Erin Boudreau, Marketing Manager
AAM’s publisher clients often ask how media buyers are using their data. We recently sat down with Matt Spahn, CEO of planitretail—a media agency he founded in 2007—to discuss what role AAM-verified data plays in planning ad campaigns. He shared how his team uses AAM’s Media Intelligence Center, why they prefer working with audited publications and what data they value most.
AAM: Tell us about planitretail.
Matt Spahn: We’re an agency dedicated to providing locally targeted solutions to large retailers and grocers. We specialize in the management of print circular and ROP media solutions complemented by local digital campaigns.
AAM: What data do you find most helpful?
Matt Spahn: Circulation by ZIP code is the most valuable to us. We also pay attention to overall totals and individual categories such as single-copy sales and home delivery.
AAM: How do you access AAM data?
Matt Spahn: We download circulation data directly from the Media Intelligence Center. Then we integrate this data into our internal database and work with it from there.
AAM: How does planitretail use this data?
Matt Spahn: We validate newspaper circulation claims and trends and help identify media products across the country at the ZIP-code level. This data also helps us analyze market penetration to determine if we are reaching high-value customers. We believe that detailed reporting informs smart targeting solutions. That’s why AAM data is invaluable when analyzing media products and for geographic targeting.
AAM: How important is it for a publication to be AAM audited?
Matt Spahn: It’s very important. Our clients expect it so we encourage publications to have third-party audits. Printing and insertion costs keep rising. If the circulation numbers are inflated and our inserts aren’t reaching the homes they’re supposed to reach, that's wasted expense. When a publication is audited, we have confidence in the numbers and know that we're not wasting money by working with them.
AAM: Why do you prefer to use AAM data over other sources?
Matt Spahn: First, AAM data has that trust factor. The rigorous auditing process embedded in AAM audits speaks to the quality of the data. Second, AAM data is easy to access. Publications that aren’t audited often provide data in a format that isn’t very user-friendly. It might come to us in a scanned PDF and not in a way that’s easy to work with. AAM’s Media Intelligence Center makes it easy for us to find the data we need quickly and download it into a format that we can incorporate directly into our database. That easy access, coupled with the integrity of AAM-verified data, are the reasons why we partner with AAM.