Smaller Newspaper Gets More Bank Ads
At first I was shocked by the number of bank ads appearing in the local weekly business journal.
I was shocked because for the past year, I’ve been lucky to find one or two bank and credit union ads during an entire week in Sacramento’s only daily.
But the more I thought about it, it started making sense to me.
For background, the Sacramento Business Journal has a weekly paid circulation of approximately 16,500. This is roughly 7.7% of The Sacramento Bee’s paid daily circulation of approximately 210,925.
On the surface, you’d think that area banks and credit unions would prefer advertising in The Bee because of its much larger circulation.
But, you’d be wrong – as was I.
While reading the September 30, 2011 issue of the Sacramento Business Journal, I encountered a total of seven ads as follows:
Safe Credit Union (local credit union)
First Northern Bank (community bank)
River City Bank (community bank)
Chase (a full-page ad)
Umpqua Bank (West Coast regional bank)
US Bank (large nationwide bank)
Wells Fargo (a full-page ad)
This is six more financial institutions advertising in one weekly issue than appeared in all seven issues of The Sacramento Bee during roughly the same time period.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the Golden1 Credit Union, California’s second largest credit union with its headquarters in Sacramento, The Bee would be pretty much void of any bank or credit union ads these days.
So why are all these banks forsaking the much larger newspaper while spending money advertising in the local business journal?
One answer might be that it costs significantly less to advertise in the business journal than the much larger daily.
But I think there’s something more relevant going on here.
First, it’s safe to assume that the 16,500 subscribers to the business journal are more affluent and influential, as a whole, than the average subscriber to the larger daily paper. In fact, most likely a majority of the business journal subscribers are area business owners, senior-level executives, politicians (remember, Sacramento is California’s capitol), and local movers and shakers.
Second, while these folks read the business journal for area business news, they are also users of personal banking accounts and services. They are probably influencers as well.
Third, an influential weekly like the Sacramento Business Journal gets passed around to many other readers who don’t want to pay the annual $110 subscription rate. In fact, this is how I get my weekly issue – it’s passed along to me by a long-time subscriber.
So, in reality, the number of faithful readers of this business weekly is some multiple of the official circulation number.
Bottom line – it’s likely these banks and credit unions choosing the local business journal over the larger daily are getting “more bang for their marketing buck.”
As for a cost comparison for a full-page ad between the two papers, searching both websites I was able to determine that a one-time, full-page ad costs $7,280 in the business journal compared to $15,246 in the daily with color costing an additional $2,000. Of course, in reality there are discounts for committing to several ads per year and “specials” made available periodically. Suffice it to say, on average it costs a bank or credit union less to place ads in the business journal.
As for subscriber pricing, a year’s subscription to The Sacramento Bee will cost you $156 compared to the $110 price for 56 issues of the Sacramento Business Journal.
Finally, here are two sample ads from the business journal – one from a local community bank and the other from a local credit union.