You might think it odd to reference Hockey just when the NFL season is now underway. (Hey, the NHL season has started already, the official season begins in less than a month, and the Chicago Blackhawks are going to be more interesting than the Bears.) But there’s another reason for using a hockey reference, and it comes from one of the greatest of all time, Wayne Gretzky.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be…”


Bear with me on this, it pertains very specifically to the intentions of small businesses across the country for the rest of 2018 and 2019.

The most recent SMB surveys from Borrell Assoc. are completed, and the results again show a clear direction for local small business marketing intentions. The complete data is available in this week’s Chart of the Week later in this blog. But the bottom line is that SMB’s across the country are stating loud and clear where their marketing dollars are going to be placed. Ant it speaks loudly to where we should be…or rather ARE…placing our emphasis.

Small businesses have resoundingly said they are going to be adding marketing dollars to things like Email, SEM, Social, and Video, to name a few. And they have just as resoundingly, said they are going to be spending less on things like Yellow Pages, Newspaper, Magazines and  Cable. This should not be a surprise to anyone seeing MOM on a frequent basis. Heck, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, not even Wayne Gretzky. But knowing it, and doing something about it are two different things. Enter, Mr. Gretzky.

Wayne Gretzky was once asked his thoughts about hockey and why he was so great. I am sure there are many versions of his responses, but the most direct quote we know of goes like this…”I skate to where the puck is going to be…” That quote has been used many times, even Apple has used it in its marketing campaigns. But it’s not the full quote. And when you look at the complete context of what Mr. Gretzky says, it becomes startlingly prescient for our own business. Here’s the quote in its entirety…

A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

Ok, so I emphasized the last part of that. But it says just about everything about where we are, where we should be. If we’ve been good at our jobs, we’ve been paying attention to the present. We have been where the puck is. But our customers are telling us loudly that they are racing towards a different location…where the puck is going to be. And certainly not where it has been. The analogy is startling, and should remind us of our direction. Small and local businesses have already pointed out that very direction, we already know where the puck is going to be.

There is very little similarity between hockey and local marketing. Hockey players, for the most part have fewer teeth than marketing professionals, and they tend to have better hair than most of the guys in marketing that I know. But I do think we can take something from Wayne Gretzky’s thoughts. We know where we need to be. We need to be skating as fast as we can to get there.


Quote of the week

“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.”

— Bill Clinton

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 navigation up top, it’s an easy access for reports and contacts that you will need to keep handy. These will be updated as we go. 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-ThriveHive Deploys Strategic Accounts Team Regionally, Added Support for Verticals

GateHouse and ThriveHive are reinforcing their support for specific business verticals with the announcement of the Strategic Accounts Team. This team brings added knowledge and expertise to our sales focus. Their mission is to grow our digital revenue and grow your active account bases. Jackie Olson from ThriveHive will be the Strategic Account representative for our region. This team will be a point of contact for opportunities that lie within high impact business segments. These are clients with the potential of spending $3,000+ month or more in digital solutions. Categories of special focus will be:

  • Higher Education
  • Healthcare
  • Real Estate Firms (not independent agents)
  • Lawyers
  • Home Services (with a fleet of 8+ vehicles): HVAC, Plumbers, Pest Control,
  • Landscaping
  • Financial Institutions (i.e. Banks, Credit Unions, Loans)

We will immediately be reviewing top 25 accounts in all markets to determine strategies to improve digital performance…for customers and for you.  Word coming soon. 

The process for engaging Jackie and this team will be simple and is outlined here, just for guidance.

IMPORTANT-Digital Rate Card changes for Wilmington and ENC effective 9/3/18.

New digital rate cards are available now. Please access the new rate cards and keep them close for access. New cpm’s and base campaign minimum’s are in effect immediately. The new rate cards are available here.

IMPORTANT UPDATE-Coastal NC Promotion Intake and Set Up Forms (Wilmington & ENC)

Please pay close attention…use these forms at will, depending upon the sales stage you are at currently.

  1. PROMOTIONS INTAKE FORMthis is a form you will want to reference BEFORE you have made a sale, (if you want help putting together a promotion, pricing, etc.) Just fill this out with a little customer info and we will do some of the leg work for you.
  2. PROMOTIONS SET UP FORMthis form should be completed AFTER the sale. When you complete this form, we should have all the information available to start setting up the promotion.

And remember, almost all of our promotions are very focused on digital solutions!

Both of these forms are easy to find, please bookmark them in your version of My Drive. We will also make sure they are linked to MOM on a regular basis.

UPDATEGH Presentation Template

All presentations to follow the GH template, immediately please.

  • REAL presentation is available here to view how this template, and ready-to-use ThriveHive slides can be used.
  • Please note that these have been introduced and are available on the GateHouse Media Portal. Effective immediately, all ENC and SNM presentations should follow the GH template, both design and content flow. These are designed to follow the Sales Transformation steps and touch points, following the format will help guide us along the way. Please access these templates regularly. (Caution-if you download to your hard drive, be prepared to access again for any changes and/or updates that may occur from GH.)

UPDATE-ENC and StarNewsMedia reports are on MOM (Including Campaign Reports)

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


NEW-Monthly Digital Dives…”Java with Jen!”

Effective with this week, Wednesday 9/12, we will be holding an extended Wednesday sales webinar, 9 to 10 focusing on specific areas of digital products and how best to apply with local businesses. You have all received NEW log in instructions for this Wednesday’s session, these supersede previous webinar log in’s for this week only. (Future invites are forthcoming.)

These sessions will be interactive, led by Jen McKay from GateHouse. And we are using Zoom, so you will need to have your digital camera’s in operation. If you do not have a separate digital camera, please have your laptops open in front of  you. Using this will help our engagement and provide y’all with much better opportunities to take to the field.

First session…Wednesday, 9/12, @ 9:00 AM. 

UPDATE-GateHouse Sales Training Center

Well no, this is not “new”, but you may not have accessed these pages yet. This is the GateHouse Sales Training Center where you can find links all training materials, web pages and training decks for just about anything we need to know. Need to know more about OnTarget, this is the place. Need to know more about working with Google Apps, you’ll find it here. Need to know where past monthly update decks can be found, this is the right place. Bookmark the Training Center, this is the FIRST place to access when you have a question about a product or tool we have.

NEW-Google Digital Sales Certification

Congratulations to everyone for passing and/or renewing your Google Digital Sales Certification. Now it’s time to upload your certificate in the GH LMS. Instructions for how to do this are here.

Please make sure you upload your certificate soon…our own CNC deadline for completing this simple task is 5:00 PM Tuesday, 9/11/18!


UPDATE-September 2018 Digital Webinars from GateHouse and ThriveHive

  • Look for the September Digital Rollout registration on the TH Training site and the GateHouse Sales Training Center (mentioned above.)


What’s Hot-2018

Here’s larger pdf view of this chart that can be repurposed for customer presentation.

These results are just in from SMB’s participating in Borrell Research’s and 2018 SMB survey, when asked “How will your (marketing) plans change? ”

  • 46% said they will increase email marketing, 50% said they would stay the same
  • 58% said they would increase use of social media, 38% said they would stay the same
  • 52% said they would increase use of video, 40% said they would stay the same
  • 46% said they would increase the use of SEM, 47% said they would stay the same

This contrasts to…

  • 39% said they would stop or decrease use of YP, 58% said they would stay the same
  • 34% said they would stop or decrease use of newspapers, 56% said they would stay the same
  • 32% said they would stop or decrease use of magazines, 60% said they would stay the same

So if you are in the local marketing services business, and you are trying to grow your share, this chart spells out everything you need to know to position yourself to do just that.

Mom’s Library

(what’s your mom been reading lately?)

  • iPad-like tablet, envisioned and developed by a newspaper company…in 1994! Yes, that is really the truth. And the newspaper company didn’t pursue it. Now there are a number of legit reasons why they made that business decision, but there’s alot of irony there. Check out the video on YouTube.
  • Local businesses get a lift when they ad online reviews to their websites. Google has endorsed the practice. This is something that all of us should be recommending to local businesses to help them improve their search ranking, and be found more often. Google loves it! But there are some specific ways to do this, and we should be on top of that as well. See more about this on SearchEngineLand.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s