, and Sunday circulation fell by a four percent, according to data presented in the Pew Research Center’s “State of the News Media 2016” report. It is the greatest drop in circulation for both weekend and Sunday circulation since 2010. Advertising revenue experienced its greatest drop since 2009, falling nearly 8 percent from 2014 to 2015. Washington Examiner

The expensive-to-run Newspaper business is under the biggest threat of extinction. Radio is close behind.

In its latest “Share of Ear” study, Edison Research discovered that one-third of today’s millennials don’t even own an old-school radio. And across the board, 21 percent of the U.S. population now gets by without one. That’s up from 4 percent in 2008. For many, streaming music and podcast app-laden smartphones have become the new transistor radios. And internet-connected cars are their new jukeboxes.

The disruption of the news industry has been not so much like the shift from typewriters to computers but more like disappearance of the whaling industry (oil) as the products of that industry were no longer of importance to society and alternatives were found. TECH CENTRAL

Examples of Traditional Media Decline:

  • Philadelphia Inquirer & are now non-profit. Read here
  • The once mighty Tampa Tribune taken over by it’s rival. Read here
  • Study: Newspapers firing 1,000 a year. There are 126 fewer newspapers in 2014 than in 2004.  Read here
  • WMGM TV 40 in Atlantic City… It’s frequency was more valuable as wireless / data carrier. Read here
  • Millennials abandoning AM/FM for streaming, podcasts & audio downloads Read here

How does business get the word out about it’s product & services?

  • Re-think and re-allocate all marketing budgets. Just because you ran successful Radio & Print campaigns for 20 years doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cut back on those particular channels. Cut back and re-allocate 50% of that Radio / Print spend to digital marketing.
  • Consider and use Social Media strategies, but DO NOT rely solely on platforms like Facebook & Twitter. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
  • Depending on your product or service, consider variety of content marketing & SEO / SEM tactics.
  • Build your email database. This is more valuable than ‘likes’ and ‘shares’.

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