Home' Local Media Today : January 2016 Contents January 2016 | LOCAL MEDIA TODAY | 9
What are your
going into 2016?
strategies do you
foresee as having
potential this year?
The continued pursuit of increased
CPM’s on programmatic combined with
intelligently packaged local buys on digital
is important from the media perspective.
We also feel like there is a lot of potential
in transforming the notion of classifieds
into a true digital marketplace for specific
high value verticals that are in traditional
media decline already, or are forecasted
to do so (real estate, auto, etc). We should
see continued growth in the events space
and our digital agency and digital services
teams are expecting to have a big year.
The best revenue strategy is to have a
sales staff that’s trained well and consis-
tently. It’s never been more important
than it is in today’s cacophonous advertis-
ing marketplace. . In the past five years
the number of SMBs getting 10 to 14 sales
calls per month has more than doubled.
Local businesses are ignoring salespeople
but clamoring for a marketing expert –
someone who can make sense of what all
those salespeople are pitching. Here’s a
test : Ask your rep to list the positive quali-
ties of Facebook, drive-time radio spots,
Twitter promos, yellow pages advertis-
ing, direct mail vs. email, newspaper
ROP, digital billboards, and SEO versus
SEM. If they stumble or revert to negative
comments for any, determine whether
redemption is possible. If so, train. If not,
fire. (If you don’t, your advertisings will.)
J. Tom Shaw:
Digital continues to provide strong
growth. We see great potential in niche
Digital is going to be an area of great
focus for us - we think it has the most
potential. We also see potential in greater
use of email strategies which hasn't been
an area of great focus in the past.
Like many others, we are also continu-
ing to pursue revenue initiatives related to
our audience, both through targeted rate
programs and more aggressive efforts to
Top revenue strategies in 2016 – digi-
tal only sellers, audience extension,
event management, sales automation,
client lead generation management, inte-
grated audience development marketing
that uses all platforms to • Attract new
prospects • Convert with free offerings
• Engage with Newsletters • Monetize with
subscriptions, merchandise and services.
We feel we can still grow our print
business through increased market share
because of the strength of our products.
We will focus on high value, high impact
digital sales that leverage our on-line audi-
And of course, continue to rock on the
We continue to broaden our offerings
and position ourselves as a one-stop solu-
tion for digital marketing needs. We’ve
built out expertise in areas such as website
design and development, reputation
management, content creation and SEO
and SEM. We also continue to work on
data collection and management so that
we can offer really rich and valuable first-
party data about consumers in market.
We’ll continue to see a shift towards
promotions spend. Borrell Associates
projects promotions spending will reach
$88 billion in 2016.
In addition to the continued growth
in promotions, we’ll see a massive shift
towards targeted advertising. Part of this
trend will be through anonymous, cookie-
based targeting and retargeting, but also
through building and targeting known,
personal data profiles holds vast potential
for the future.
Media companies that build personal
profiles will be in an advantageous posi-
tion a year from now - we suspect that
we’ll see a growing gap between the haves
and have nots of data.
If we don’t cut expense and re-allocate
dollars to new programs, we are in trouble.
And frankly the other big concern is the
same one we all have every year: Can
our sales teams keep pace and effectively
communicate the future with our clients?
That is probably the single most impor-
tant question when it comes to dictating
whether 2016 will be successful for us now
that we have developed a strong model of
execution for our existing product sets.
There’s been such hubris around digital
media and negativity around print and
broadcast media that it’s occluded the fact
that they work better together. It’s not one
being better or more efficient than the oth-
er, which unfortunately tends to be easier
for the sales mind to grasp. I’m especially
concerned that local businesses aren’t
getting the message that traditional media
have powerful audiences and advertising
that delivers results. Without appearing
defensive or vainglory, everyone needs to
play a role in correcting that message.
J. Tom Shaw:
Recruiting top talent. If you know any-
one good, send them my way!
It sounds overly simple but I think it’s
that we don't know what is waiting in the
tall grass for us. Major accounts have had
a significant impact on our operations in
the past few years so we are always con-
cerned about store closures or continued
schedule reductions (often presented
with increased disregard for local market
Continued pressure from all business
segments to move advertising dollars
to solutions other than our traditional me-
dia. Preprints will take a big hit in 2016
and continue to decline substantially for
the next 3 years. It is critical that our sales
teams have evolved to business problem
solvers and challenge their client’s dif-
ferent business growth solutions. Swift
is fortunate to have some highly successful
print markets that unfortunately make it
difficult for sellers to evolve.
The economy remains a concern. While
unemployment is very low in our region,
there is an undercurrent that growth
isn't as robust as it should be. Of course
national pre-prints are a concern for all of
us. We have so much opportunity, we just
have to execute.
I think most publishers are concerned
about ad blocking. We also need to focus
on engagement, as more information
consumers rely on social media as their
starting point. A lot of social visits are one-
and-done, so we have to do a better job of
retaining that side-door traffic.
The economy is better but the common
person does not seem to be feeling the
improvement. I am concerned that major
retailers will cut back even more as a result
in both their ROP and pre-print buys.
Across our 3,000 partners, we see
that email databases are, hands down,
the number one driver of engagement
around promotions and other content and
advertising campaigns. No other medium
even comes close. The window is still open
to allow us to more efficiently grow our
email databases and even take the next
step to grow profiles around them. This
data will be at the center of improving the
personalized experiences users have with
our content and advertising. As Face-
book, Amazon, and others accelerate their
database growth we need to rise to the
occasion in 2016 to leverage our powerful
local brands to develop our own strategies
in our markets.
Selling with data will be an investment
not only in the information, but how we use
it effectively to help our customers.
— MARK POSS CEO, Big Fish Works
We should see continued growth in the
events space and our digital agency and
digital services teams are expecting to have
a big year.
— CHRIS EDWARDS VP Sales and Marketing,
The Gazette Company
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