Patrick Jutras, vice president of sales, shares how AAM’s digital audit gives La Presse a competitive advantage, how La Presse+ uses the audit to communicate with current advertising clients and attract new clients, and why it’s important to be a premium publisher in a world of fake news.
AAM: Give us an update on La Presse+. Any new developments you’d like to share?
Patrick Jutras: La Presse+ is constantly evolving in how it delivers the news, and by offering its advertisers new creative possibilities to better reach their targets. For example, we recently partnered with Urbania magazine to publish special issues in our “Branded Special Issue” zone. The magazine targets young, urban readers, so it’s an excellent vehicle for advertisers looking to reach millennials. Every issue is built around a different theme and advertisers have gladly adapted their ads to it, making them even more effective in reaching their target.
AAM: You recently renewed your ad impression certification by AAM and added a reader engagement measurement. Why is the certification important to La Presse+? Why did you choose AAM for your audit?
Patrick Jutras: Upon its launch in 2014, the ad impression certification proved to be a great tool for our advertisers to validate that the ad performance reports we supply them are telling the real story. AAM certification is their guarantee of the precision and accuracy of our data.
The new engagement certification is important because it means we can go even further, providing a metric that has no equivalent in the industry: namely, the exact length of time that an individual reader spends with a given ad. This data is immensely valuable for measuring the true effectiveness of our clients’ advertising initiatives. It’s something that we were asked about a lot. Both measurements also allow us to demonstrate the value of our offering.
We chose to work with the AAM for obvious reasons. Besides being recognized as a benchmark by advertisers and agencies across North America, AAM stands out for the seriousness of its approach and its ability to deliver fluid, efficient collaborative processes. We already knew this, having worked with AAM on the impressions certification, so it was a given that we would call on the AAM team again.
AAM: How do you use the audit to market La Presse+ and sell advertising?
Patrick Jutras: We highlight the certification results obtained and explain to existing and prospective advertisers how they can benefit from them in analyzing campaign performance. In addition to providing results to our direct clients, we’ve mounted an elaborate roadshow of presentations to creative and placement agencies, spreading the word about this new statistical measurement. This allows us to showcase the potential of La Presse+ and position ourselves strategically to broaden our ad revenue base.
AAM: What is the reaction from your advertisers? How do you train your sales staff to talk about the certification with clients?
Patrick Jutras: Our clients are really enthusiastic about the new tool because they grasp its potential. It’s reassuring to them to know they now have an even clearer and more accurate picture of reader behaviours toward their ads. Engagement time is a hugely valuable indicator for them; they can use it to tweak things and make their campaigns more effective.
As for preparing our sales staff, we’ve rolled out a training program to ensure that every employee properly understands the new certification and can effectively explain its benefits to our clients.
AAM: You’re a leader in this space by undergoing an audit that is not yet industry standard. What do you say to your colleagues in the field considering an audit? Why is it a good investment?
Patrick Jutras: Right from the start, having these certifications gave us the means to evaluate, and correct as needed, the systems we had developed to deliver and measure ads published in La Presse+. These certifications are a major stamp of credibility on the data we provide to our clients. They have the assurance that their campaign evaluations are based on numbers that accurately reflect reality. In the realm of advertising such credibility is priceless.
Getting involved with a new, non-standard measurement was a given for us because La Presse+ is itself a one-of-a-kind product. The audit gives us a significant competitive advantage in our market. In that sense, it’s a very good investment. Securing certification via an audit by a recognized organization like the AAM is an approach that we would recommend to any organization working in an industry like ours.
AAM: How do you market yourselves as a premium publisher and a safe place for marketers to be seen?
Patrick Jutras: La Presse+ has a solid rationale justifying its status as a premium publication, starting with the fact that we can guarantee our advertisers privileged access to the most coveted segment of population. With a highly respected brand image, La Presse+ reaches around 270,000 readers daily. Fifty-nine percent of them are in the 25 to 54 age group, and 48 percent have household incomes above $100,000. In other words, they index far above the reference population, in which 50 percent are 25 to 54 and 25 percent have household income over $100,000. Not only do these users read La Presse+ every day, but they spend at least 40 minutes with the app every weekday, and that increases to more than 50 minutes on the weekend.
Surveys of our readers also show their very high appreciation of advertisements published in La Presse+: to an ad-evaluation question, 52 percent answered “liked or highly appreciated” or “somewhat appreciated.” These impressive numbers prove the drawing power of ads in La Presse+, and their interactive, entertaining format clearly has a lot to do with that. Not only do people spend a lot of time with La Presse+, but that kind of engagement also carries over to the ads.
We also impress upon advertisers the undeniable qualities of the La Presse+ model in terms of the security of their brand. Because La Presse+ offers a proprietary ecosystem, advertisers enjoy guaranteed positioning for their buys. They will never see their ad next to content that is unwelcome or contrary to the values embraced by their brand. That asset is very much appreciated at a time when fake news and other questionable content are becoming increasingly pervasive.
AAM: What’s next for La Presse+?
Patrick Jutras: We’re working steadily to improve La Presse+ and make it an even more attractive medium for our readers as well as our advertisers. Our teams are constantly innovating and finding new ways of improving the product. Society and technology are evolving at a rapid pace. We believe it’s essential to continue to adapt, and to demonstrate leadership in our field.