Connected communities – In the local loop

For 4.1m readers, local papers not only keep them up to date on their community, they also inform their purchase decisions. LANCE CLATWORTHY takes a look at readers’ interest in their neighbourhood, their engagement with community newspapers and their higher likelihood to be shopping.

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A need and an interest in community

Australia’s cities are effectively becoming cities of villages that service all our needs. Population growth and the recent boom times for building units both move Australia towards an increased focus on local living, local working, local shopping and local entertainment as we seek the sense of belonging that comes with community (McCrindle*1). Indeed, 80 per cent of Australians (age 14+) say they like to know what’s going on in their local community and that rises to 85 per cent for those who read community newspapers. But these readers are not only interested, they also try to shop locally (84%) and prefer to use local trades/services (77%).

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Informed and highly engaged by the local paper

So they’re interested in their community and they look to local papers as their main source for information (72%). They’re engaged with their local paper as further indicated by the fact they say they would miss it if it wasn’t available (69%) and that they look forward to reading it (66%).

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Shopping more than others

Community readers are out and about visiting shops more than the average Australian. With 83 per cent of readers shopping at a local strip, they’re +6 per cent more likely to do so. And they are 11 per cent more likely to have shopped at a home interiors store in the last month.

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Looking at the state level we see the following increased likelihood for  readers to be shopping when compared with Australians age 14+ :-

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Bigger spenders

Readers are not only shopping more, they’re also spending more than the average Australian on a range of categories. For example, community newspaper readers are 10 per cent more likely to be in the top 20 per cent spenders on fish/seafood, while +6 per cent more likely to be in that top quintile for the high spend category of white goods*4.

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An opportunity for national retailers on the local stage

“Think Local” research commissioned by NewsMediaWorks revealed that 73 per cent of the population like having national businesses and stores in their neighbourhood*3. That support is reflected in the retail chains that they shop at – 57 per cent of community readers shop at Bunnings at least every 3 months – that makes them 9 per cent more likely to have done so than the average Australian. The latter represents a targeting efficiency for the advertiser – an efficiency achieved despite the scale of 4.1m readers. Indeed, Myer (+15% more likely) and David Jones (+26% more likely) are two chains where advertisers would achieve even greater targeting efficiencies.

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Targeting efficiencies for Aldi, in particular

Now looking at grocery chains, we see that 43 per cent of readers shopped at Aldi in the last month. They are +13 per cent more likely to have done so, representing a strong efficiency for Aldi as an advertiser in community newspapers.

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Leveraging higher reader engagement

For the advertiser, there are additional strengths in the audience. Aldi shoppers are 14 per cent more likely to be highly engaged readers, accordingly this delivers the advertiser more engagement too. The highly engaged readers are those who are either heavy readers (at least 7 issues a week) or are deep readers (at least 30 minutes a day).

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Targeting, connecting, engaging, influencing

With the choice of over 150 community newspaper titles, advertisers can achieve a high level of geographic targeting in a media that is embraced by its readers. Community newspaper readers buy local products and services while relying on the paper for local information – that includes advertisements and information that influences their purchase decisions.

Sources:
*1 http://mccrindle.com.au/the-mccrindle-blog/the-top-5-trends-for-2017.
*2 emma™ 12 months to April 2017. Readership based on last four weeks. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+ ; Nielsen DRM April 2017, People 14+ only (For all data not marked as *1,*3 or *4).
*3 Think Local 2016: Community Newspaper Report. Research Now, January 2016.
*4 ABS Household expenditure survey.

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