Marketing ideas to help your business grow.


Sid Hartman and Charlie Hoag featured in the March issue of Editor & Publisher magazine

last updated March 26, 2014

When Digital Sales Director, Gigi Carlson, spotted Star Tribune legends Sid Hartman and Charlie Hoag conversing in the advertising department she couldn't resist the opportunity to take this photo. After all, there are about 120 years of Star Tribune experience between the two men. 

Charlie shared the image with some of his newspaper colleagues around the country and was urged to forward the photo to Editor & Publisher. He sent it along and was quickly contacted by the magazine. The story can be found in this month's issue of the magazine. Sid and Charlie reminisce on their years at the Star Tribune and look forward to more in the article Still Going Strong.


Effective Branding

last updated February 28, 2014

I was digging through an old file and came across a Top 100 advertiser list from 1978. Thirty six years ago. These were our Top 100 advertisers in descending order by revenue they spent with the Star Tribune. I thought it would be fun to see how many of those top 100 were still advertising with us. How many do you think? I was shocked. We only have 16 of those top 100 still with us. That’s right, 84 good customers are long gone. It’s a cautionary tale for those businesses that think they are here to stay. It points out to me what competition (the better mousetrap), mergers and acquisitions can do to the business landscape in a short period of time. It also puts an exclamation point on Ted Turner’s old motto: “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.”

You may think you have the hottest brand going in whatever business category you are in, but stop exposing that brand to your target market and you see how long you last. Our industry is a classic example of thinking our brand was forever. It probably was, until the internet dropped onto the scene and we had to wake up and reinvent our brand. Fortunately, Star Tribune woke up faster than most other major market newspapers and has been steadily improving our print products and distribution channels and has become what I would say is the best digital option for any advertiser in the Twin Cities and five state area. If you want to optimize your digital campaigns, we have the expertise to handle just about anything you are trying to do with search, social connections, better site presence, reputation management, email and text messaging, mobile access, you name it.  So remember Ted’s motto and don’t let your brand lose any of its sparkle and effectiveness.  We’re here to help you keep your brand polished and fresh.

Pearls of Wisdom: A Chinese proverb…”He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.”


Prescribing Solutions

last updated February 3, 2014

Over the years I've encouraged our sales people to think of our customers as patients and themselves as doctors. I tell them, you have to find where your customer's pain is before you can prescribe a solution to cure it. In other words, listen and apply a discovery process to find out what each customer is trying to accomplish with his or her sales promotion budget. Our most effective advertisers have learned the value of sitting down with us, because they know Star Tribune is continually updating and enhancing our print and digital advertising solutions. And, despite their busy schedules, these savvy business owners, marketing managers and media buyers understand that a discussion with a Star Tribune rep results in targeted ways to achieve their sales goals. 

We've all experienced account execs with pre-canned sales decks squawking through 25 of their favorite slides without engaging the customer in a meaningful discussion. I've heard them referred to as crocodile sales people - small ears and a big mouth. Thankfully, we're crocodile-free at the Star Tribune. We know the best sales meetings are discussions, and our successful advertisers feel the same way. We hope you will, too. So, the next time a Star Tribune sales manager or account executive asks for a few minutes to discuss your business, take them up on it. I can assure you it will be worth your time. 

Pearls of Wisdom: Zig Ziglar, one of the great sales gurus, said: "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."


Audience, Audience, Audience

last updated October 31, 2013

In a recent Adweek article, the author shared that not too long ago when an ad agency client needed a new ad campaign, everyone knew what that meant. A strategic brief was developed and it was turned over to the creatives to breathe life into it. It usually took the path of a television commercial, full-page print ad that may have included coupons, a radio ad or a billboard.

Today it's a whole different ballgame. The media world is far more complex with options including print full-run and zoned; pre-print distribution by geography and demography with blanket coverage or distribution down to zip code level; spadea fold; special positioning; block busters; sticky notes; native advertising; broadcast; cable; streaming video; online; table; smartphones and now smart watches; rich media; social media; apps; in-app advertising, etc., etc., etc.! There's enough media options to make one's head explode. 

Consider this. We all know the real estate cliché when it comes to purchasing a home - location, location, location. I like to use a similar cliché when talking media - audience, audience, audience. Whether it's a print or digital sales solution you're seeking, Star Tribune can provide an audience to fill the bill. All we need is a bit of your time to discuss what audience you're trying to reach and what expectations you're looking for. From there we can craft a program that is affordable and delivers the results you are looking for. Let Star Tribune turn  your media decision nightmare into a dream. Give us a call. We're as close as your smartphone. Or smart watch.

Pearls of Wisdom: Tallulah Bankhead said..."If I had my life to live again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner."


We'll create your custom media plan to reach the audiences that drive revenue. Contact a sales consultant today