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.

Tuesday Report – Creating the Digital Agency, Pay Walls, ROI-based Advertising and More

The digital agency initiative has become a core pillar of the Dow Jones Local Media Group. Senior Vice President of Digital Media and Product Management Kurt Lozier met with Innovation Mission attendees in Boston over dinner on Tuesday night.

Kurt Lozier, Senior Vice President of Digital Media and Product Management at Dow Jones Local Media Group, talks with Innovation Mission participant Terry Kukle, VP of Business Development at Metroland Media Group.

The agency approach was developed after using Borrell Compass reports as well as other research to determine that 67% of local digital dollars are going to promotions and infrastructure (development of web site, social media, pay-per-click, etc.) They want to go after those dollars; they want to be the trusted consultant.

The sales reps don’t sell this. They leverage their great relationships to get appointments and bring in a “sales engineer” (via conference call or in-person). They target $500/month and higher ($500 gets you a simple pay-per-click program). $4,000/month is closer to the average sale for the digital agency.

On the social media side, they offer three core packages: Be Found (listing update), Be Social (professional set-up of social media pages), and Be Interactive (outsourced management/ hosting). Revenue from the digital agency now equals digital display and will soon surpass it. (Note: Lozier will be discussing their agency approach in our upcoming webinar, Become the Local Ad Agency – The Big Picture Approach to Servicing Your Clients, on May 12 at 3:00 pm Eastern Time. To register for the webinar, free to members, click here.)

Lozier also shared tremendous detail about their company-wide pay wall strategy (to be covered in the comprehensive industry report).

Jay Fogarty, Vice President of New Revenue Platforms for GateHouse Media, Inc., with Innovation Mission participant Stephen McHaney, Co-Publisher/VP, Victoria Advocate.

Jay Fogarty, Vice President of New Revenue Platforms for GateHouse Media, Inc., also joined attendees at the working dinner. Fogarty shared early results of an ROI-based advertising experiment involving 80 different pilots.

He also wowed attendees with the deals revenue coming out of one of their smaller markets (involving non-daily products). This market is bringing in $40,000/month in deals revenue. All of Jay’s information will also be shared in the industry report to be issued in the coming weeks.

Next up: Day with Journal Register Company Executives/Open Community Newsroom in Torrington, CT.