Daily Report: SNA Foundation’s North American Innovation Mission

SNA President Nancy Lane will provide daily reports from the road while traveling with the Innovation Mission. Eighteen community media executives are taking part in this week-long study to visit with some of the most innovative media houses in North America. The group is focusing on new business models and emerging content strategies.

Monday Morning Report – Commerce Strategies/New Business Models


Will digital revenue account for 25% of your revenue and 50% of your profit margin by the end of 2011? It should according to Clark Gilbert, CEO of Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media.

The first full day of the SNA Foundation’s Innovation Mission was held at Deseret Digital Media against a backdrop of snow covered mountains and tulips in full bloom. Salt Lake City provided a beautiful spring day and Gilbert and team delivered by exposing the group to tremendous innovation and lots of deep details.

In the coming weeks, SNAF will issue a comprehensive report on all of the learnings. Today’s report will focus on the telesales strategy being implemented at Deseret Digital.

Todd Handy, Director of New Media Sales wowed the group with their approach to telesales. This department is highly profitable and growing. Recap of how it works:

  • Currently have 13 “media sales consultants” in the telesales department with plans to grow to 24 by end of year
  • They work 30 hours per week (part-time status; no benefits)
  • They are paid a nice hourly wage and can earn a bonus of $1,300 for making goal; more if they exceed goal
  • Most successful products that they sell: featured ads, dealer inventory (cars), display ads and deals
  • They are successful with lower price points that outside reps won’t go after (long tail)
  • Leader Todd Hardy has a call center background with AOL Cost of sales is 13-15%

The group from Deseret shared at least 15 new commerce strategies during the first 4 hours of the meeting. Stay tuned to learn more via webinars, the industry report and at upcoming SNA conferences.

Next Up: Afternoon Session with Clark Gilbert and Team at Deseret Digital