Mark Cuban's Message To Newspapers Unheaded

I'm pointing to an 8 month old Blog Maverick post by Mark Cuban where Mark talks about the power of local search advertising with Google. His message to the newspaper people is one I have pondered more than once since I formed this business. I'm amazed Cuban formed such visionary conclusions considering he is not in the local search business.

"Which leads us to Newspapers/Local Media companies. Whether you are a standalone newspaper, or a local media conglomerate with Paper, TV and more, the one thing you have without question is a salesforce. A salesforce that goes out into the business community and sells them on the benefits of advertising on your properties. The job of each salesrep, when done well, is to create a return to the customer that exceeds their investment. Of course its not always easy to define that return, but the salesrep hopefully has a close enough connection to the customer that they can evolve the strategy to fit their needs.

The "touch" methods of selling for local media, as opposed to the "self service purchase" of Google Adwords and its competition have been viewed by some in the Web2.0 world as a disadvantage. I think it creates an amazing opportunity to pull one from the Google Playbook.

"There are couple certainties in the advertising world today.
1. Google isn't going to send a salesrep to visit, or have an inside salesrep call on the local 5 store pizza, dress, toy, laser surgery, dentist, whatever chain of stores. You are.

2. Some percentage of those small to large localized businesses you call on will have a website and of those, the vast majority of them will have no idea how to properly use web services like AdWords or AdSense to either generate foot or phone traffic (the 2 Fs of brick and mortar) for their businesses or make some money from advertising.

3. Local traffic is worth more per click through than national traffic is.

Which creates a phenomenal opportunity for your company. Just as Google arbitraged its selling ability between its ability to monetize traffic and AOL and Myspace, why not use your sales force to arbitrage the ability of your salesforce to sell locally and all the Google Adsense/Yahoo/MSN networks to sell locally ?

You are already selling display and classified ads for the paper, or commercials for your TV station, why not expand that effort to include Search Engine Marketing? Why not hook up with a local SEM expert and make that a service that you offer to your customers ? There is very little chance the local Pizza chain or Body Repair shop knows how to use SEM correctly and those that try more often than not waste a ton of money trying to figure it out. Why not offer it up as a service, even if they don't buy ads for your newspaper or TV station ? In otherwords, you put yourself in the position to become the dominant force for local advertising in your markets, NO MATTER WHAT PLATFORM those ads appear on.

Why not buy a media planner that specializes in your market ? Or put together the resources to compete with them ? Selling locally is a core competency. Optimizing advertising in a comprehensive campaign is a skillset that all local businesses need and many don't know how to find."

My experience with my local newspaper has been cold, actually they view me as the enemy. I'm not of course. McClatchy, Fresno Bee, call me I have some great ideas!

1 comment:

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