For Metroland Media, customer engagement is essential for many aspects of their business since there are such large selections of print publications and other media sources available to the public. Although all media channels are equally important to Metroland Media, their community newspapers and print publications are their number one source of revenue. Today we see the Internet evolving into a larger number of social media channels and television alternatives; this puts customer engagement at the top of their priority list. With the amount of choices available, competition amongst companies and brand loyalty becomes a problem.
Metroland Media is an industry leader in reaching local audiences. Customer engagement is something they already pay close attention to and are consistently improving on. By offering a series of products that have access to a large audience, they make sure they are constantly working on their customer engagement tools, tactics, and techniques. Technology is developing at such an erratic pace, that customer retention is a definite asset. Metroland Media and customer engagement is a unique topic; majority of their business is through long-term clientele, with whom they advertise throughout their own networks and products as well as through strong word of mouth through their community newspapers. Newspapers are not usually something you purchase for a day and then return or cancel, unless you saw little to no value after purchasing and even then, you may be on a yearly subscription. This means that they already have an upper hand in the marketplace; they have a full year to provide value, create an ongoing sales relationship by offering multiple products through their products and engage their customers through content. Metroland understands the long-term value of customers and not focusing on immediate sales. The audience they reach and withhold is what gets them their advertisers and being the only source of community news is what brought them the audience they have today. Keeping the original long-term customers engaged, is what generates more revenue through advertisers and organizations that purchase through them.
Even though customer behaviour is changing rapidly due to the Internet, Metroland Media has the upper hand in the print marketplace and a distinctive take on customer engagement. There may be thousands of different media options available, but they have almost complete control on community newspapers in Ontario. There is typically only one community newspaper in the city, fortunately for Metroland, they own and operate most of them. What also makes them unique is they provide their own advertising and media networks, products and solutions for themselves and outside organizations, which means they have leverage on keeping customers engaged through multiple channels. Their business is modeled around providing a network and audience for organizations to access, market in and advertise to. This means customer engagement and long-term customer relationships are the basis of their business. Now, this is where the Internet and social media play an underlying factor of how well Metroland continues to progress.
Social media and the Internet have made it easier than ever for consumers to broadcast their message unregulated, on multiple different platforms. This creates a massive amount of competition for organizations from their own consumers. The Internet has made information easily available; consumers can avoid traditional advertising and now have a stronger voice in the marketplace. With more options and information available for consumers, this leads to weaker brand loyalty. For Metroland, social media has made advertising easier, less expensive and more accessible for consumers. With the number of options consumers have, Metroland has and will see a significant decrease in revenue, especially print revenue. Even though they have multiple print publications, digital properties, the audience and the reach, social media is inexpensive and can also reach a mass volume of consumers that is easier to track, monitor and engage with, all from the click of a button. This is where customer engagement becomes even more relevant and important for Metroland Media.
For an organization as large and advanced as Metroland Media, they are behind the times in terms of social media and the benefits it has to offer. Social media allows consumers to speak directly with organizations, create engagement through different promotions, offers, seminars, online training sessions and it allows the organization to find out more about their customers in real time with instant feedback. The real reason why Metroland Media is unique is because of the way they have branded themselves. Each individual community newspaper is owned and operated by Metroland Media, but the consumers will refer to the company by the title of the newspaper. This is because the individual companies have built strong reputations and successfully branded themselves within the community. I work out of the New Hamburg Independent location, we use social media to post news stories, keep customers updated on upcoming events and informed and engaged through strong written content. One thing we do not do, is create offers or track specific customer data and behaviour to improve our customer’s experience and engagement. However, for Metroland themselves, they are constantly tracking data, behavior, trends, learning from it and improving their customer engagement and experience through the mass amount of data they collect from their many websites and online stores. Without this data, they would not be able to retain that mass quantity of customers, keep their customers engaged and provide a high level of products and audience reach.
Lessons for Others
Metroland Media provides top quality multimedia advertising platforms with the power to provide a business access to a large engaged audience. We’re constantly adapting to changing local marketing trends to ensure we develop the most effective marketing strategies for our clients. This means they are always aware of how their customer is reacting to their products and what behaviours might manifest in the near future. They are 100% data driven and understand their customers by constantly monitoring their trends and behaviours before and after purchasing. They have tremendous amounts of data that they put towards customer engagement, improving customers overall experience, customer retention and then release back into their products. In terms of social media, they have yet to implement any type of social media that is used as a tool and not a platform. Understanding their customers, local markets and keeping them engaged through content and products is something they clearly do quite well, but why haven’t they implemented a social media engagement strategy yet? Will their valuable long-term customers stay engaged without a social media engagement strategy? Simple social media engagement can include; product offerings, real-time event options and answering customer complaints. This would be an excellent start for Metroland Media and their customer engagement strategies, but the opportunities, capabilities, and power these strategies contain are endless. They have the data, network, long-term customers, products, and content, but they are missing real-time social media customer engagement. This is one channel and large opportunity they are missing and could benefit greatly from. The Internet and social media are making these strategies more apparent and relevant than ever, so only time will tell where Metroland chooses to take it.
Metroland Media Group
Name of Organization Contact: Ian Oliver, President
Authored by: Braden Pomeroy
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
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