USA Today Case.docx - MK551 Marketing Management July 8...

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MK551 Marketing Management July 8, 2019Case 1 - USA Today: Innovation in an Evolving Industry 1) Situational Analysis USA Today’s marketing strategy has several internal strengths that allows them to maintain their strength as a company in a modern world. For example, USA Todayis a huge Gannett media company. Gannet is currently the largest newspaper group that publishes 82 daily and 700 nondaily newspapers and affiliated websites, operates 23 broadcast television stations that reach 18.2 percent of the United States population. Another internal strength of USA Todayis their marketing know-how. When the newspaper made its debut in September of 1982, the paper was unique and was printed in a format that readers appreciated. This is because chairman of Gannett, Allen H. Neuharth, had been doing marketing research to identify the target market for the proposed publication before it was launched. Through Gannett’s research, it was found that readers get the most out of their information through snippets in a newspaper. This resulted in the multiple design innovations like short stories, secondary headlines, subheads, breakouts, at-a-glance boxes, and informational graphics. Consumers enjoy USA Today’s clear, concise, andcolorful format. A large part of USA Today’s success came from listening to its readers and giving them what they wanted. Similar trends that suggested the need for a paper like USA Todayin the early ‘80s also suggested a need for an online version of the paper in the mid-90s. It is quite likely that the company revisited these trends, along with the trend toward the use of electronic information to create USAToday.com. Another strength that USA Todayhas is innovation. The paper has kept its popularity, credibility and familiarity through product, promotional, and distribution innovation. The first form of product innovation to keep ahead of competition was to become a more serious newspaper by improving journalism. This meant focusing more on hard news rather than soft features that were less serious. Gannett also took a less traditional route and incorporated “hot-lines” which were 1-800 and 1-900 numbers that readers could call for expert information on financial planning, college admissions, minority business development, taxes, and other subjects. The first major redesign of USA Todaytook place in 2000 when the paper moved from a 54-inch to a 50-inch width. This made the paper easier to read and handle, especially in tight spaces line airplanes, trains, buses, and subways.
Promotional innovation was seen beginning in the late 1980s when Neuharth traveled to all 50 states by bus to talk with people about USA Today. The tour was such a success that he later traveled by plane to 30 countries in seven months with a small news team. This trip led to the publication of USA Today International. USA Todayhas always made fast delivery one of its top priorities, bringing distribution innovation. Of course, with all internal strengths in a company as

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