Boo! If This Doesn’t Scare You Nothing Will

5 Scary Digital Marketing Facts About Our Markets

The recent Borrell Local SMB Survey results have uncovered some frightening facts pertaining to our own markets. While they may be alarming, FEAR NOT (right, easy for you to say on Halloween eve!) we all can face the fear and help our local customers safely improve their digital marketing results. So, before I lose my nerve, here are the 5 Scariest Digital Marketing Facts In Our Markets.

  • Local businesses on average, purchase marketing from 7 separate providers.

Look over your shoulder, we are not alone. If you think you are indispensable to the local business, think again. On average businesses in our markets are purchasing from 7+ companies for supporting their digital marketing efforts. (The national average is even higher.) The scary part of this is that it’s not easy to stand out in a crowd, and the competition for us to do so is more fierce than ever. This means that we have to be on top of our game, up-to-date on ever changing products, aggressively optimizing our own recommendations, and constantly providing innovative ideas. In short, WE ARE NOT ALONE! (I hope you are not reading this all alone, late at night.)

  • Local businesses on average, spend more than 9 hours per week on marketing/advertising.

Ahhhhh! You mean that even though we are the “experts” local businesses are still allocating what turns out to be 1 full day a week just focusing on their marketing? Isn’t that our job? This must also mean that we have yet to convince our local businesses that we ARE the experts and should be considered their marketing consultants. This means that we have to be even more vocal about our own local capabilites, more openly embrace our ThriveHive teams as part of our services, and position our presence as a consultative service first, a digital marketing service provider second, and an ad placement service third.

  • Our local businesses said that online was not offered to them with their traditional media.

Ok, only 8% of the Borrell Survey respondents made this claim, but why did Cable TV (where 1/3 of our market businesses will increase spending in 2018) score 0%? With everything we are doing, with all the emphasis we are placing on our digital expertise and digital growth, even this 8% number is high. If we are truly digital first, none of our local customers, regardless of their media usage, should NOT be provided an opportunity to benefit from our expertise and added reach. This means we should be re-examining everything with which we go to market, and insuring that our digital tools are included to provide local businesses with the best opportunity, the broadest (or the most targeted) reach. No stone (except for grave stones) to be left un-turned in 2018!

  • Print media overall, is considered to be a less effective advertising medium than others.

So to put this in context, nobody said print advertising was a bad idea. It’s just that when it’s ranked against other forms of advertising, print (newspapers, magazines, printed directories, and other print) were considered less effective than almost all others. Cinema advertising also joined the “less effective” group in the survey. This should not be a scary fact in our market, because we have so many digital opportunities and digital expertise to offer. But when we go to market with our print products first, and digital products second, by default we are leading with a less effective argument, at least in the opinions of our local businesses. Print is not a bad channel to include in many proposals and campaigns. In many cases it is “one of” instead of being the primary channel. This means that our go-to-market narrative should be more about the effectiveness of our strong digital opportunities and the benefit we can add by including our print exposure. That is something that nobody else can say, and will help us stand out among the crowd. REMEMBER OUR BUSINESSES WORK WITH MORE THAN JUST US!

  • Local businesses in our markets, on average, don’t rely heavily on data to determine marketing results.

To me this might be the scariest item of them all. Word-of-mouth from clients and customers was noted by nearly 1/2 of all our survey respondents (49%) as being their preferred method of tracking results. What local businesses “see and hear with their eyes/ears” also showed up very high in preferred method of tracking results.  And 11% of the responses said they did not track results at all! While transactional data such as sales and orders was mentioned on slightly more than one-quarter of surveys (27%), hard data such as reports from media partners, call tracking, lead forms, and surveys were well down on the list. This means that many local businesses are honestly not really tracking their spending, and may not have a true grasp of their marketing ROI. Our role,as we move forward as digital and multimedia marketing consultants, will be to help our local businesses really see the results of their campaigns, against the true, stated goals of the business. This is the crux of the SALES TRANSFORMATION process we are now undergoing.

So there you have it, 5 reasons why I lose sleep at night. But that will change. As we flex our digital marketing expertise muscles even more in 2018, our customers will be seeing our capabilities more often, relying on us more heavily and making better decisions utilizing the hard data we can provide. This is all part of our changing narrative with local businesses to start describing our capabilities, and our mission, as one of digital expertise, with complementary media products that enhance robust marketing campaigns.

Quote(s) of the week

“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
– Warren Buffett


“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
– Marilyn Monroe

Your MOM Knows Best 

  • BTB (Before The Blog) editions of the MOM online newsletter are now available on the About page, available from the menu in the upper right hand corner.
  • Check the menu in the upper right, it’s an easy access for reports and contacts that you will need to keep handy. These will be updated as we go, but you should be able to find links, names, and phone numbers that you need on a regular basis. Depend on MOM as your in-house directory.Your MOM knows all!
  • Want to follow MOM to be the first to hear about weekly updates? Just follow MOM and you’ll 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.
  • Give MOM some feedback, rate any post, or leave a comment.
  • And your MOM is everywhere, available on ALL devices…desktop, mobile (Android & iOS), and tablet.

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


ENC Sales Calendar

Access the section and event sales calendar online, here.

New ThriveHive Holiday Packages

Collateral on the new ThriveHive Holiday packages can be found on the ThriveHive training site. They have also been downloaded to our drive and are available here. You will also want to check out the guidelines for selling and delivery of these valuable assets, here.

New Social Management Packaging

ThriveHive has improved the Social Management packages making them fit the way that local businesses have been requesting. While the previous packages can still be closed thru Nov. 30, you should no longer be adding them to proposals, instead moving over to the new packages. (Note: I personally closed on one of the old packages last week and will be carrying through with that sale so it’s ok to move forward with the expiring packages if you’ve already included.) Collateral on the new Social Packaging is on the TH training site, and also downloaded to our drive, here.

Presentations NEW!

New GateHouse One-Sheet Presentation Form

  • As announced in the October Roll Out Webinar, GateHouse has prepared a template for a one-sheet presentation. Multi-slide power points don’t work for all businesses. This new format includes all the salient touch-points of a great marketing campaign discussion. Please access this from the GateHouse Media Portal.
  • You can also access the Word version of this presentation here




Q4 & Holidays Presentations


NEW High Impact Inventory On All O&O Site-Interscroller Ad Position!

(Get ready for this ad position, we will be implementing it in several of our packages very quickly!)

IMPORTANT: Q4 Digital Rate Cards On The Drive

  • All new campaigns not on previously documented contracts should be on these cards.





  • All sales personnel are requested to communicate with AdOps via email for all requests.  Please help out, if you are not sending your requests via email, a face-to-face or phone request may not be fulfilled.

Digital Rates

  • All O&O campaigns should be written using the new digital rates. Please help out, campaigns may be delayed if we are uncertain of the rating. Thanks.


  • Campaign reports and monthly O&O audience reports are available on the drive. You can access them by selecting the AdOps page from the menu in the upper right hand corner of MOM!

Events & Promotion

ENC Live is…

Access this site for all up to date information regarding upcoming events. We will be adding information about the Local Media Workshops very soon.

Upcoming ENCLive events

  • ENC Home & Holiday Gift Show  December 15 & 16, 2017
  • ENC Bridal & Special Event Expo  January 21, 2018
  • ENC Local Media Workshops, January 29, 2018
  • ENC Local Media Workshops, January 30, 2018
  • ENC Local Media Workshops, January 31, 2018
  • ENC Jacksonville Home & Garden Show  March 10 & 11, 2018
  • ENC New Bern Home & Garden Show  March 17 & 18, 2018


Pie Chart of the Week

Where will digital dollars go in 2018?

Our local businesses will be expanding their digital ad spend in 2018, there is no doubt about it. We may have great ideas of our own regarding how that can be accomplished. But where do THEY say they anticipate their spending will go? The 2017 Borrell SMB Survey tells us the results from our own markets. And there are one or two surprises to be ready for.

2018 Local Online Ad Expenditures-Online Channels, Borrell 2017 Local SMB Survey (CNC Markets)

Local businesses in our own markets have told us how they may split their digital ad spending in 2018.

  • Targeted Display: 32%
  • General Search: 30%
  • Listings Search: 17%
  • Online Video: 15%
  • RoS Display: 4%
  • Email: 1%
  • Online Audio: 1%

(Click on the chart for a larger view, or to download for your presentations.)


This is rather significant and provides us with great direction. While all recommendations should be based on customer needs, this provides us some reassurance that Targeted Display (OnTarget & O&O) can be recommended with assurance in many cases. It is the #1 digital ad channel that our local businesses feel they need to include. We will be working hard to insure that our Targeted Display solutions are part of almost every marketing discussion we have.

  • It’s no surprise that General Search shows up so highly, nobody can argue the effectiveness and benefit of SEM campaigns.
  • Listings search does cause us to sit up and pay more attention to how we position listings, and improving them can benefit local businesses. ThriveHive’s Local Listings Builder provides ongoing benefit to local businesses that can easily be overlooked.
  • Online Video is showing up as more than a “blip on the radar” now. We can expect a great deal of discussion on how we can provide marketing value with video. Look for new product announcements coming in the New Year!
  • RoS Display, or “non-targeted” display is not expected to play a major role in most local budgets. This does not mean that our O&O sites are not primary components. It does, however, mean that much of our O&O inventory should be utilized with targeting campaigns. We CAN target on our O&O sites, provided we have offered the right instructions with a campaign to support the customer needs.

This type of chart is of great benefit when included in overall recommendations. Best practice would be to provide it as back up for the overall recommendations made. If our proposals don’t follow the exact % numbers shown that is perfectly ok. However showing how local businesses have stated they plan to focus ad budgets provides a strong un-biased argument in our favor when our solutions are including these components.

See your own local Compass Navigator in your office, or ask me for any additional information. We will also begin to roll out access to Borrell Compass to those that request. 



…the new norm


November Digital Webinars from ThriveHive and GateHouse

The November Digital roll out will not feature anything new, but it will offer a recap of all the 2017 digital highlights.

  • Dates for the webinars are November 16 @ 1pm eastern and November 17 @ 10am eastern. All sales personnel are asked to attend. Registration is available on the TH training site.

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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