Live from Revenue Summit: Gordon Borrell’s Top 10 Ideas to Grow Digital Revenue:

Gordon Borrell’s Top 10 Ideas to Grow Digital Revenue:
Live from Chicago
We asked the guru of industry research what he would do to grow digital revenue if he was running a local media company at today’s Local Media Revenue Summit…
  1. Figure out your potential
  2. Ask for more resources
  3. Maximize digital sales from existing customers
  4. Pursue new customers
  5. Use ‘Big Data’ to target key industries
  6. Double down on email
  7. Form a promotions team
  8. Get back into deals
  9. Hire an ad inventory manager
  10. Sell what the market is buying
Figure out your potential: this is the first thing that Gordon would do. Don’t worry about year over year growth – what is the market potential? What is your market share? Go to to find out what is spent in local advertising in your market and then divide by your total revenue to get total market share. Aim for 10%; it will be a BIG number.
Ask for more resources once you know what your market share is and what it could be. Have a plan when you ask for these resources to justify. You can’t go from $2 million to $8 million without more resources.
Existing customers represent a huge opportunity, especially those that are only buying traditional products. You must have a plan to do this.
Traditional reps should sell 10% of their business on the digital side
Pursue new customers but you MUST hire digital-only reps to succeed in this area. Gordon has been saying this for years and media companies still don’t do it; you will never show serious growth without making these hires.
Use ‘Big Data’ to target and educate key industry segments. Hot ones include real estate, health care, elective surgery and home improvement services. Health care may be the hottest one of all. Know everything about health care in your market and leverage that knowledge. This includes new trends in their industry. AdMall probably has the best data in the industry on these categories. Be storytellers to these advertisers; make it simple. Demonstrate that you have knowledge of their industry segment.
Double down on email. So much of everyone’s time is consumed by email. SMBs need your help as marketing experts in this area. They are too busy running their businesses to do this right. They need help in every area from writing the subject line to developing the right offer. Email advertising is less than a billion dollars (of the $100 billion spent on advertising), but it is important to develop this for your SMB customers. The radio industry is doing a good job in this area.
Form a Promotions Team. A fundamental shift has occurred – much more is now spent on promotions. These are short-term bursts or campaigns that include something that the customer retains. More is being spent locally on promotions (+45%) over advertising (-33%). Again, radio does this well – they already have an events team in place that can also handle promotions.
Get Back Into Deals. The model to look at is Angie’s List. They are making a lot of money. They publish coupon books every week in about 200 markets. Sign up for $30/year and start receiving the book to know what is going on with this competitor in your market. They send deal offers via email. Borrell highly recommends getting back into this space; it is only going to get bigger.
Hire an Ad-Inventory Manager. Many companies have their digital manager spending a few hours a week on this; that’s not enough. No ad management might yield $165,000/year but with a dedicated resource that number is likely to be $500,000. The new position will absolutely provide ROI in the first year. If you are a small organization, dedicate some resources to this. It’s that important.
Sell What the Market is Buying. They are buying website design; SEO & SEM; social media management and it will be something else next year. Know your market and go after the hot categories. Don’t stay out of a hot area like search. Follow the money!
Awesome presentation from LMA board member Gordon Borrell. Great advice for local media executives. Thanks Gordon!