This is the third time around for this message, same focus, new data. In the Feb. 6, 2017 issue of MOM, (Google newsletter version) and again on July 17, 2017 on this blog, the idea of moving away from “advertising” in favor of marketing “services” was discussed. A new set of data recently discussed at the Colorado Press Association’s annual conference reinforces this more than ever.

The Marketing Iceberg

Presenting  to the attending members of the converence, Gordon Borrell, of Borell Assoc. discussed the conept of the “marketing iceberg.” (In due respect to Mr. Borrell, this is only about the numbers he presented, he deserves to discuss his narrative.)

The whole idea of an iceberg (you remember Leo DiCaprio, Kate Winslett, Titanic…spoiler alert…they sink) is that what you see is NOT what you get. There’s a whole lot else going on under the surface.

The marketing version of this concept is simply this…what we see, what traditional media sales personnel intuitively reach for, represents only 16% of the overall marketing spend going on today. Here’s the numbers, in billions of dollars making up the marketing iceberg.

  • Advertising-$316.7 billion
  • Promotions-$830.9 billion
  • Digital Services-$661.4 billion
  • Offline Services-$117.6 billion

There is nothing wrong with claiming our rightful stake of what amounts to a pretty large sum, $300 billion is nothing to sneeze about.  But this is still less than 1/5th of the total dollars devoted to marketing. And that piece continues to be more elusive than ever, moving either to DIY tools or migrating to services. And Digital Services continues to be one of the fastest growing components of this ever changing iceberg. Coincidentally, it also happens to be an area in which we are receiving the strongest support and training for our efforts to help local businesses succeed.

Do we really mean we should STOP selling ads?

Nope! Advertising continues to be a strong driver of success for local businesses. Nobody should STOP recommending great ads as a component of an overall solution. More appropriately, the message here is to stop LEADING with ads in our regular dicussions with local businesses. If advertising represents just 16% of an overall marketing category, why would it be the one area on which we limit our discussions? And for that matter, why wouldn’t we lead with Digital Services, or Promotions? There are various reasons why we, i.e. local media representatives, don’t lead with these more prominent marketing disciplines. Maybe it’s habit, a lack of confidence in our understanding or services or promotions, or it’s because local businnesses don’t look at us as a full-service provider, and changing their perception is a little bit harder.

The common thread above is that all the reasons in the world that would prevent us from leading with digital services or promotions in our every-day marketing conversations are well within our power to change. We stopped being ad sales reps a long time ago. And local businesses stopped relying solely on ads to drive their success a long time ago also. True, GateHouse Media publishes more daily newspapers than any one else in the US. But that only allows GateHouse Media (i.e. StarNews Media, ENC Media Group) to have more wholistic marketing discussions with local businesses than anyone else in the US. And having those discussions is within our power.

No, don’t stop selling ads. But just remember that what’s below the surface is much larger. Local businesses have already figured that out. Leo would be proud.

Quote(s) of the week

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”

― Peter Drucker

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.


UPDATE-Priorities (4 priorities for the week)

  • April Catch Up Bundles
  • ThriveHive-2 NEW sales this month
  • New Business Development (100 in 100)…something to fit with every initiative!
  • Best of the Best

UPDATE!-100 Businesses in 100 Days

We are on our way…congratulations to Tyler Beaman for the latest close in our 100 Accounts in 100 Days contest. Check the scorecard here. Sales guidelines are located 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

  • and are both showing up at 70%+ sell thru this week…congratulations! Starnewsonline is not far behind. Nice job. Sell thru report for CNC sites is available, check the AdOps page from the upper right corner menu of this blog.



NEW!-New from Facebook Regarding Partner Categories (3rd party targeting)

  • With FB under such scrutiny, our local clients depand on us to know the latest scoop on the largest social media network in the world. They also expect to know what we are doing about keeping up with changes. Please check out this latest update on the TH/GH training website.

NEW!-Mobile Search Results Are Changing on Google

  • Mobile SERP’s are changing. This is in line with the “mobile first” effort that Google is rolling out. THIS IS IMPACTING EVERY CLIENT WE WORK WITH IN OUR MARKETS! Just like with FB, local clients want to be assured that we know what is going on and can help them. Please check out this latest update on the TH/GH training website.

UPDATE!-April Digital Updates from GateHouse and ThriveHive, register today!

  • The April Digital Updates from GH and TH will take place on Thursday April 26th 1pm EST or Friday April 27th 10am EST. Make sure you make you register on the ThriveHive training website.

UPDATE!-Are You Using Your iPad?

This week! Have a presentation ready for practice. Training still ongoing.




Events & Promotion

UPDATE-B.Y.O. (Build your own) Promotion

If a business has something to offer as a prize, it’s a Promotion!

Want to add a sweepstakes to any ad campaign? Want to help a local business add to their database of customer leads? Want to provide a great branding campaign to a local business? This is an easy way to add great marketing exposure to any current advertiser’s program, for a fraction of the cost. And it also results in a $1000 promotion! (Available to any $500/month or more advertiser. )

We will create a quick sweepstakes for any existing advertiser, that will result in a $2,500+ marketing campaign. Total cost to the advertiser is $1000. Why not start out with a Wood Ducks ticket sweepstakes? Or have your client add their own give away (min. value $100.) We will add in promtional media that includes the following:

  • Targeted Display
  • Quarter Pages
  • Facebook Post
  • Logo on ads
  • Email to our registered database
  • Logo recognition on all promotion
  • Database Opt-in

Let’s take a look at your up to date CNA and we will create a great sweepstakes that will turn a $500 campaign into one valued at $2,500!


  • Batter’s Up ENC Power Hitter Promotion-Wood Ducks Tix (Live in New Bern and Jacksonville, still open in Kinston.)
  • Memorial Day Photos
  • Mother’s Day Sweepstakes
  • July4th/Patriotic Sweepstakes

Design your own…just ask!

Promotions in CRM

  • 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

Look for more on the following…

  • Best of StarNews Varsity Awards
  • New Bern Home & Holiday Show
  • 2019 New Bern Bridal Show



ENC and StarNewsMedia reports are on MOM!

  • 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-Tourist Attractions

Attracting tourists is a digital game!

If we are spending time trying to sell a local newspaper ad campaign to a venue that attracts tourists…frankly we are waisting our time. Just think, tourists SEARCH for places to go, things to do. And tourists are not our readers of our owned local media. Far and away, the best way to reach this type of audience is a strong digital campaign.

Borrell’s survey bears this out. Just look at where the dollars are spent.

  • Online-69%
  • Radio-17%
  • Direct Mail-6%
  • Out of Home-5%




And when we look at where those online dollars are being spent, the idea of “being found when users are looking” is front and center.

  • General Search-35%
  • Listings Search-24%
  • Targeted Dislay-21%
  • Online Video-16%

Note that online video is one of the top four areas of spending here, no surprise. Tourist attractions use visuals to attract their audience.


These facts and images were included in a recent presentation for a 2-location funeral home in our market. If you’d like to see it, give me a shout.

 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

  • GateHouse buys Ohio! Ok, so maybe not the entire state of Ohio, but GateHouse has purchased the Akron Beacon Journal, whose web presence is This was announced just last week, on the heels of several other major purchases. GateHouse now operates 640 community publications and more than 560 websites and continues to publish more daily newspapers in the US than anyone else. The story on this purchase is here on
  • GoogleMyBusiness ads more features and options for local businesses. Everyone knows that SMB’s should claim their listing on GoogleMyBusiness, right? Well once they do, what do they do with it? Too many do little. Google has added more options for local businesses to add a menu of services, allowing businesses to show more on organic searches. In turn, this will allow consumers to find businesses using this option much more quickly. This is something local marketing experts need to know. So here’s your chance to catch up on this new feature, on SearchEngineLand.
  • 89% of US adults use the Internet. What do the remaining 11% know that I don’t? That’s right, 11% of US adults DON’T use the internet. Why? Well some of it is demographic, some of it is economics, some of it is geographic. But it’s important to remember, even those demo’s that we presume ARE NOT a digital audience, like seniors, are very digital. In fact, almost 2/3’s of those that are 65+ use the internet. It’s important we know the facts and can use them to help local businesses. So here you go, here’s the latest metrics on internet use, from

 5MQ (Five Minute Quiz)

Taking a break…back next week.