Adams Publishing chooses LEAP

Technology provides automated customer interaction

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For Adams Publishing Group, cutting edge technology and automation will give even the smallest community newspaper marketing and subscriber retention capabilities that weren't possible before.

APG has selected LEAP Media Solutions for the job. LEAP, based in Raleigh, N.C., is a full-service provider of data-optimized omnichannel marketing solutions. Its clients include GateHouse Media, Tribune Publishing and Shaw Media Group among many others.

For APG, LEAP is a high-end solution for community papers with small circulation staffs. Founded in 2013 by Mark Adams with the support of his family, APG consists of 27 daily papers, more than 100 non-dailies and other media businesses in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

"Our circulation departments are focused on getting the paper out every day, and this type of marketing seems to go by the wayside. We just never get to it. That is why we decided to go with LEAP," said Esther Maina, vice president of circulation and marketing and audience development.

According to its news release, "LEAP specializes in the media industry, applying best practices in the use of data, analytics and multi-channel marketing to drive digital and print subscriber initiatives, enhance customer value and diversify revenue. At the heart of those solutions is the BlueVenn Omnichannel Marketing Hub, specifically tailored to deliver analytics and customer journeys that grow, engage and monetize audiences."

Maina said the technology is "head and shoulders" above anything else she's seen in a newspaper career dating back to 1981. "It's like a wizard machine," she said.

The technology combines general consumer data with each paper's customer database to create profiles that include demographics, buying habits and digital and print circulation preferences. Examples include what types of stories someone clicks on the website, whether a print subscriber usually stops the paper when on vacation, and whether a subscriber prefers to receive communications from the paper via email or direct mail.

"They are continually modifying their automatic behavior based on a customer's behavior. The other cool thing that they do is they interact with the customer who is visiting your website," Maina said.

The technology generates notices to customers whose subscriptions are about to expire, greatly reducing the need for after-hours telephone calls or reminders from carriers. "Our primary at-risk subscriber is that who is scheduled to renew. They are faced with a buying decision," Maina said.

Maina said 90 percent of APG website visitors are anonymous, but LEAP can identify them and turn them into "real people," and cater to their preferences. The technology automatically generates content they may be interested in.

For example, someone who has kids playing on high school teams might check a paper's website for news about games. The technology would automatically ask if the person is interested in receiving the paper's emailed prep sports newsletter, Maina said. Individual papers may have newsletters on topics from politics to gardening that can be offered depending on site visits.

For advertisers, APG will be able to generate reports on subscriber buying habits that sales reps can use in the field, she said. The technology also generates social media content automatically.

Other media companies using LEAP have seen "remarkable" retention of digital and print subscribers, Maina said. APG will begin installing the technology in June and should have it in all properties by the end of January.

"I'm very excited that we're doing this," she said.

For more information, reach Esther Maina at emaina@apg-wi.com or go to www.leapmediasolutions.com.

Jane Nicholes

Jane Nicholes is a regular contributor to the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association's eBulletin and is a freelance writer and editor based in coastal Alabama. She is an award-winning veteran of more than 30 years in the newspaper business. Reach her at jbnicholes@att.net.

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