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efore I remark on my experience at the Deseret
LMA Boot Camp, some context...
2015 will mark the return of ad markets to pre-
2008 levels. In fact we (Borrell Associates) project total US
local ad spend for 2015 to be $115 billion, representing a 15%
increase over 2008 total US local ad spend of $100 Billion.
The challenge for traditional media, of course, is that busi-
nesses are spending those dollars very differently than they
were five years ago.
The chart below outlines that shift: In 2008 traditional
media received 88% of all local dollars spent, this year we
project that share to shrink to 59%
I think we can all agree this shift is happening, will con-
tinue to happen and leaves media companies with a choice
of two broadly different identities to claim:
1. Analog Nesters - These companies want to
maintain profit margins and have resolved that digital, while
interesting, erodes margins. These businesses must produce
the best possible print or broadcast product at the highest
possible margins. They maintain a single staff selling both
digital and analog products but remain focused on products
with the highest margins. Our prediction: They will realize
their dream of maintaining profit margins, but total profits
will continue to decline as their businesses become smaller.
2. Digital Investors - These companies desperately
want to see growth again and have resolved that their analog
operations will continue to shrink. They’re plowing more
and more resources into digital, either incubating their own
ventures or acquiring them. They’re building out separately
named digital agencies and hiring new staff. These com-
panies are willing/able to sacrifice short term profits and
make the necessary investments in new digital businesses to
transform and align against new markets for long term top
and bottom line revenue growth.
If you count yourself among the Digital Investors, the
LMA Deseret Digital BootCamp will be among the most
valuable investment of time and attention available. It’s
your opportunity to learn from a company that is making the
transition and demonstrating results in revenue growth, digi-
tal transformation, and mobile ready revenue. Twenty-two
Deseret leaders with insights from the strategic to the tactical
address attendees on best practices in the space.
Nancy Lane of the LMA
captured 10 of the most
actionable takeaways in her
column on page 5. These
are actions leaders can take
immediately- read them and
do all you can.
The challenge, as I see it
though, is that transforma-
tion must start from the top.
It’s a matter of leadership,
and the leadership I saw in
action is what truly reso-
nated with me over those
What I mean is that Clark
Gilbert has created a culture
in which all understand and
share the same vision, are
instilled with similar values and are committed to the same
principles for making decisions and evolving the business.
That’s not at all to say everyone at Deseret has the same idea
for products, solutions, etc. In fact their thoughts are as dis-
parate as in any company I have had the opportunity to work
with, but that is by design.
A prime example is the positive friction that occurs
between folks in digital advertising and digital commerce.
Those in advertising see value in many of the same things
we all do — clicks, time on a page, etc. Those on the com-
merce side see things differently- their goal is a transaction
(as it is defined by the user, i.e., what the user is on the site
to accomplish- revenue/purchase or otherwise) and note
that traditional ads are not viewed favorably by users, detract
from that experience and can lead to loss of audience. At
Deseret these groups use real time testing to navigate for
optimal results — revenue for Deseret and utility/experience
for the user. This simply would not occur without opposing
points of view, and would dissolve without a shared vision
and strong culture.
Transformation is a strategic issue that cannot be ad-
dressed with tactical solutions. All the strategy in the world
won’t get you anywhere without tactical execution. Boot-
Camp was absolutely unique in that it delivered against both.
For the sake of your successful transformation and for that of
the strength of local media I recommend you get to Chicago
in April for the next session of BootCamp.
Are You an Analog Nester
or a Digital Investor?
Genius at work! Participants designing campaigns during native
advertising product design exercise at last month’s DDM/LMA Boot-
Clark Gilbert, CEO of DDM/Deseret News, is widely known as one of
the country’s leading change agents in local media. He discussed lo-
cal media’s dual transformation with BootCamp participants.
eseret Digital Media, in partner-
ship with the LMA, is offer-
ing another opportunity for a
limited number of folks to attend its DDM
BootCamp, a concentrated digital training
learning experience. The next event will
be held in Chicago on April 27-28 at the
Holiday Inn Mart Plaza.
The BootCamp is designed for all local
media operators who need to grow, en-
gage and monetize the local audience. At
the core of the program, DDM provides
two-days of training courses intended to
accelerate digital competencies in a com-
pany's daily digital operations.
There are two tracks of training – Busi-
ness Development and Audience Growth.
Deseret provides 30/60/90 day follow up
after your return to ensure good results
Participants will be trained first-hand
by some of the leading digital media think-
ers and operators. They have grown their
audience of unique visitors from 4 million
to 25 million, almost 500 million page
views, and 100 million Facebook followers,
all in four years. They include:
n Chris Lee, President
n Russell Banz, VP of Product
n Todd Handy, VP of Ad Strategy
n Eric Bright, VP of e-Commerce
n Matthew Sanders, GM of Publisher Solu-
tions and Deseret Connect
n Brett Atkinson, GM of KSL.com
n Saul Leal, GM of FamilyShare Network
n Burke Olsen, GM of Deseretnews.com
n Dan Hartman, VP of Business Develop-
ment, Utah Media Group Events
Details and registration at
Accelerate Your Digital Competencies
April BootCamp Open for Registration
General Manager of
The Aspen TImes,
called her experience
at last month’s
“the best training in
the history of ever.”
Director, Borrell Associates, Inc.
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