Dear Mr. Horne and East Valley Tribune,
As a former newspaper reporter and current marketing writer and communications manager, I read with great interest your column “JC Penney pays price for moving away from print ads.”
While the company I work for does not purchase and run print ads in local papers, I do keep up with the trades regarding how many companies are choosing to spend their marketing dollars in order to create the biggest ROI on their efforts. It’s something we also examine on a regular basis.
To say that JCP’s revenue is suffering because they are pulling away from print ads, as your column claims, is short sighted. Additionally, it’s untrue.
As AdAge states in an article that appeared in its latest issue, “every Thursday or Friday for the foreseeable future, JC Penney will be running newspaper ads in major markets highlighting its month-long values. Marketing messages will also carry the current price, compared to the previous price, to better illustrate the value for consumers. In stores, price points will also be added to mannequins.”
I applaud JCP for embarking on a quest to rid the brand of its “everything’s on sale” mantra that places them with the rest of the pack of middle-market, big box retailers such as Kohl’s (have you been there lately? Everything is literally on sale, which means that really NOTHING is on sale; there’s no impact). By having the “everything’s on sale mentality,” you cheapen a brand. Apple was truly a pioneer in this area and it has only helped their reputation with devoted Apple followers feeling slightly more elitist purchasing the brand because of the perceived quality and innovation of its products. The products are never “on sale? Well, of course not, why would they put this on sale when the price is already pretty reasonable given the technology and innovation included?”
Bottom line: the world of marketing and communications is changing with the advent of other mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and social media. With JCP focusing on more of a Gen XY segment and turning away from the “everything’s on sale” mentality, it only makes sense for them to run their ads and spend their dollars where they will get the most eyes ... and it’s not through print newspapers.
Thank you for examining this topic and for also considering these thoughts. Best of luck to you, Tribbers!
Marketing Writer/Communications Manager