Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Internet Pure Play Going After Local, Small Businesses

It's just not Yahoo, MSN and Google that local media have to consider as competitors for local business advertising budgets. Below is one of the newest players. / Companies / US & Canada - MySpace trials new ads system

Friday, October 3, 2008

Biden v. Palin

Make your own call regarding the winner-loser of the VP debate. But here's my question: Am I the only person that thought Gwen Ifel was an absolutely dreadful moderator? She lacked control, allowed Governor Palin to dictate terms of the debate and her questions were weak and lacked any insight. To be honest, I've never found her to be a strong contributor on the Newshour. Last night illustrated my point.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What's Risk

Finally, someone with an real idea on how to put risk management back into corporate America.

Stock Market Meltdowns - Why they will happen again and again and again - Blog Maverick

Friday, August 29, 2008

Hard Questions

Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Don’t cry for journalists… «

Read the above link and then take an honest look at our industry disruption.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dex/RHD Shares Online Advertiser Numbers « Screenwerk

Dex/RHD Shares Online Advertiser Numbers « Screenwerk

Link above has some interesting figures from a Yellow Page directory sales manager. In the Phoenix market they claim to have 13,000 businesses advertising. That's probably aggressive. But what if you take that number down by 25%? Say they have 9,000+ advertisers. Do you think the local newspaper or television stations in the Phoenix market have 9,000 advertisers? What does that say about your market?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Click as a Tip

My Yahoo!

Here's a good idea - in my opinion. Why not?

Noise or Evolution?

I agree with the post below. Everyone as a publisher is not a good thing, unless you look at it as evolution.

My Yahoo!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Attack on Newspaper's Circular Ad Business Continues

How much of your newspaper's ad revenue comes from circulars?

ShopLocal Distributing Ads via Yahoo! « Screenwerk

A Small Business Marketing Success Story in Real Estate

I often tell folks the two industries you should look at regarding the future of local online advertising is automotive and real estate. Both these industries have been forced to deal with major changes in client prospecting and client delivery. And those changes have only started. Some in those industries are doing better than others. Below is link to a story of one real estate agent that develops 80% of all her business online.

A Small Business Marketing Success Story: Teresa Boardman, Real Estate Agent

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Another Reason Local Advertisers Need To Jump in the Online Ad Pool

The linked article is a good example of one of the compelling reasons I urge local advertisers to engage with local online advertising solutions today. This is coming. And if you wait until it completely unfolds on your local television sets, your competition will have already begun to take your business.

Yahoo Internet on TV in Japan « Screenwerk

Friday, May 9, 2008

Another "Channel" coming to your market

I wrote a response to Todd Shurz's blog on the Schurz Intranet site. Todd's blog raised the question, "what is a channel?" I argued that our radio and television properties define channel in terms of their station's VHF or FM or AM frequency designation. And that this definition was limiting and ultimately a hindrance to our future business plans. I believe there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of LOCAL "channels" in the near future. Today I came across the linked story below. This is just another "channel" that will exist in our markets. Yes, this channel will be temporary, but the negative effect it will have on our media properties ratings and revenues will be very real. Get ready for more and more of this.

Live Nation and AdBrite in Local Ads Deal « Screenwerk

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

All The News You're Really Great At Covering

What if your newspaper only printed stories that were exclusive-important-and something you were great at...not one of those three, ALL three. Forget AP stories, forget anything that can be called filler. Just don't print it. Would that mean a 2-page newspaper...maybe. Is that a bad thing? Does that cause production problems? Maybe. Should we make decisions about our future in the media world based on what our printing press can do, or on what our newsrooms can really great at.

Here's a link to the same kind of ideas played out for the Times.

Seth's Blog: All the News That Fits (do what you're great at)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Cloud Computing....Is it hype or the next BIG thing?

I'm no and start making your own conclusions.

Google, IBM Join Forces To Dominate 'Cloud Computing' -- Network Computing -- InformationWeek


One of the guys that originally hired me into my first (and current) job in digital media just resigned. Hyler Cooper, our Vice President of Digital Operations at Schurz Communications announced he is leaving the company this week.

On May 15th, Hyler will become Senior Vice President of EMedia for AgWeb/Farm Journal, a media company that focuses on the agriculture industry with web, print and television products. He will be responsible for all digital operations which include six websites.

Good for Hyler, he's a talented guy to whom I owe a good deal of gratitude.

Your first job breaking into any industry is tough. You know the dilemma, everyone wants experience but no one wants to be the first to hire you and give you the experience. Hyler (and my direct boss, Scott Stavrakas) made that kind of hire with me. Because of that leap of faith, I would walk through fire to execute anything these guys want me to do. So, naturally, I'll miss Hyler. AgWeb made a good hire. And I suspect within a short period of time there will be some AgWeb folks working for Hyler that will also find walking through fire worth the trip.

Dell’s Embed-able, Subscribe-able, Share-able Video Is Working

Working with local advertisers across the country a couple of questions seem to be common across different type businesses and different parts of the country. The first question is why should I care about this online audience when it's still a relatively small number of potential customers? And second, when I have tried this in the past I didn't get any results so why should I try it again?

My answer for both questions is usually some version of this opinion I have: Advertising is changing, dramatically. The rules, tools, effectiveness, measurement and players are in a state of flux never before seen. But there are success stories, plenty of them. So the sooner you get in the game, the sooner you will find your path. And as your media partner, we're hear to help, guide and nurture your digital marketing attempts.

The natural reaction for most local advertisers to this state of flux is to seek the perceived safety of the sidelines and wait. So for those on the sidelines, let me share this. I believe the most significant driving force in the changing advertising reality is the power of your customers and potential customers. They are taking control. And this control will replace traditional push strategies, (television, newspaper, radio, direct mail, outdoor) with a still-emerging pull strategy some people call conversational marketing. The ultimate goal of your future advertising will be to create a conversation with your clients and potential customers. I'll write more about this in other posts. But look at the linked story below. Dell Computers is currently doing this in one of their campaigns with success that can be measured and tracked.

Dell’s Embed-able, Subscribe-able, Share-able Video Is Working

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finding Local Businesses Just Got Easier Online

If you're a small business, or work with a small business they need to know this.

Y! Makes It Easier to Search by Neighborhood « Screenwerk

Now, More Than Ever, Marketing Matters in Real Estate

The real estate market is awful, agents are leaving the business, the money agents and brokers spent with us to advertise is down, or worse, gone! So what's left to do....well start an online marketing program for real estate agents. That's what Connecting is doing.

What I like about this latest entry into a crowded field of online real estate marketing is the hyper-local nature of the concept. Agents become neighborhood experts. And this tool helps an agent market themselves as such. My question is simple, why can't our media properties provide this to their local agents? Just thinking....

Here's what Terry Heaton from Promoblog says about this idea:

In a remarkable example of how anybody can be a media company today, the sites are managed and sponsored by realtors, who use them to mine for potential clients. While declining to provide site statistics, Connecting Neighbors Marketing Manager Lisa Knight told me that the sites do very well, especially with a sponsor who dedicates time and resources to marketing it within the neighborhood. Simple yard signs (like the one pictured on the right in Huntsville, Alabama), postcards and word-of-mouth are all it takes.

Connecting Neighbors offers you the opportunity to become the exclusive Neighborhood Expert in your targeted market, while locking out your competitors. Begin building relationships in your market today!

The sites are simple and spartan, but packed with useful information and opportunities for user-generated content. There are publisher disclaimers throughout the site where users interact, just like you’d find with any other media company. Classifieds are free, local news comes via (note: your local news is likely being presented on these sites via Topix), a directory, recipes, lots of referrals and links, and the general “feel” of a community site. The difference is that it’s run by a realtor who’s using it to mine for clients. How terribly smart!

A few sites serve communities beyond just a neighborhood, and the company has experimented with aggregating neighborhoods. Some of the content is provided by feeds, but the quality of the sponsor’s marketing is what makes the difference in generating content from residents of the neighborhood.

The price to the sponsor varies and is based on the number (and in some cases, the prices) of homes in the neighborhood being served and the services the sponsor chooses to offer. “On average, our one time setup fee is $1.65 per home,” added Ms. Knight, “and on average our monthly hosting fee is $0.09 per home.” The Connecting Neighbors website lists the following options:

* A Neighborhood Website that allows residents to connect with one another, read community news, post free classified ads, share pictures, and more.
* A Neighborhood Newsletter that features information specific to the neighborhood and is emailed to residents each month.
* A personal Neighborhood Marketing Coach assigned to help announce and promote the program to neighborhood residents.
* Quickshow multimedia presentations to engage and welcome residents to their Neighborhood Website.
* MLS data integration (where available) to constantly provide up-to-date real estate information.
* Relationship Manager feature (where available) for Members to manage all of their communications with their new prospects!

This provides two important lessons for media companies. One, anybody can be a media company today. Any. Body.

See their site from the link below.

Connecting Neighbors: Find a Neighborhood Expert

Technology Disrupts Every Media Industry

As newspapers, radio and television companies struggle with the relentless advancement of technologies and their effect on our business, we are reminded that technology is an agnostic disrupter. The movie industry is now squarely in the path of the coming changes. See the link below for more detail. It will be interesting to see if we start hearing movie executives quoted in trade journals saying something like, "We find the new technologies interesting, but it really will not have a material effect on our core business anytime in the near future." Remember when newspaper execs said that about 3 or 4 years ago?

Lights. Camera. Cellphone Action. - New York Times

Monday, February 18, 2008

What local folks can learn from

I tell local businesses to watch and learn from the success and flops of national companies when dealing with the web. Here's another flop example. I don't know how many people will have read this story due to the linking nature of the web. But my guess would be in the thousands. Suppose American Airlines would think that $395.00 is a pretty high cost now?

As the world of "web-local" continues to explode, keep in mind the changing cost evaluations change dramatically as well.

Doc Searls Weblog · UnAmerican Airline

What happens when nobody needs a TV? - Lost Remote TV Blog

This link talks about an experience with "tech-savvy" 20-somethings and television viewing. I had a similar experience over the Christmas holidays. My son from USC comes home and begins to tell me about two or three of his favorite TV programs. I'd never heard of them. He said no problem, let's watch them tonight. So with one S-video cable he connects his PC laptop to my HD television. We proceed to watch two hours of programming all downloaded on his laptop. No commercials, good picture quality and I was amazed. I asked him what time these programs come on, he looked at me like I was from Mars. "I have no idea what time these programs air. I've never bothered to find out." For all my friends working in local television I said, "OUCH!"

What happens when nobody needs a TV? - Lost Remote TV Blog

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It’s Official: Business Week Calls Advertising A “Conversation” at ChasNote

I use national advertisers as good (and bad) examples of what should be done in online marketing on a local level. One thing that can be clearly connected from national advertisers is the diminishing effectiveness of traditional media.

Below Business Week has finally caught on. I would argue local businesses can engage in more powerful "conversations" with customers and future customers. Read on and you'll be one-step ahead of your competition.

It’s Official: Business Week Calls Advertising A “Conversation” at ChasNote

Kentucky is not letting bluegrass grow under their online feet

Congrats to our team in Kentucky. John Preston, Nathan Schepman and the entire online group have closed nearly $10,000 in online revenue and are rolling out local search products that are targeted and very valuable to potential advertisers. If you're reading this and do business in Central Kentucky, time to call the Advocate Messenger.

Do you have success stories to share. Post them on the blog or email me and I'll write about them. Whether you are an advertiser or a media property, let's share! We're all learning here.

Small Companies Are Finding a Home on the Web - New York Times

Every week I tell small business owners I meet with that now is the time to jump into web marketing for their local business. It seems the New York Times agrees.

Small Companies Are Finding a Home on the Web - New York Times

Friday, February 1, 2008

BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » Microsoft-Yahoo: The deal of the dinos

BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » Microsoft-Yahoo: The deal of the dinos

After seeing all the financial analysts gush over the prospect of a Microsoft/Yahoo merger, I found this a reasonable assessment of the deal from someone outside the financial world.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Restaurant Marketing

Citysearch ‘Eats It’ on Facebook « Screenwerk

The landscape for marketing restaurants is changing dramatically. There is still plenty of time to experiment, but don't wait for the competition to force your hand. The link above has an idea to explore. Social network marketing for restaurants will be important.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kelsey Group Blogs » MySpace Ramping Up Small-Business Features

Kelsey Group Blogs » MySpace Ramping Up Small-Business Features

Here is what Myspace is doing for small businesses.

Bloglines | My Feeds (999)

Does your business have profiles on social networking sites? Don't know what I'm talking about? More on this later.