AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerSelling Audience and Emotions

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Selling Audience and Emotions

The New York Times reported record subscription rates for the first quarter with more than 4.5 million subscribers.  Of that number, 3.5 million are digital subscriptions.  Peace emoji isolated on white background

However, what caught my eye was how NYT is selling contextual targeting. According to AdWeek, NYT “predicts how its stories make a reader feel, using machine learning and insight garnered from asking readers.”

As more and more advertisers are asking for “brand-safe” environments, this really fits the need. If you are marketing a fundraising campaign, you may want to be around stories that make you feel “hopeful or inspired.”

The 18 emotions include: optimistic, inspired, self-confident, interested, fear, happiness, nostalgic, informed, adventurous, in the mood to spend and many more. NYT actually tracks 30 emotional scores, but offers only 18 to marketers.

According to AdWeek, when USA Today launched its program, they assumed readers would skew more toward uplifting or positive news. They found readers don’t discriminate that way. They read everything, but their state of mind changes from reading different stories.

The Times puts out 2,000 stories a day. So finding the right story is not hard. What is hard is finding the right environmental context in a local newscast with only a few stories in the news hole.

Thinking about contextual environment is important. Do you really want a positive billboard where there is always a traffic jam and people are upset? It depends on the emotion you need for your message.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.