As EPMG is the media placement firm that works directly with Walmart to support its Multicultural circular programming, Portada is providing this exclusive interview with Trevor Hansen, CEO of EPMG, to discuss Walmart’s multicultural circular program as well as the state of the multicultural newspaper industry. (Check out separate article today on Walmart’s EDLP Strategy and its impact on Advertising).
Hansen, photo, tells Portada. that EMPG helped launch the effort and has seen it through from infancy to very strong market engagement and overall industry-leading client commitment. The program components encompass very strategic store targeting and geospatial analytics and has won several media awards over the last couple of years”, Hansen notes.
When asked if Walmart is reducing its Hispanic insert program? Hansen answers that “the spend adjustment is not one that is directed just at Hispanic newspapers but at the circular and FSI programming as a whole. The Walmart circular program is still in full engagement but currently just at an adjusted strategy.”
“The spend adjustment is not one that is directed just at Hispanic newspapers but at the circular and FSI programming as a whole”
Why is this happening? “In respect to the advertising industry as a whole, budgets are shifting everywhere; all traditional vehicles are being adjusted to account for new media channels including social, streaming, content etc. For Hispanic and Multicultural newspapers it doesn’t help to have the direct association to print as a whole, as what Madison Avenue, Michigan Avenue, and every corporate retail HQ hears these days is about the circulation declines and revenue losses within general market print media. Those statistics are well sourced and undeniable and they are a cloud hanging over the rest of the industry.”
What does Hansen see? “In a quick acute fashion, but also backed by undeniable and sourced statistics, here are a few thoughts. General market newspapers used to deliver dominant 65%+ reach in every major DMA just a few years ago. And even today still deliver a substantial reach into a core reader demo, but yes the declines have been sharp.”
“For Multicultural newspapers it doesn’t help to have the direct association to print as a whole, as what Madison Avenue, Michigan Avenue, and every corporate retail HQ hears these days is about the circulation declines in general market print media.”
So what happened? Did we all stop reading? Did we all grab a mobile device, download Angry Birds and retract? “I don’t think so.”, Hansen answers.
What else happened over the last five to ten years? Has there been major technology advances in digital and mobile? “Yes. But, I would also offer that the top 10 DMAs saw demographic shifts that could be interpreted as seismic. California is now majority Latino, Multicultural easily represents over 80% of all growth in this country. I could go major DMA by major DMA and showcase all the data of demographic shifts including the essentially flat lining or negative growth of the Non-Hispanic white population.”
“The top 10 DMAs saw demographic shifts that could be interpreted as seismic.”
“So, if media engagement is about relevance and then reach, how can a general market newspaper be relevant and provide that same historical reach when there essentially is no general market in the top DMAs, and the fabric of the demographics has changed so rapidly?” Hansen asks. “While demographics were rapidly changing, affecting media engagement and general market newspaper circulation performance what else did we see? We now have over 600 Latino or Hispanic newspapers nationwide, over 400 Asian newspapers, 100+ LGBT newspapers, 200 Black newspapers and more niche media launches serving Middle Eastern populations, Polish, Eastern European, Native American, and more.” says Hansen. ” It’s simple really, whether viewed as cause and effect, or supply and demand, where one industry lost overall impact, relevance and reach, it was transferred and grew exponentially in another where the demand is. Atlanta’s Latino population grew at brisk rates over the last 5 years, so too did the circulation of Mundo Hispanico. The Hispanic population of San Diego, a complex border town had rapid growth as well – supply and demand, cause and effect, the circulation of El Latino has more than doubled over the last 8 years. EPMG’s custom readership study conducted by Nielsen showed poignantly that Hispanic newspapers across 5 major DMAs delivered over 50% reach into the Hispanic community, Spanish-dominant and Bilingual, with LA achieving over a 70% reach. Hispanic print media is relevant and in effect we have strong reach and engagement.”
What does Hispanic Print Media Need To Do?
So what’s next according to Hansen?: “The specialized print media industries need to stay diligent, disciplined and patient. In May, Time Inc. reported that the average US citizen now has an attention span less than a goldfish. Our industry is seduced by real-time reporting, programmatic buying, and dashboards of dashboards. I don’t say this as a bad thing, EPMG is very bullish on data, real-time reporting and data visualizations, but if we look at the print industry and did a SWAT analysis, real-time sales impact, first party database development and third party cookie synchs are not necessarily within print media’s strengths section; Newspapers are a media for a brand to engage in a thoughtful, intimate way; Newspapers are a trusted media, not a ratchet video warehouse or a link bait photo gallery engine. So the industry needs to be patient, while concurrently improving the offering.”
“The industry does need better-integrated assets to succeed in the long term and still needs better auditing, research and leadership”
The industry does need better-integrated assets to succeed in the long term and still needs better auditing, research and leadership. Hispanic and Multicultural newspapers overall have an amazing story to tell, and deserve a bigger seat at the table but to date the marketing and messaging from the industry I don’t believe has matched the value of the offering. This means opportunity to improve and grow. So if disciplined and with continued improvement, I believe that these relevance and real, intimate consumer touch points will come back both in client-side investment and in turn client-side ROI.”