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IM REPORT NOW AVAILABLE
A 44-page report, authored by IM leader and LMA President Nancy Lane,
identifies 11 top takeaways from the week-long study tour and is now avail-
able at the bargain price of $299. Some of the takeaways are immediately
actionable; others are disruptive and will require strategic planning with your
team. The list touches on a wide variety of topics including content strategies,
emerging revenue trends, upcoming opportunity areas and even eliminating
To order, visit www.localmedia.org.
Things from the trip that stood
out the most to me:
Why Reinvent the
(from the Automatic meeting)
We spend too much time
trying to reinvent the wheel. We
spend lots of time and money try-
ing to build everything - we’d be
a lot farther down the road if we
partnered/bought SaaS technolo-
gies (i.e. Wordpress or Drupal for
CRM) than trying to build so we
can have the “flexibility when we
need it”. The reality is the time and
money spent building and maintaining likely turns the ROI of
having flexibility upside down.
Reimagine Instead of Innovate
(from the eBay and LinkedIn meetings....and the Apple
WWDC the week before)
Pure innovation is overkill. To win your market - build
features/products that directly solve existing customer needs
and pain points. Evolution and reimagination are better words
to use to win in the market - talk to your customers often,
involve them in the ideation, build a useful solution, push to
scale. Then do it all over again. You have to be in touch with
your customers. Lutz Finger called it Build, Measure, Learn. I’d
suggestion messing with the order...Learn, Build, Measure.
Do It to Improve Your World, Not Just
for the Money
(from the LinkedIn and Automattic meetings)
When you start focusing only on the money you do things
your customers don’t want (i.e. more ads on sites, more
disruptive ads lead to lower ad recall, ad engagement, and ad
appreciation and ultimately lower CTRs and lower CPMs).
Leave a legacy above and beyond the money.
(from the Think & Drink and various conversations with the
Leading an organization through change and disruption
- whether you are disrupting or being disrupted - is difficult
and often lonely. Building a culture that can sustain and push
continuous evolution and disruption is incredibly hard work.
Enduring successes and failures while keeping the culture
intact and productive is much more challenging than actually
building the products. Keys to success for the leader include
motivating through our examples of resilience, transparency,
belief and trust in other members of the team to self organize
around the success of the culture.
The Innovation Mission is
a unique opportunity for those
open minded media industry
executives who recognize that
change is critical in order to stay
relevant. This year, a well crafted
program allowed us to take a
peek inside those cutting edge
companies whose success has
been achieved by developing new
business models and the work
cultures that sustain them.
Beyond the weeklong feeding
of fresh and challenging ideas, we
end with a network of like minded
professionals providing support to
each other on how to implement
what has been learned, becoming
a stronger agent of change in your own organization.
Key takeaway: pull with native advertising,
then push with smarter digital tools, for
While native advertising is the buzzword in the industry,
in order to produce sustainable revenue with this marketing
tool, we should consider it one piece of a bigger engine. In a
local market stand alone dollars produced by native advertis-
ing will not result in a sustainable business unless we are able
to prove ROI, therefore each organization should emphasize
integration with other tools that would get the target audience
closer to a purchase decision.
People share: to build community and to build their own
Consumable content is not always shareable content.
Hit three individuals and trust their sharing power to
It is becoming easier to find dollars for marketing than for
You can trick people to click but you can’t trick people to
share. There is more value on shares than in clicks.
In terms of general impres-
sions, I was seriously humbled to
spend a week on a study tour with
hypersmart, dedicated, forward-
thinking, innovative media pro-
fessionals. The mix of newspaper,
digital and service providers on
the tour, combined with industry
(Gatehouse, Wall Street Journal)
and pure-play (eBay, Google+,
LinkedIn) company professionals
we visited with, created a unique
"think-tank" atmosphere that
allowed for an exchange of ideas
and impressions that have im-
pacted my view and future plans
for our company. I'd give up every
conference experience for a year
to participate in the Innovation
Mission. Three of four years on this trip has turned me into an
Local media companies must deliver solu-
tions that connect consumers to retailers
effectively amidst a purchasing landscape
that has become totally disrupted.
A key takeaway from the IM that I wrote in my notes on
June 6: Monica from Google+ told us 56% of searches have
local intent. 50% of search initiators visit a local store within
a day of a local mobile search. 18% of those who made a local
search make a purchase. Businesses are frightened that they
will become irrelevant in the face of Amazon. Local media
companies need to help local businesses be more relevant.
Our company is small, but we must identify platforms and
form partnerships and build brand to help deliver this assis-
tance to SMBs in our markets.
"The smartphone is the remote
control for life." —Jody Ford from eBay
We use it to determine the time, consume news, commu-
nicate with our children, check email, check our schedules,
make purchases, play games, check the weather forecast,
buy plane tickets, reserve tables at restaurants—the list could
go on. Somehow, someway, local media companies must
improve our mobile presence and functionality. We must be
able to offer a localized experience for many of these func-
tions. And the experience must answer questions or solve the
problems of our local consumers. Our mobile presence can
no longer be a smartphone-sized version of our newspapers.
And for advertisers, we should intelligently and effectively de-
ploy Native Advertising across our mobile platforms. Display
ads on mobile devices will not work and we need to become
more creative about connecting advertisers and consumers
on the mobile device. PayPal has some astounding, almost fu-
turistic, solutions that are being deployed right now. Solutions
that are almost frightening in terms of their ability to make the
lives of purchasers near completely painless.
Officer, The World
Company and World-
VP of E-commerce,
Deseret Digital Media
Things that we are looking to
implement soon because of the
■ Encourage usage of
Google+, directly feeds the index.
Use other Google tools to make
sure SMBs are found (and us too!)
■ Become 'thought-lead-
ers' utilizing tools on LinkedIn.
Gives our brand lift.
■ Partnering with other me-
dia. Local can beat the big brands.
■ Rename native marketing
to content marketing. Our job is
to help market the SMBs. Liked
BuzzFeed's notion of "being the
newsroom for the brand (client)"
■ Danger in just emulating
Buzz Feed, we must keep quality. Be relevant but provide high
■ Use #BigData to drive decisions on product, content
and helping SMBs. Looking at combining databases and
email with our radio companies to help us in this goal.
■ Continue to evolve the culture in our building and
Publisher, The Elkhart
Truth and CIO,
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