The new world of advertising

People need two kinds of information – commercial and noncommercial – and lots of it to make decisions in their everyday lives.

Decisions require information both big and small. About your taxes, your health insurance, your school system. About what movies are playing, where to buy clothes and what groceries are on sale.

As an editor in the newsroom, I spend most of my time with the noncommercial information, on the side of the news and other items (TV listings, stock prices, calendars of local events, etc.) that you use every day to make choices about how to live in Augusta in 2014.

But since the earliest newspapers in America, the counterpart to the newsroom has been the advertising department.

And just as the newspaper has evolved over the years, so has the way advertisers reach consumers.

Sure, we still have lots of display ads to keep the stories from bumping into each other in the daily paper – and the traditional classified ads filled with open jobs and cars and houses for sale.

But advertising is so much more than what you see in the printed paper.

“A comprehensive marketing approach is much more than printed products,” said Nate Edwards, our vice president of sales. “Digital has become part of our daily life, and when I say digital, it is not just related to banner ads that you see online, but designing Web sites, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media management and more.”

He has started a monthly insider newsletter aimed at advertisers to explain different products and solutions for area businesses.

“The newsletter is simply meant to be informative to the market – these are the products that are out there and available and that we will be able to help with,” Nate said. “Education is the main focus. Businesses have questions but don’t know where to turn to get answers.”

Nate’s first newsletter is about targeted display advertising and its evolution in the past two years. Targeted display are those ads that follow me around the Internet based on what sites I have visited and what searches I have performed, Nate explained to me.

To sign up for the newsletter, send him an e-mail at nate.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

Our advertising department is also scheduling educational seminars to help local businesses maximize their marketing dollars. The first one is Wednesday, on targeted digital display. If you are interested, go to augustachronicle.com/summit.

“We used to sell a one-size-fits-all newspaper program,” Nate said. “Now every single customer goes through a proper needs assessment to discover which of the many levers we can pull to answer their needs.”

Those advertising customers’ needs are to get the right commercial information in front of you.

Just as newspapers have done for hundreds of years.

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