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“Where should we be investing our time
and money in 2012?” This is a question
that we get asked a lot. Publishers and
Advertising Directors are overwhelmed
by the many opportunities that are out
Adding agency services may very well
be the best oppor-
tunity for 2012 and
beyond. The Local
Alliance, a division
of our Foundation,
a 25+ page report.
The report fea-
tures one main
case study from
and three side
studies from Dow
Jones Local Media,
and the Augusta
is simple – as the
to local small to
medium size busi-
nesses (SMB’s) in
you are in a great
position to add
on other services.
SMB’s need help
with their web
sites, search, social, mobile & more.
Innovative media companies are increas-
ingly offering these types of services on
an ala carte basis.
Many of the early adopters are focus-
ing on search, web and social. The Times
Digital Group in Kingsport offers full
agency services and has been at this longer
Much of the work can be outsourced
and paid when a sale is made. Not surpris-
ingly, a champion needs to oversee this
process. For some like Deseret Digital, this
means hiring an agency pro to head up
their new division. For Dow Jones Local
Media, it means hiring digital specialists
at each property. For others like Gareth
Charter, publisher of Holden Landmark
Corporation, this means personal oversight
and contracting with local experts.
Charter accompanied the author of
the report to Kingsport to learn about
their model as he was close to launch-
ing agency services in his market. He
returned even more excited and “Kelly
Square Communications” was launched
earlier this year.
All of the companies that were inter-
viewed were making the digital agency a
top company priority. Many talked about
seven-figures in the next year. All had plans
to expand their offerings in the short and
The digital agency just makes sense.
SMB’s are strapped for time. They don’t
have expertise on the digital side and they
help. They need
web sites. They
need help with
video, email mar-
keting and more.
We intend to
closely follow this
The first step
to purchase the
report – The Local
Digital Ad Agency.
It can be pur-
chased a la carte
or via a member-
ship in the Local
of the report and
unlimited seats on a related webinar (with
the profiled companies that allows for a
deeper dive into the specifics and also for
personal Q&A). Contact Tanya Henderson
for options at tanya.henderson @localme-
dia.org or visit www.localmedia.org and
click on Foundation and then LMIA.
All member companies should be able
to launch some aspect of a digital agency
in their market this year. Yellow page pub-
lishers and local broadcasters are rapidly
entering this space and going after this
business as well. Now is the time to strike
and watch your digital dollars grow.
Small- and medium-size businesses are
expected to double the amount they spend
on social media in 2012, according to a new
survey from Borrell Associates. Combine
that forecast with Nancy Lane’s advice (see
column at right) that local media com-
panies consider entering the local digital
agency business and you can practically
hear opportunity knocking.
According to the Borrell report ‘Main
Street Goes Social’ local businesses expect
to spend 13.7% of their online advertising
budgets on social media this year, accord-
ing to the nearly 4,000 local businesses
surveyed, totaling about $2 billion, well
above the $1.1 billion spent last year. The
amount spent on social media is expected
to double again in 2013, to $3.9 billion.
Social media was listed as the No. 3 online
ad category behind only email marketing
(17.4% of online ad budgets) and search
engine marketing (15.1%). The category
came in ahead of banner ads (8.5%), stream-
ing video (8%) and mobile (5.5%).
Borrell predicts that SMB spending on
social media will continue to grow, increas-
ing nearly sevenfold, to $7.8 billion, by
Access the Executive Summary of the
Borrell report, and details on acquiring
the full report, at www.borrellassociates.
com. Read Nancy’s column at right for
more details about the LMA Foundation
Digital Ad Agency Report.
opportunity for 2012
Sept 11-14 , 2012
SMB Social Media
Spend To Hit $2B
Is that opportunity knocking for LMA members?
Annual Local Media
& Advertising Directors’
The 2012 gathering will
take place in the welcoming
city of Atlanta, Georgia and
all sessions will be held at
Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. Mark
your calendar and watch for
details in the coming months!
LMA members take note!
Update Your Bookmark...
The new web address for Local Media Association is
Innovate. Educate. Inspire.
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-486-2466
The Local Digital Ad Agency
Emerging Opportunity for Innovative Media Companies
RELEASE DATE: DEC. 21, 2011
PUBLISHED BY THE LOCAL MEDIA INNOVATION ALLIANCE
“We were particularly inspired by the feasi-
bility of an agency and how it can start small
and build.” – Gareth Charter, Publisher,
Holden Landmark Corp.
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