Time again for Dave’s Top 10! This time it’s the top 10 take-away’s from the new 2018 SMB Survey from Borrell Associates.

  1. Avg. SMB employs 7.7 types of marketing; half digital, half traditional
  2. Traditional media users: 22% plan to increase spending, 24% plan to cut
  3. Digital media users: 47% plan to increase spending, 10% plan to cut
  4. Top reason for cutting a particular type of media: too expensive
  5. Instagram now #2 social platform w/ 50% using it; 23% rate it very high
  6. 69% of digital ad-buyers use targeting; geotargeting is most prevalent
  7. 46% of SMBs are trying something new; video is leading choice
  8. Social media is No. 1 choice for video distribution
  9. 51% who use video marketing see it as highly effective
  10. Spending on traditional types of media averages 2.7x that of digital

What does this mean to me?

Overall, the tone of this year’s survey is similar to last year’s. But digging down deeper, there are some specifics that should define our focus, now and going forward.

  • We are not alone-many SMB’s are dealing with more than 7 other providers than me. How do I stand out? What’s my USP?
  • More businesses plan to cut traditional ad spending than increase it…deal with it!
  • Anyone reducing their digital spending with me, is spending it somewhere else. How can we become indispensable?
  • Instagram is popular, and it works. Do we recommend it to local businesses?
  • We need to recommend targeting to local businesses…and we should be geo-targeting newspaper.com campaigns.
  • Video works. Are we prepared to discuss this with local customers?

While we don’t have the detail for the entire survey in our hands, these take-aways clearly are telling us that local businesses are willing to change and are looking for new solutions. It’s time for a change.

(Note: the above 10 take-away’s are courtesy of Peter Krasilovsky, Localonliner.com. Check it out!)

Quote of the week

“The only place where success comes before work is the dictionary. “

— Vince Lombardi

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-World Series of Sales

Play Ball! Starting October 1 and ending November 4, GateHouse EAST will play GateHouse WEST to determine WHO IS THE BEST!

Each week, GateHouse EAST and GateHouse WEST (each) will award up to $750 based on most revenue and most points. All details are spelled out on the attached internal contest sheet, (click on the graphic to the left.)

  • Wilmington jumped on the board quickly, but seems to have stalled.
  • ENC has some sales waiting on deck.
  • Make sure we record all sales on the official sales tracker, (your manager can submit your totals once the contracts are submitted.)

Keep ’em coming!

UPDATE-Special New Account ThriveHive Pricing For Hurricane Florence Relief

  • We have additional NEW pricing considerations here for new accounts coming out of Hurricane Florence. Use this pricing for new business, include in your proposals. Let’s help businesses in our communities to get the word out that they are IN BUSINESS!. (Document restricted to CNC sales.)

UPDATE-OnTarget Audience Request Form…Now Required (This is a new form for Wilmington.)

All targeted display campaigns that will be part of proposals will be required to be submitted with the Audience Request Form effective 10/1/18. This means that any targeted display component you are recommending in sales proposals should be planned using the Audience Request Form, ahead of time.

  • These forms should be completed prior to sale, not after the sale.
  • They can, and should, be used for proposals and to aid in closing proposals.
  • Newspaper O&O inventory can be included as a part of the overall audience request for these plans.

NOTE: This form is NEW for Wilmington. The previous form that was available for Wilmington will no longer be used.

Here is a link to the most recent format of this form. Please add to your bookmarks.

UPDATE-CRM Field Added To Note SITRW (Selling In The Real World) Activity

  • A new field has been added to the input in Sugar CRM to note SITRW activity. Instructions are forthcoming as are training sessions. If you note this field while inputting new opportunities, it is to be checked SPECIFICALLY for SITRW progress, only. More to come.

UPDATE-ThriveHive Strategic Accounts Team 

The TH Strategic Account team is established to provide specialized focus to those businesses that are the most digital dependent. Jackie Olson from ThriveHive is our representative on the Strategic Account Team. Among the categories of business that this team will be watching are…

  • 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)

In addition we are also going to be reviewing the TOP 25 ACCOUNTS in all properties, regardless of category of business. We are beginning to review these accounts in all markets to determine strategies to improve digital performance…for customers and for you.

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

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.

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-ThriveHive’s FREE Grader for Small Businesses

ThriveHive is making it easier for local businesses to evaluate and improve upon their Google My Business listings with a new Free tool. ThriveHive is making its new ThriveHive Grader solution free to businesses. With real-time diagnostic assessments of Google My Business profiles, this solution will fill the gap where business owners struggle to leverage all of the opportunities that Google has to offer. At this time, we don’t need to do anything about this new tool, but don’t be surprised if you start hearing more about it in the future. Read more about it here, at StreetFightMag.


UPDATE-Registration Is Open for October Digital Rollout

Please register for the October Digital Rollout Webinar on the ThriveHive training website. Dates and times for this webinar are Thursday October 25th 1-2:15pm EST and Friday October 26th 10-11:15am EST. You need only attend one webinar.

And don’t forget, the recording of the September rollout is also available on the training site.

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

Starting on October 24, 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 will receive NEW login instructions for these sessions, that will supersede our regular webinar log in’s.

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, October 24.

UPDATE-GateHouse Sales Training Center

The GateHouse Sales Training Center is where you can find links to 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.

UPDATE-Google Digital Sales Certification

If you have not done so already 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.


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.
  2. PROMOTIONS SET UP FORMthis form should be completed AFTER the sale.

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.

Good To Know

(Impress your friends, your clients, and your MOM…you may not know it all but you are trying.)

  • Yet another Google algorithm change…how did it affect local SMB websites? Frankly we don’t know, unless local businesses know. Google changes are frequent, there’s nothing to do to prepare other than have a great local site. In fact, that is Google’s advice. Read more about this latest change from SearchEngineLand.
  • Amazon and SMB’s, it’s looking like a match. You may be surprised to hear that Amazon is making inroads as a marketing services provider for SMB’s. Don’t be, their new Storefronts, offer plain ole’ local businesses, like the ones we want to work with daily, an opportunity to offer their products on the shopping giant’s website. Some of our own local customers may be working with Amazon Storefronts today. So why not catch up on what Amazon is up to on StreetFightMag.
  • Online mattress sales…a lesson about ecommerce to sleep on. You may have heard that Mattress Firm, one of the largest brick and mortar mattress retailers in the US, is filing bankruptcy. What caused this? A combination of growing number of online competitors, and a consumer market that was served better by these online websites. This is not the tale of every retail business, it’s more a lesson in listening to your customers than it is online vs brck-and-morter…still an interesting story. Check it out at CNN Business.
  • GateHouse Media continues to grow, purchasing the Oklahoman Media Company. The Daily Oklahoman, a 100,000+ circulation daily in Tulsa, Oklahoma has a long history of excellent service and sales. This is important news even for local NC customers, because our ability to grow provides stability and strength for the long-term in all GH markets. Spread the word! More here on NewsOK.com.

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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