Speaking to Marketing Week Metro managing director Linda Grant said many brands are unaware about the new advertising opportunities the recently relaunched responsive mobile website and its portfolio of apps afford.
Metro has created a series of bespoke formats for the mobile-optimised site, such as full-page interstitial spots between swipes of the pages and shakeable ads – although it has not yet sold these ads yet.
Grant acknowledged creating such unique formats is a challenge for marketers and agencies, who will have to think differently around buying Metro ads compared with its competitors, but she says the reorganisation of the newspaper’s sales team to form agency hubs in November will help with the transition.
She adds: “We are looking for formats that will work and sometimes that means taking leaps of faith. We have to do what’s right for consumers to deliver those audiences for advertisers.
“It’s a huge conundrum for agencies to get their heads around but the fact is that clients want more [from publishers] and [agencies] have to organise around that. There’s a debate around who buys what – is it your print team, your digital team? Agencies understand this is a challenge but most are experimenting with new ways to take advantage of it too. Our message is we have to make it easy for people to buy from us.”
The Metro.co.uk site suffered a 32 per cent drop in traffic when it relaunched in December, according to ABC figures. Grant says this was due to Google reindexing the site “which led to great headlines”, but adds that judging by its own internal daily target audience figures the site “did not fall as fast and has come back quicker” than expected.
DMG Media, which owns Metro, The Daily Mail and MailOnline, reported a 2 per cent drop in underlying revenue in the five months to February 2013. Underlying newspaper advertising revenue was down 8 per cent, while digital experienced “strong growth” in the period – although the company does not break out figures for Metro or more specific numbers around digital.
Metro’s commercial roadshow team will be sharing insights with agencies and brands such as 60 to 70 per cent of readers that read past page four on the tablet app are likely to go on to read the whole edition.
They will also be promoting new formats within the paper, such as mobile commerce and content partnerships such as Expedia’s supplements, which featured within the Metro tablet edition in January, as Metro looks to sell more inventory in the coming months.
Of the Expedia tie-up Grant said: “That’s a classic case of using our content skills to create a promotion that really delivered – [Expedia was] over the moon with it.”