local media insider
Media Minds
95 results total, viewing 81 - 90
When I think of the role of publishers today why am I suddenly reminded of a certain movie about a professor who accidentally shrinks his kids and his neighbor's kids to 1/4 of an inch with an electro-magnetic ray gun? more
A significant source of revenues is woefully overlooked by most local media companies: User-generated, or transactional, revenues. It seems foreign to our banner-centric business models. But in reality user-generated transactions are very similar to the revenue streams classifieds used to provide. As Pat Scanlon, Director of Interactive at the Pittsburgh Gazette told us, "Readers used to pay $2 here, and $5 there to place a classified ad in a print product." Scanlon is hard a work engaging those users in making adding numerous small transactions. This week we explore a number of these revenue opportunies. more
We've been advocating that developing better creative solutions for local advertisers ("What's the Big Idea?") is an important part of creating future business models. But the revenue team at Palm Beach Post is actively testing this theory with amazing results: a 90% increase in collective revenues from advertisers handled through Innovative Client Solutions in the first quarter tracked. more
It still surprises me how few local media sites offer simple conversion tracking tools to advertisers. For years large and small companies have deployed a variety of lead gen and data capture tools on the internet. But thousands of local media companies still don't offer advertisers this capability. What are you waiting for? Even advertisers in love with their web sites don't always get excited over a few dozen clicks. Or even a scintillating CTR of .24%. My sources often sound apoligetic when relaying the puny post decimal number that describes a terrific, high performance campaign: "That's actually a decent number." Of course we work on setting up advertisers expectations (a click is an action, kind of like a walk in, right?) But merely pointing out that anything above .04% click through in a banner ad is a success, can just devalue banner advertising as a viable platform in general. Show the real value by capturing the more significant "next" action. more
One of the most common complaints I hear from digital ad directors is that local sales representatives don’t ask clients the right questions. Relationship builders like golf are no longer enough to seal an advertising deal. Sales representatives have to have a different kind of conversation. more
This site looks at practical ways to increase digital revenues. But one tricky issue is how to really measure success. Is success based on whole dollar increases of digital initiatives? A higher percentage of digital compared to legacy sales? Are there other qualitative factors we should be looking at: Share of market, share of customer, retention rates, turnover? Yes, yes, and yes. But it is nearly impossible to accurately track a key factor that multiplies revenue: Advertiser engagement. One complaint I hear most from local sales managers is that their staff fails to conduct a thorough needs analysis that gets to the heart of the advertiser's challenge. more
It's time to get people excited about what they do. And one way to energize organizations is to focus on a department that is often overlooked: Creative services. Various prevailing mantras in local media organizaitons that I've heard recently include “we are going to sell every impression;” “we are going to sell audiences not products;" “we will sell share of customer,” and the truly scintillating “we are now in the customer distribution business.” Today the "agency model" has been adopted as the leading conceptual model by most local media companies. But somehow creative services are seldom mentioned. The "agency model" seems more like a catch-all phrase to cover an ever-growing list of digital products and services. But an inherent contradiction re-emerges when the sales representatives hit the street. To managers, sales representatives don't ask deep enough questions and are still pushing products. To sales reps the agency model flunks the "show me the money" test. Focusing on creative services breaths life into the agency model. more
More questions are popping up about selling local social media services such as Facebook. Even though Facebook sells advertising, reselling is providing a service and has lower margins. This brings up the core issue of what business are we in? What is an appropriate margin? Why are we building our competitors income? more
More questions are popping up about whether and how to sell social media services. Several local companies such as Knoxnews.com, Chron.com are moving into this new realm. Ways to incorporate Twitter into web sites as advertising products are also underway (see our first story on this trend here.), but the two initiatives are very different: Twitter-based products allow sites to incorporate feeds as either as advertising content, or as an news-like widget on an advertiser-determined (and sponsored) topic. Re-selling Google adwords, Facebook fan page development or advertising is largely a service play. It brings up larger issues of what business are we in, what is an appropriate margin and who should be our frenemy. Most companies see Facebook as more of an irresistable force, and more of a frenemy than Groupon, which has a number of viable white lable knock-offs. But beyond that, selling Facebook looks like business issue to them, how much resources will reselling Facebook absorb for the margin it provides, and how to re-organize yet again to accommodate this service. But the real question we ought to be asking is this: Are we selling what advertisers want? Facebook - and reputation management in general - has the kind of intense interest by local businesses that is game-changing. For the sales force redeploying as an agency model, it's the kind of strategy that might just crank the ship over the 180 degree mark. Most local media sites envision their sales teams as morphing into digital marketing experts enabled (with support from specialists of one kind or another) to strategically sculpt integrated marketing campaigns for advertisers with only hundreds, not thousands, of dollars a week to spend. Very little use research is used on what advertisers are doing with "the rest" of their money. more
In the past month I've interviewed 15 of the most successful local interactive executives around the country in conjunction with a soon-to-be-released study on sales force insights for American Press Insititute and ItzBelden. In the process, we've spent a lot of time talking about what the benchmarks are and/or ought to be for using the "agency model" in a legacy media sales organization. Some of the questions go deeper than sales strategies. Here's my take, with a quick way to rate your own organization's progress on a scale of one to ten: •The sales department has been re-named and branded as offering media agnostic products and services. ____ •Sales representatives strive for for "share of customer," providing a variety of products and services owned and not-owned by the company.____ •Reorganization of sales teams and compensation has been adjusted to support digital sales.____ •Stand-alone local niche sites and channels that serve hyper-local constituencies are deployed at the rate of a few per year per market. ____ •On-going digital training programs incorporate full-day classroom-style training, short reveiws at sales meetings, testing and four-legged calls.____ •Sales representatives know expected conversion rates and ROI for most of their customers. ____ •Creative services for digital advertising and e-mail services report through the revenue side of the company._____ •Digital campaign statistics are routinely shared in joint meetings with Sales and Creative Services to increase collective intelligence about "what works" in design, ad types and offers. ____ •Direct anecdotal evidence and regular field surveys are used to match investment in digital initiatives with demand from advertisers and customers.____ •Publishers and interactive directors feel empowered to create and deploy digital initiatives in a reasonable time period. ___ Bonus question: Long term strategies seek to create or invest in high growth media businesses which are not under the agency services umbrella._____ There's a total of 110 points, but count the score as against 100 potential points, since one is a bonus question, and give your company, roughly an A, B or C for 90+ points, 80+ points, and 70+ respectively. Where do you plan to be on this scale by the end of 2010? This site supplies tactical tools, new initiatives and products. These will be here every week for you to use and share. One last note: we are pleased to be getting some great Top Performing Digital Ads on this the site where they can be shared collectively other sales teams. If your organization wants to participate in this program Top Performing Digital Ad Campaigns, please send me an e-mail at alisacromer@gmail.com. more
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