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Blended Search Engine Optimization Program Delivers Over $120,000 of New Online Revenue for The Savannah Morning News

The Challenge:
How can local businesses create a presence on the World Wide Web without getting lost with the thousands of other businesses online? Paid search makes up the largest piece of the internet advertising pie, with over 40%. How can local media companies with their traditional sales reps capture a share of online advertising revenue through search?

The team at the Savannah Morning News wanted to seize the opportunity, in order to find new online revenue, through the offering of a blended program that included local search. So, they sought out the experts at The Blinder Group, to help with the planning and packaging of the program; along with providing sales team training that guaranteed revenue generation.

Savannah Morning News offered local advertisers a program that consisted of a Leaderboard ad that appeared 75,000 times throughout the local Web site over the course of a month ( They created a Business Profile for each advertiser while also placing a properly coded page, with advertiser information, within the newspaper's Web site. The process actually assisted the advertiser in being found higher, on the results pages of online search engines, as part of the "organic results" of the search process. This model of "Search Engine Maximization" has been proven by a number of media companies, with great success. Included in the program was an enhanced local search powered by Yahoo local.

Online ad elements

Click on image to view larger version

Packaging Pricing
Participation in the program was limited to only 15 advertisers, each committing to a full year participation, for a $155/ week investment. In return, the newspaper provided:

  • 75,000 "Leader Boards" ads/ month appearing on all pages of their Web site (728 x 90 pixel)
  • Creation of a "Business Profile Page" was placed within the newspaper's Web site.
  • Ad could link to Web site or to "Profile Page"
  • Premiere Business Listing appeared prominently on all relevant search results pages!

Sales Team Training
The Blinder Group conducted an initial training session with the traditional salespeople of the newspaper to instruct on:

  • Prospecting new multimedia business
  • The basics of multimedia marketing and how the medium works
  • Best practices in selling online solutions
  • The benefits of bringing interactive products to market
  • Methods for using the Web to garner more market share
  • How to attack the competition with online offerings

The training also included content informing the sales staff of the Blinder Group's return visit, in which "4-legged" sales training/closing calls were performed with the reps, to assist in the launching of this initiative. Salespeople were urged and encouraged during the meeting, to set up a large amount of appointments, with qualified "decision-makers" of area businesses.

During that training, the sales staff was supplied with proven support documents that re- enforced the training, as well as provided an appointment- setting script to assist them in setting up the calls.

Sales Support Materials
The Blinder Group also assisted in the production of the associated sales support collaterals necessary for this program's deployment. A simple, easy-to-follow multiple page flyer was developed so the advertisers (and the sales team) could easily grasp the features and benefits of this sales program being deployed. Too often media companies do not graphically explain the online portions of sales programs in an easy-to-follow manner, thus creating confusion during the sales process. The Blinder Group has incredible success creating powerful sales presentations.

Sample pages of the 11-page presentation created by The Blinder Group

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Guaranteed Revenue Generation:
One of the key elements in ensuring sales success of this initiative is garnering advertiser approval of meeting attendance, as well as the validity of the concept in general. Some of these advertisers are new to marketing their business online and feel wary of trying new ideas. One of the most effective means of accomplishing attendance and acceptance is to introduce the advertiser to an industry respected "outside" consultant who has had success with similar programs, with similar businesses, in similar markets, all across North America. That is why many media companies contract with the Blinder Group to perform "4-legged" sales training closing calls with traditional ad reps, to assist in the launch of programs like the one defined in this document. Also, during these assisted, "4-legged" sales training/ closing calls provided by The Blinder Group, the accompanying salesperson learns new, valuable techniques on how to sell innovative programs, like this one, in an effective manner.

The Blinder Group has a proven track record of generating high "closing" ratios, resulting in significant revenue, for client media companies that have deployed this form of advertising sales initiative. During these assisted, "4-legged," sales training/ closing calls, with the sales reps in Savannah, GA, The Blinder Group achieved a 71% "closing ratio" during the initial 1st visit, when the call was performed in front of a "qualified decision-maker," resulting in over $120,000 of new online revenue during the initial week of deployment.

"We are convinced that local Yellow Page print directories have never been more vulnerable than they are now," states Mike Blinder, President of the Blinder Group, an internationally respected multimedia sales training and consulting firm. "While Google is attacking the actual utility of the printed book, by stealing the readers. The advertisers are now extremely susceptible to finding alternative solutions, like online Yellow Page enhanced listings, as provided by local media companies. When these offerings are blended with banner inventory, as well as "search engine optimization" elements, the advertiser is presented with a total solution, which is hard for them to resist. This model has continues to generate new money from new advertiser categories for local media companies.

"The Blinder Group's help with the program was excellent and we are doing well with it, but advertisers need to be reminded that Search Engine Optimization takes time and doesn't happen overnight," stated David Fogel, Online Sales Manager for the Savannah Morning News.

Local Client Contacts:
Savannah Morning News

David Fogel
Online Sales Manager

Blinder Group Lead Associate:
Gloria De Jesus
(754) 245-4662

The Blinder Group
Tampa Offices: 6139 Fjord Way
New Port Richey, FL 34652 USA
(727) 847-2464 ~ (727) 847-5959 (fax)

SPEAKING PROGRAMS, seminars and workshops

CONSULTING/TRAINING: Strategic Planning ~ Basic Sales Training
Multimedia Sales Training ~ Assisted 4-Legged Closing Calls

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