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Blinder Assists Small Market Daily Generate Close to $50k in New Online Video Revenue

The Challenge:

Can a traditional newspaper sales team find success selling online video in a small market? That was the challenge faced by the staff of the Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles, Washington. With research showing not only continued growth in online ad sales, but also growth in spending for online video, executives of the Peninsula Daily News wanted to use online video as a way to generate new dollars from the small-medium sized businesses (SMB's) in their market.

"Not only is viewing of online video ads continuing to rise, but viewership of online video tends to get better results than traditional broadcast video and flat banner ads," says Mike Blinder, President of the Blinder Group, a multimedia sales training and consulting firm. "According to a recent Kelsey Group study, 43% of readers will take some kind of action after viewing an online video ad."

The Blinder Group was hired to assist the Peninsula Daily News in their goal to develop an online video sales program that could be offered to SMB's as well as find a way to train and motivate their existing sales force to take this new program to market.

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The Solution:
The Blinder Group helped develop a program that included in-story video placement within the newspaper's website. Working with video vendor JiVox, a limited number of advertisers had the opportunity to repurpose a current commercial spot into an online video or create a flash slide show. The video was placed in an ad position within the newspaper's high-traffic story pages and was guaranteed 16,000 monthly impressions.

When readers would come to the page, they would see the advertiser's video on 'silent auto play' and had the option of clicking to hear the sound. In addition, the videos included interactive overlays that allowed readers to instantly click to receive a coupon, send a message to the advertiser or submit their mobile number and receive a text message with additional information from the advertiser.

The Peninsula Daily News also offered advertisers an innovative tracking system where they could instantly see results of clicks, view-thrus and other reader/ad interactions as well as gave each advertiser the opportunity to have the video file placed on YouTube, thus making it appear better in search engines.

Sales Support Materials:
The Blinder Group also assisted in the production of the associated sales support collaterals necessary for this program's deployment which included a visual explanation of how the in-story video ad placement would look, how advertisers could use an existing commercial or create their own, and the interactive overlay and tracking tools.

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. Too often, media companies do not graphically explain the online portions of sales programs in an easy-to-follow manner. This creates confusion during the sales process. The Blinder Group has vast experience in creating such sales presentations.

Sales Team Training:
The Blinder Group conducted an initial training session with the entire sales team of the Peninsula Daily News 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. During these return visits, "4-legged" sales training/closing calls were performed with the reps to assist in the launching of this initiative. During the meeting, the salespeople were urged 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 reinforced the training, as well as an appointment-setting script to assist them in setting up the calls.

Guaranteed Revenue Generation:
One of the key elements in ensuring sales success of new initiatives like these, is getting the advertiser's full attendance at the meeting, as well as their acceptance of 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, assisting in the launch of programs like the one defined in this document.

Also, during these assisted, 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 a more 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.

The Results:
During these assisted, "4-legged," sales training/closing calls with the reps of the Peninsula Daily News, The Blinder Group achieved an average 68% "closing ratio" during the initial visit when the call was performed in front of a "qualified decision-maker." The total program generated over $46,000 of new online revenue in the first week of sales.

"My reps really care about their accounts a lot and don’t want to present anything to them they don't think is going to work," says Suzanne Delaney, Ad Director for the Peninsula Daily News. "Training the reps and making sure they really understand the product they are selling and why it's a good fit for their advertisers is key. I think, a lot of times, that's more motivating to reps than anything else."

For the Port Angeles (WA) Peninsula Daily News, contact:
Suzanne Delaney
(360) 417-3540,

For The Blinder Group, contact:
Mike Blinder, President/ Founder

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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