September is the biggest ad buying month of the year

When Do Local Businesses Want to Start Discussing The Holiday Season?

Labor Day marks the end of summer. But did you know that it also marks the beginning of the biggest ad-buying month of the year? Yep, that’s right. This is a fact, it’s not a forecast, assumption, or estimate.

More advertising is scheduled and bought in September than any other month of the year. There’s a significant amount of planning going on. And much of that planning is aimed at year-end activity. Just think…College and Pro Football, Halloween (’16 Halloween ad spending was the largest in history), Thanksgiving, College Bowl Games, Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanzaa, (even Festivus), not to mention a jump on New Year’s marketing. Most of the actual planning and commitment for all this spending is going on right NOW!

Sixty-two percent of retailers said early preparation of holiday marketing content was “most helpful in last year’s holiday season…” -Borrell Assoc. ’17

You may recall from the Aug. 21 edition of MOM a large majority of retailers strongly believed that early marketing preparation was the way to go this year. And now the most recent findings from the Borrell SMB Survey are telling us that a large majority of local businesses believe this year will be as good, IF NOT BETTER, than last year.

“Nearly 80% of local businesses believe holiday sales will be as good or better than 2016.” – Borrell Assoc. SMB Survey ’17

(Click here for a larger view)

When our customers really believe that business can and will be good, they are more motivated to advertise than ever. And with September being the biggest ad buying month of the year, the time to make our recommendations is NOW!

Where are local businesses planning to spend?

The Borrell surveys have always been showing that targeted display is the strongest area of growth. And the 2017 survey doubles down with that, and shows us that more businesses than ever are looking to social media for their marketing efforts.

85% of local businesses plan to use it (social media) to promote holiday sales. -Borrell Assoc. SMB Survey ’17

ENC Media Group has special packages with holiday season pricing already created. And we also have enhanced digital bundles with targeted display and social media available. But none of this will benefit local businesses unless we are in front of them starting this week with the opportunities. Remember, there’s a reason why we call it the holiday S-E-A-S-O-N. Shoppers don’t make up their minds right after the turkey and dressing and Dallas Cowboy halftime show on Thanksgiving Day. They are already looking around now, and are ready for local businesses to start talking to them now. So NOW is the perfect time to have a planning session with local SMB’s, another solutions meeting with your manager, and develop a Q4 plan for every one of your prospects including strong media components that will deliver results. Our local businesses already believe this year will be great. Making that come true starts NOW!

Note: ENC Media Group and GateHouse South Atlantic Group properties participate in the Borrell SMB Survey. Results from this year’s survey will be unveiled today and we will start distributing details on the findings this month.)

Quote(s) of the week

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

-Abraham Lincoln

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

-Warren Buffett

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This is your MOM, at least at work that is.


Test your knowledge with MOM’s 5 Minute Quiz. This week’s quiz covers ThriveHive’s Social Media Advertising package.

Reminder: the 5MQ is mandatory for all ENC MMSE’s.

Deadline for completing this week’s 5MQ is Wednesday, 9/6 @ 3:00 PM

Here’s this week’s 5MQ

Q4 Kick-Off Meeting-for MMSE’s

  • When: Wednesday, 9/6/18, 8:30 am – 10:00 am
  • Where: Queen Street Deli, 117 S Queen St, Kinston, NC 28501

Please note: this meeting is for all MMSE’s. AdOps personnel will be able to access the kick off deck later on Wednesday.


 Q3 Revenue Race

All digital revenue counts towards our overall performance, but we’ve added a few packages to help open up even more conversations. We have intermediate and short term campaign specials that fit many budgets and offer digital campaigns with print support. And in addition, those that participate are able to add additional ENC Media Group components value priced for easy adoption.

For details on the Revenue Race packages check them out here on the Drive.

More Ways to Reach ThriveHive Training

We now have two ways to contact the Training Team: OR a new phone number 877-863-2723. Any time you need to know something specific about a product, the training team will be able to provide direction. Please allow 24 hour turn around for most inquiries…they are able to beat that often.

Note: If anyone has gone directly to the ThriveHive website and used their chat box for a training question, please remember that this site is for consumers. It is not an internal website. This specific tool is a lead generation tool for businesses looking for information on the Guided Marketing Platform.

For more information see the ThriveHive training website from your LMS.



 Q3 Sales Packages

3 & 6 month specials in presentation format, using the preferred GateHouse presentation

  • Special pricing on Readers Choice packages now available for ALL BUSINESSES THAT RECEIVED A VOTE.
  • Please review the presentations available. They will require your customization based on good customer understanding and some needs evaluation.

Q3 Revenue Race Multimedia Packages

Here’s the deck describing the packages already created. If you want to modify them, just make the proposal internally, we can make these work for local businesses.


  1. Plan and prep: do your research
  2. Call opening: make the right intro based on your research and questions to get the right to perform your needs analysis (remember, you can use the Readers Choice voting as a basis for questions.)
  3. Needs Analysis: start your needs assessment
  4. Develop Solutions:choose the package that fits the needs, just modify the presentation provided
  5. Gain Agreement in Principal: make the convincing presentation, gain agreement in principal to help the business build their brand for a chance at winning next year.
  6. Gain Agreement in Price: close the sale

Note: proposals are on the drive. DO NOT MODIFY THE PROPOSALS ON THE DRIVE. Download and modify on your hard drive.



Inventory Alert

  • We are entering a busy time for our digital sales requests. Please check in advance for any schedule that you propose to sell or one to which we will need to commit. We can make inventory available, our customers and clients will receive the digital value they expect. However we will need to know ahead of time to schedule. If you have a campaign that is going to start in the intermediate future, no matter how far out it extends. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR ORDERS IN THEIR ENTIRETY ASAP. We will reserve the inventory accordingly so client orders will be fulfilled.
  • Starting September 1st we are coming into the busy season with the Sticky note company…please be mindful of the creative deadline date that is on the calendar. There will be no room for negotiation for scheduling and fulfillment.
    • Creative is due by 5pm on the creative deadline day…to ensure that we are able to have the sticky note delivered on time.

Request For Email Communication



Best of the Best-Readers Choice Events

Are you going to attend our first Readers Choice Receptions this year?

  • New Bern Best of the Best, Riverfront Convention Center, 9/26/17, 5 pm – 7 pm
  • Kinston Best of the Best, CSS Neuse Interpretive Center, 10/10/17, 5 pm – 7 pm

Both of these events are now proudly being promoted as events our the Sun Journal and Free Press Facebook Pages. Do yourself a favor, check out these events on our social media sites, and check off whether you are going or not. That kind of activity breeds more interest!



Advertisers get the chance to pick the winners each week for the entire season.

Great exposure for any participating business.

Value pricing to fit most budgets

Reader Prizes

  • Trip to Hawaii
  • NFL Fatheads
  • 2-3 Day Getaway Vacations

Advertiser Prizes

  • 2 Tickets to the Superbowl
  • A chance to win a $5,000 marketing campaign

Check out the sales deck, here.


Pie Chart of the Week

Facebook OWNS marketing for SMB’s

This is from Borrell Assoc’s 2016 survey, but it is still valid. And we should expect this trend to continue. Facebook itself, is on the verge of eclipsing local media companies as a preferred marketing choice. Social media overall, ranks #2 for marketing choice, behind paid search. But dissecting social overall, uncovers that Facebook was an overwhelming favorite in 2016. The new 2017 results will tell us that SMB’s have merely continued to go down the Facebook path for local marketing. (Facebook advertising falls within the “Targeted Display” category within the SMB Survey results.)

What does this mean to me?

The bottom line is this. We have continued to presume that Facebook advertising is a specialty that only large players can utilize. Yet we seem to have little challenge recommending Targeted Display to most of our customers. Facebook advertising (different from social media management) falls within the Targeted Display channel category…it’s targeted advertising. And an overwhelming majority of local businesses are relying heavily on Facebook for their targeting activities.

It’s time we helped them do it professionally.

Too many SMB’s continue to presume that anything posted or boosted on Facebook is targeted advertising. The truth is, it’s not targeted in some cases, and it’s not advertising in other cases. It’s time we took a hard look at our Facebook…and Instagram…offerings and categorized them as strong targeting channels. This holiday season, many local businesses will be looking at Facebook to help them find customers and create a wider fan base. It’s time we placed our social media advertising capabilities next to our targeted display capabilities and start utilizing the channels that make the most sense for our local businesses.

Note: we will have special Q4 targeted and social media advertising packages for businesses to use all thru the holiday season. Take some time to review the ThriveHive training on social media advertising, this will help us as well as our local businesses have a great 4th quarter.  


…the new norm

Congratulations Team ENC!

You are all now certified in Google Analtyics for Beginners.

Let local businesses know. How many of our competitors can make the same claim?

Prospecting w/Tom Ellis

Tom Ellis will be in ENC land on September 25-28 to visit with each one of us with a very specific agenda…prospecting.

Tom will focus on the following

  • Research and planning leading to a phone call or in-person cold call
  • Cold opening and transition to customer needs analysis
  • Field calls, either via appointment or walk in

His request is for a 3-4 session with every member of the sales team. We have time to set our schedules accordingly, so please grab your available time on the sign up sheet here. Please do this as soon as possible so you may arrange your schedules. Thanks.

Note: If you have not made your half-day request with Tom on the sign up sheet by end of day Tuesday Sept. 5, we will assign you a time.

Author: David Prizer

Digital media executive and thought leader, emphasizing local and small business strategies. 20 years of experience in metro and community markets. Still watching Seinfeld reruns and holding out for a Cubs-White Sox subway series in my lifetime.

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