Wave 2 Blog

Diversifying revenue: Johnston Press shows the way

Johnston Press is one of many publishers we work closely with. Earlier this year we implemented an all-digital ad production workflow for them, unifying and automating the publisher’s digital and print ad production, trafficking and management (in close partnership with Express KCS).

We know at first hand JP’s dedication to navigating current industry disruption and harnessing technology to emerge stronger and more dynamic. We also recognise the publisher’s commitment to diversifying revenue streams, something we’ve written about in other blog posts – indeed JP’s Digital Kitbag product is a standout offering for local advertisers that we’ve covered a number of times.

With all this in mind, we were intrigued to hear about a new website JP launched last week. Entitled jplocalbusiness.co.uk, it provides a guide to local marketing and advertising services within JP’s own regional titles for local SMEs, along with free marketing advice on key related topics. It embraces all the publisher’s print, online and mobile news brands.

The offering also includes related assistance such as an online chat functionality where users can talk directly to Johnston Press’ sales team, a fortnightly newsletter with hints and tips as well as exclusive content from marketing experts.

In short, it’s a one stop shop to help local businesses market themselves better – be it raising awareness, engaging with customers and, importantly, generating new sales.

As James Adams, director of marketing communications for Johnston Press, said last week in a statement, “jplocalbusiness.co.uk provides local businesses with a full overview of the marketing services available to them within our local titles, along with the skills and knowledge needed to promote themselves effectively.”

Our view? Well, clearly we’re biased, but we’ve always drummed on about the need for regional publishers to diversify themselves and offer marketing services to local businesses. We know at first hand there is a huge demand across every region of the country, both in the UK and US.

It also confirms another trend we’re seeing in newspaper publishing. That of publishers starting to recognise that they are not just narrators of news who happen to sell advertising space, but rather that they are marketing specialists in their own right. It’s true of Nationals as well as regionals.

As if to illustrate the point, the Financial Times also disclosed last week that it has big plans for expanding its own content studio into a full-service ad agency for brands. Jon Slade, the FT’s chief commercial officer, said, “The end goal is to have advertisers regard FT.com as a marketing platform, not a place to buy space.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Both Johnston Press and the FT have recognised that they not only own strong marketing platforms, but that their own expertise and audience knowledge makes them more than capable marketing partners.

It’s a trend we expect to increase markedly as publishers diversify their revenue streams.

Finally, if you’d like to find out more about how Wave2’s automated publishing solutions have helped Johnston Press and how they could do the same for you, please contact Tom Hodges on thodges@wav2.com or call +44 (0)1296 642 880. He’d be pleased to tell you more.