What is the most important question we need to answer for a business? When? How much? Where? This is the small stuff. Of course a business wants to know the answers to these questions. And too often we lead with this information. But all of these miss the point. All of these really miss the point, and prospective clients may not even listen to the answers to these questions until we answer the most important one.


Why should a local business care about our ideas? Why is it important to me? Why is it going to make a positive difference my business life? Why should I care? Why…is something that one of the greatest sales execs of all time, Steve Jobs, considered when developing great new products. Read more about this here. 

Local businesses are real people. They don’t really care about things like programmatic advertising, customer engagement, share-of-voice, household penetration, etc. They care about their lives. The most important thing that we can consider is why…why should the local business woman or man care about what we are proposing.

Steve Jobs once said that people don’t want to know about computers; they want to know how computers will help them live better. “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology–not the other way around,” Jobs said.


As we move forward with TRANSFORMING our sales approach, and improving the way we communicate with local businesses, we should think like Steve Jobs. The best and most effective marketing solutions will be left untouched unless they start out with WHY a local business should care about them. Our efforts to bundle and price solutions at an affordable level will never be considered unless we are able to communicate WHY they should matter to the local business owner. Starting out with WHY is what sales transformation is all about.

When we consider role models to follow, Steve Jobs is not a bad choice. Why should we care? Because our goal is impacting local business owners and their businesses. And we won’t be successful unless we can show them WHY they matter to them…first.



Quote(s) of the week

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

― Steve Jobs

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.


NEW-Priorities (focus…focus…focus)

  • Travel the Carolinas
  • ThriveHive-2 NEW sales this month
  • MyMags & Port City Life
  • New Business Development (100 in 100)…something to fits with every initiative!

NEW-100 Businesses in 100 Days

100 NEW BUSINESSES IN 100 DAYS starts TODAY! Look for sales incentives separately. Guidelines are here.

UPDATE! Internal Sales Calendar-WILMINGTON & ENC

  • This is an INTERNAL calendar, to be used for scheduling sales activity and planning. Customer facing calendars are being prepared quickly.

UPDATE! O&O Sell-thru…70% Goal

  • Sell thru report for CNC sites is available, check the AdOps page from the upper right corner menu of this blog.



UPDATE!-Have you registered for JUMPSTART yet…for all MMSE’s!

This 6-day program creates an in-depth look at your existing book of business, challenges new techniques, and an overall “jumpstart” from your current position to improve performance (for you and the client.)

This new sales training for MMSE’s covers Consultative Selling, New Consumer Journey, Prospecting, Cold Calling, Effective CNA’s, Building Powerful Presentations, Delivering/Closing, Basics of Digital Solutions

JUMPSTART will be held each month:

  • March 23rd – 30th
  • April 20 – 27th
  • May 18 – 25th

You can register for the March session here: ​​https://goo.gl/forms/fOYYyoQ5Dxp4Ccq93. But don’t wait, March Registration will close on MARCH 12th​ by EOD, and all classes will be capped at 40 participants.

Your time commitment for this great new training program are as follows:

  • 1 hour, daily, LMS Learning (self-paced)
  • ​Daily assignments/activities to reinforce application of self paced content
  • 4 live Zoom calls with Cody Flowers (Friday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday)
  • Pre- and post- manager call required (review expectations and manager track) ​
  • 30 minute manager-led coaching, daily

All existing ENC and SNM MMSE’s will be expected to enroll in this, so don’t wait. (New hires need not enroll in JUMPSTART, there is a separate training program just for you.)

NEW!-March Digital Updates from GateHouse and ThriveHive, register today!

The March roll outs will take place on Thursday March 22nd 1-2pm EST and Friday March 23rd 10-11am EST. Make sure you make your reservation today, on the ThriveHive training website.


UPDATE!-iPad Sales Presentation Training Coming to an Office Near You! (ENC & WILMINGTON)

Check your email this week for dates on Tablet Presentation “practice.” This is not going to be traditional training. Assume it will look and feel more like a chance to simply hone your skills. Make sure you have a presentation you are working on for these sessions. To kick this off, we will have quick sessions to review what an iPad presentation should include, how to give it, and how to upload. If you already know all of this information, great, you can help those that may be less familiar. It’s ok if you don’t know already, because you soon will!


Events & Promotion


  • Batter’s Up ENC Power Hitter Promotion-Wood Ducks Tix
  • Memorial Day Photos
  • Mother’s Day
  • MCAS Air Show

Design your own…just ask!

UPDATE-Power Hitter Sweepstakes for Wood Ducks Tix

We will be giving away 4 tickets to a Wood Ducks game every week during the season, starting the last week of March thru the first week of September. This is a very simple promotion, sponsors will be able to capture a wide variety of names and emails, and will have an elevated presence in all marketing. Plus, your sponsor can contribute their own prize to increase participation raising the stakes of the sweepstakes. Just let us know what your client wants to donate, we will create the marketing plan. Call for assistance to help set up your promotion.

Tracking our progress…

  • All Promotions will have campaigns in Sugar CRM.  Be sure to link any opportunities to those promotions
  • When entering an end date for an opportunity, be sure that you use the deadline for the promotion.
  • If you have questions, contact Alissa


Upcoming Shows…

  • Home and Garden Show, Jacksonville – March 10th & 11th
  • Home and Garden Show, New Bern – March 17th & 18th


ENC and StarNewsMedia reports are available on the drive

  • ENC and SNM Campaign reports
  • ENC and SNM Monthly O&O Audience reports
  • GateHouse inventory availability (all sites)
  • ENCO&O  Rich Media Calendars
  • ENC Front page sticky note calendars

See the Reports page, from upper right menu of MOM!


Pie Chart of the Week


Ad Agencies…friend or competitor?

According to a survey conducted by Borrell Associates, ad agencies identified local media companies as their biggest competitor! This should not be surprising given the breadth of solutions that we can now offer, the training and the resources we have at our disposal.

What does this mean to me? Ad agencies work very hard and do great work. But remember who the presentation is about, and what the goal of the “advertiser” really is. In other words, the agency is NOT the advertiser.

ENC Media Group Brochures

We have new ENC Media Group Sales Brochures that are available for all sales personnel. These great new brochures provide an overview of ENC Media Group, print and digital. As we continue to brand ourselves as a regional marketing powerhouse, this will help explain the overall capabilities and reach of our local properties, ENC Media Group, ThriveHive, and GateHouse Media.

StarNews Media brochures and regionally focused Coastal North Carolina Group brochures are currently in the works. Look for them in Q1!



Good To Know

  • Google; “mobile first” ranking. What is it and what does it mean? Google;s new “mobile first” ranking is being phased in for all websites. This means that a business’s mobile site will determine how Google ranks the ranking of a site on its SERP’s. The process will be slow but it means that mobile sites will need to be viewed as the primary digital storefront for all businesses. What does mobile first ranking mean? Take a look at SearchEngineLand for the answers.
  • Customer reviews are important, but local businesses should watch out how they get them. The importance of reviews from consumers cannot be understated. Google relies on them in determining search ranking. And on other directories, they help local businesses stand out against the competition. While it’s ok to ask for reviews, local businesses should not incentivize consumers to obtain them…Google is watching! A law firm in Louisville, Kentucky, Winton & Hiestand Law Group, had the vast majority of its reviews on Google removed after it was discovered that the firm was incentivizing people to review the business with contests and giveaways. Check out the details on this story on SearchEngineLand, and make sure our local businesses are earning their reviews, the hard way.
  • What delivers more site visits…search or social? In recent years, social has been a growing influence in delivering site visits for businesses. In fact, social has been delivering MORE site visits in the past few years. However, in 2017, for the first time since 2014 search owned a larger share of visits over social. And you might be able to blam “Fake News” for that. See more about this trend here in SearchEngineLand.

 5MQ (Five Minute Quiz)

Taking a break…back next week.