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Does Your Marketing Tick People Off?


Yesterday I questioned the relevance of newspapers and the post office. I heard from a couple of newspaper folks that I didn’t tell the whole story and was contributing to the perception problem. Fair enough.

Oddly enough it’s our local newspaper that has a perception problem. And it concerns their marketing tactic of delivering “papers” to every house even if they are not subscribers. Stands to reason that everyone in greater Minneapolis would love to receive print ads delivered to their driveway or doorstep, right? Turns out, not so much.

Star Tribune spokesperson Steve Yeager said the newspaper is testing a system of having its regular carriers hand-deliver the “Twin Cities Values” sections that had been sent to homeowners in their mail. Yeager said the high cost of mailing and the possibility of an end to Saturday mail deliveries by the United States Postal Service prompted the test. Sounds as if the newspaper/post office collaboration didn’t work out so well.

Unfortunately the delivery of these “Values” ads creates clutter and is relegated immediately to the trash or recycling. Who wants more ads anyway?

But here’s the darker issue, as I see it. The purple bags used to deliver the ads is a clear signal to burglars and other bad folks that Joe Homeowner is not home. A purple bag in the driveway delivered Friday morning before Memorial Day weekend sits pathetically until the owner returns home Monday evening. At least if it is delivered via mail an out-of-town homeowner can opt to have their mail held until returning home.

Non of this is earth shattering stuff but it is indicative of how uncreative and out of touch newspapers are – at least in this neck of the woods.

So I’ll ask again…are newspapers a relevant form of marketing to consumers. I’d venture the answer is no.

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