Non-advertising, a term we’ve started to hear more frequently in marketing discussions over the past couple of years, is kind of a big thing…bigger than advertising in fact. According to Borrell Associates, SMB’s spend more money on “non”advertising marketing than they do on actual advertising. But just what exactly is “non” advertising?

In simple terms, it’s anything that is not advertising. (Well that was easy wasn’t it?) Yep, that is too easy. The non-advertising spending in this case is anything that is devoted to supporting a business, just not the specific ads or ad campaign. (My definitions.) To make this easier, think websites, website hosting, SEO, directory optimization, promotions, sponsorships, events, etc.

If you were a promotions executive, or an event coordinator, this would not be news to you. If you were a web designer, or a search optimization guru, again this would not be news to you. But if you spend your waking hours working at a local media company justifying your existence by reporting on “ad” revenue, this might be something a little different. To be honest non-advertising has been a huge piece of local media services for a while, but its magnitude now makes it larger than any advertising media or channel in which you may have a vested interest.

The SMB Survey conducted by Borrell Assoc. in 2017 reports that only 16% of the total marketing dollars spent by SMB’s in the US was dedicated to actual advertising. This includes print full pages and targeted display campaigns as well as outdoor billboards, radio, TV, magazines, etc. This leaves the remaining 84% devoted to non-advertising which includes promotions, digital support and offline support. And the spending on digital support alone is 2x’s that of actual advertising spending.

Why is this important?

With digital support (or digital services) holding a 2-to-1 lead in spending compared to that of actual advertising, it makes sense that local media companies would be going to market as digital support or services companies. But that still is not always the case. Very possibly the local community still thinks of these companies as their masthead or their call letters. But limiting the perception to just that is…well…limiting.

For every $1 local businesses may spend on a full page newspaper ad, a billboard, or a 60 second TV commercial, there are another $2 spent on supporting a website, optimizing online directory listings, or improving search ranking. But if you are addressing local SMB’s from the advertising-first perspective, aren’t you selling yourself (and the entire conversation) a little short? If you are in that business, NOT defining yourself in the terms associated with local digital marketing services immediately places you in second place.

Frankly, you can choose to call yourself anything you wish. The markets will define you by the services you provide, and the manner in which you provide them. Remembering the 2-to-1 ratio favoring digital services might help put things in perspective.


Quote(s) of the week

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”

— Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 2007

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-Q3 Sales Focus

  • Week of 6/11-6/15
    • Appointments & CNA’s
  • Thursday, June 14
  • Week of June 18-June 22
    • Appointments & CNA’s
  • Week of June 25-June 29
    • Sales calls
    • 10 appts each
  • ENC Medical

UPDATE!-Best of the Best

  • Nominations round ends Tuesday, June 12
    • Nominations will be tallied by June 19
  • Vote for me selling, June 19 – July 17
  • Public voting, July 24 – Aug 7

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

  • Check out the latest sell-thru stats, along with cpm averages on the O&O performance report. Access from the Reports page, from the upper right menu of this blog.


UPDATE!-May 2018 Digital Webinars from GateHouse and ThriveHive

  • The May Digital Updates from GH and TH will take place on Thursday May 24th and Friday May 27th.  Register for one of these sessions on the ThriveHive training website.

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 promotional 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!


  • July 4
  • Athlete of the Week (New Bern, Kinston, Jacksonville)

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

Check out the Encmedialive website for more on the following…

  • New Bern Home & Holiday Show
  • 2019 New Bern Bridal Show



ENC and StarNewsMedia reports are on MOM!

See the Reports page, from upper right menu of 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


Pie Chart of the Week-Colleges and Universities


  • Colleges and Universities are planning/placing schedules now for 2018-19
  • They are predominently online focues, but also have to utlizize broad “branding” channels such as radio and TV
  • As a result broadcast stations will also be going after their digital spend
  • Strongest digital channels for this category are…
    • Seach
    • Targeted Display
    • Online Video
    • Listings Search
  • On average, colleges and universities are spending $440 annually per employee on advertising

Here’s a link to this week’s graphic.


Good To Know

  • GateHouse Media launches a new consumer marketing agency. To provide strong support and expertise helping grow audience, (and audience revenue) GateHouse has centralized its consumer marketing efforts. Check it out here.
  • Are teenagers leaving Facebook? That may be what research is showing, in favor of YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. This is certainly not the end of FB and its value to local businesses, but it pays to know the trends. Read more on this from MondayNote
  • Mary Meeker’s 2018 Internet Trends. It’s long, it’s weighty, and at times it’s boring. Most of all, it’s important. Here are the slides to this year’s update from Mary Meeker

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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