Posts Tagged ‘ local media ’

Jumping on the Proverbial Band Wagon

I have been reading a lot lately about newspaper businesses implementing pay walls at what seems like a rapid rate compared to just 12 months ago.  So, what has changed?  The number one driver of this new enthusiasm is because the New York Times was able to implement a “pay fence” to its primary website with an acceptably low decline in traffic, along with more than 450,000 paid subscribers.  The increase in subscription revenue has more than offset any decline in ad revenues from the drop in page views.

Even though no other newspaper is anything like the NY Times, with its national footprint and millions of readers, others are following in what feels like a frenzied rush to judgment.  The largest newspaper chain holding company, Gannett, announced all 80 of its daily newspapers (with exception of USA Today) would be behind a pay wall within 12 months.  Lee Enterprises, owner of the St. Louis Post Dispatch as well as many small community newspapers, announced all of its dailies would be going behind a pay wall.  Many others are heading in the same direction.  So a little success in a big national newspaper is giving everyone confidence to move in this direction, forget the fact that the audience for digital content has been conditioned for “free” content (with ads of course).

Could there be something else driving this change in attitude?  Maybe, there’s a lack of new ideas on how to grow digital faster.  Could it be that mobile isn’t moving fast enough and current indications are that it could be at a lower CPM than desktop web?  Is it that the sales organization is now smaller and has to focus on what still drives 85% of the revenues for these companies (print)?   Maybe it’s because it’s a last ditch effort to stop the slide in revenues since the economy is coming back but hasn’t really helped the newspaper industry.  Or, could it be all of these things.

Here are some things to think about if you are working in a media business, regardless of where you think the future will be.

  • Are you selling advertising as if you are part of an agency?  Do you offer much more than just display ads?  Do you help an advertiser spend their precious $1,000 a month budget and not place 85% of it in print unless it really creates 85% of the interest?
  • Do you offer your advertisers help in creating digital ads for web and mobile?
  • What are you doing to help advertisers deal with social media?
  • How are you helping advertisers be successful in search?
  • Are you creating post campaign reports that your reps actually understand, and are able to review with advertisers to demonstrate the value of their advertising efforts?
  • Are you selling the newest opportunity in digital (mobile) with the same sales organization that sells print, and who just recently started understanding how to sell digital ads for desktop? If so, why?
  • What about tablets?  They are sold differently than mobile.  Do you know why?
  • Are you creating content specific to the device, or is your content team putting the same content that is on the web onto mobile and tablet?
  • What have you done to move beyond display ads for smart phones?
  • Does your sales organization understand how to sell “share of voice?”  This is the way selling advertising on tablets will be done.

If you can answer positively to these questions I wonder if a pay wall is really needed?

Spend some time thinking this through.  We don’t want the newspaper business to be compared to Kodak.

Advertisements

Deal Site Shakeout – Should Local Media Throw in the Towel?

In one of my previous blog posts, I discussed the 10 tips to compete in the deals space.  Now I’m talking about throwing in the towel.  What gives?  Ok, a bit of tongue in cheek to get your attention.  Actually, I think now is the time to double your efforts in the deals space. Let me explain.

The deals industry is going through a shakeout but not because revenues are declining or even leveling off.  Instead, the big deals sites are continuing to grow and consolidation is beginning.  There are only so many deal sites a market can support and unless you have differentiated your product it’s tough to keep up against the big guys marketing spend.  Take a look at the overall spend by consumers on deals, the revenue in 2010 is expected to be $873 million growing to $4.2 billion by 2015.  Local media has to be a part of the dollars spent on deals or keep losing ground. These are dollars that would normally have been spent with newspapers, magazines, radio and local websites.  It is the ultimate pay for performance type of advertising.

So, it’s the time to double down, otherwise you jeopardize the opportunity to be a big part of advertising dollars spent by local advertisers.  Groupon and Living Social are off to great starts but if you look at local media sites in the deals space, in many cases they are doing well.

Three Strategies for Local Deal Sites

What is it that keeps these sites competitive?  I believe there are three key strategies:

1. Packaging

Local media can offer advertisers a much more robust advertising opportunity than just the deal itself.  Local media can put together a package that includes the deal itself marketed via email, front page print advertising, website ads, on air mentions, advertorial and even editorial discussion.  These are unique advertising and branding elements that the deals-only businesses cannot duplicate.  Local advertisers receive branding value they might not otherwise be able to afford if it weren’t for the deal offering itself.

2. Local Sales

Local media employs local sales people.  These sales people have relationships with advertisers in the market.  They live and work in the market.  The competition in many cases is calling into the market with telesales.  Local media knows it is relationships that will drive sales.  Advertisers want to deal with people they know and trust.

3. Brand Loyalty

Local media brands are already established in the market.  Unlike competitors who need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising their brands for awareness.  Local media can spend their precious dollars growing their email and social databases instead of advertising for brand awareness.

Now What?

It’s time to ignore the naysayers and take advantage of the strengths mentioned above.  Add more deals. Segment deals into categories.  Become more effective in geo targeting of deals.  Hire more sales people.  Grow your list.  Utilize the assets you have and recognize competitors aren’t going away and they will innovate so pay attention.  Deals represent a critical battle that local media needs to win or at least participate in at a high level.

Check out one of our deal sites here.

Advertisements