What Our Customers Are Telling Us

Want to know what customers are doing? Just ask them.

And that is exactly what Borrell Assoc. has been doing with their 2017 SMB Survey. The results are in for our markets and they are leaving some great hints for our direction going forward. Our results are a compilation of the Coastal NC markets including Jacksonville, Kinston, New Bern and Wilmington. We also have national averages so we can see how our findings differ from, or are aligned with, those across the nation. But any actions we take will be based on our markets.

Over the next few weeks we will be discussing what the Local SMB Survey is telling us about our customers. For now, here’s a summary of the findings, with a few take-aways to guide our future go-to-market strategies.

  1. SMB’s responding to our survey “on average” spent $38.6K on advertising in 2016; they plan to increase that by 3% to 40.3K in 2017.
  2. Local SMB’s said they utilized 7.3 companies, on average, for providing their advertising services.
  3. Two-thirds of local businesses responding said they utilized newspaper advertising in 2016, this was higher than the national average.
  4. 10% of these local businesses said their newspaper spending would decrease in 2017, while 8% actually said their spending would increase.
  5. 73% of the local SMB’s in the CNC markets used digital media in their advertising; 65% plan to increase, while 4% said they would decrease spending.
  6. 48% of the local SMB’s said they utilized event marketing in their ad plans; 44% plan on increasing, while 15% plan on decreasing
  7. 89% of the local SMB’s responding have an active social media presence, 61% of the respondents have placed an ad on social media, and 38% of the respondents say placing targeted social media advertising is vital to their marketing goals.
  8. More of our respondents used click-thru metrics to measure social marketing success than “likes”, “shares”, or “comments.”
  9. Nearly two-thirds of the SMB’s surveyed currently have 500 or more names in an active email database, and a quarter of those surveyed send emails at least once per week.
  10. Nearly 40% of our SMB’s who responded feel that events are important to their overall marketing strategy, and the average amount spent on events in 2016 per business was $7.8K.

Take-aways regarding these findings so far?

  • Our customers are not as small as we sometimes think. The “average” monthly advertising spend in 2017 will be $3.3K. No, that is not a fortune, but it is a real hard and tangible  number.

Take-away: While spending from individual business categories will vary, we can’t be “under” recommending campaigns if we are going to deliver excellent results. 

  • We are not alone. On average we are one of 7 marketing service providers that each of our customers works with.

Take-away: We offer so many services, and such a high level of expertise, we really don’t have to share our customers with other providers. We can command and should recommend a greater piece of the pie.

  • An overwhelming number of businesses already utilize digital channels (more than newspapers) and nearly half utilize events. They plan on increasing both of those channels. That is not true of most other media opportunities.

Take-away: We need lead with marketing services, not with newspaper. Our newspapers are “one of” the services we provide, but more of our customers will be utilizing digital media and events and these will take a step forward in our marketing recommendations.

  • An overwhelming number of local businesses have a social media presence, but most still do not use the right data or metrics to measure effectiveness.

Take-away: Local businesses need help in understanding how to use social media and how to measure its effectiveness. We will leverage ThriveHive in providing both of these aspects of our services. 

  • Local businesses are spending one full work day a week just to focus on their advertising. 

Take-away: Giving time back to local businesses should be a message we need to communicate in all of our presentations.

Quote(s) of the week

“Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”
– David Ogilvy
 “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
― Wayne Gretzky

Getting To Know Your MOM

  • Follow MOM, receive an email notification every time a new update of MOM is published. If you are a WordPress user and are logged in, just click the Follow button in the admin bar. If you are not a WordPress user, or are logged out, just click the Follow button in the lower right-hand corner of your blog’s home page.
  • The menu in the upper right includes tabs that will maintain static pages. We will keep updating the information on these pages as we go, but you should be able to find links, names, and phone numbers that you need on a regular basis. You can use this kind of like your own in-house directory.
  • Rate any post, or leave a comment. 
  • MOM is available on ALL devices…desktop, mobile (Android & iOS), and tablet.

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


Test your knowledge with MOM’s 5 Minute Quiz. This week’s quiz: Deadlines and ThriveHive turn-around times.

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

Deadline for completing this week’s 5MQ is Wednesday, 9/19 @ 5:00 PM

Here’s this week’s 5MQ

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: training@thrivehive.com 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.



The “3 P’s of Q4 & Holidays…

Packages, Pricing, and Presentations

Packages, pricing, and presentations are on the drive! 

There are many reasons to see all local businesses today about a strong finish to 2017. And ENC’s pricing is already set. Check out the deck from our Q4 kick off, plus the Q4 customer presentation template. You will also see sample presentations for guidance.

Remember, most local businesses are expecting a stronger holiday season this year, help them make that come true with our great Q4 bundles!

  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 principle to help the business build their brand for a chance at winning next year.
  6. Gain Agreement in Price: close the sale




Now located on the AdOps page, access from the Blog menu 

Events & Promotion

ENC Live is…encmedialive.com

ENC Media Group’s events are now available with their own website, encmedialive.com. ENC Live is also now available from JDNews.com, Kinston.com, and NewBernsj.com, via the left hand menu navigation. We will be pointing all future website navigation for our live events to this website, and updating the site with appropriate detail and information. This is just another step in ENC’s evolution as a leading marketing services provider in the eastern and coastal North Carolina region.

Events More Important Than Ever To Local Media Companies

GateHouse Media and GatehouseLive are not alone. Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the US (in terms of daily circulation, GateHouse is the largest in terms of the number of titles) is increasing its focus on local events under a single Gannet Brand. Their 2017 target is 500 local and regional events, and they are taking an incredibly important role in solidifying relationships with local businesses in each of their markets. GateHouse and GateHouse Live’s focus is identical. Wilmington Star News has already seen the power of GateHouse Live with their first High School Athlete of the Week event earlier this year. ENC Live will be focusing on developing more events here, and will be working with GateHouse Live when appropriate.

Upcoming ENCLive events

  • ENC Home & Holiday Gift Show  December 15 & 16, 2017
  • ENC Bridal & Special Event Expo  January 21, 2018
  • ENC Jacksonville Home & Garden Show  March 10 & 11, 2018
  • ENC New Bern Home & Garden Show  March 17 & 18, 2018


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!

Halloween Pet Photo Contest

Who doesn’t like pets? Who doesn’t like pets in costume? Who doesn’t like a great marketing value?

  • Sell sheets on this will be out in a few days, but here’s the summary.
  • $5,000 worth of marketing value
  • 45% Discount
  • Total cost $2,799

This includes a separate marketing program for the sponsor that can extend for 3 months, (Premium digital, plus a promotion, a “KPI 2-fer”!)

Look for our Veteran’s Day Promotion very quickly!


Pie Chart of the Week

Why Do SMB’s Advertise?


All proposals, all campaigns, all advertising creative, all social media posts, etc. have a goal. If an advertiser does not have a goal, the campaign, and the money behind it is wasted. And there is one goal that, overwhelmingly, that a vast majority of SMB’s identify as their primary goal…Acquiring New Business!

Keep this in mind the next time you discuss goals with customers. It’s easy to talk “around” this goal, but in the end, everyone wants new business.




…the new norm

Training with Tom

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


  • 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

These will be 3-4 hour sessions with every member of the sales team. All times have been assigned, please review, sign up sheet here.

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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