helping media companies maximize revenue through effective sales of their multimedia assets

What's Happening


In a new LinkedIn article, Gordon certainly implies that print works, and even quotes someone who outright says that it does!

The thrust of the article is that some business categories are hitting a wall in terms of digital marketing spend.  Specifically, Realtors as a group are now spending 75% of their ad budgets on digital.  Some brokers are reversing the trend by increasing their print spend, because, well, it works.

Read Gordon's words of wisdom by clicking here:

At The Blinder Group, we have noted that local multimedia packages used in our sales campaigns that include print ads sell better and work better than pure digital offerings.

If you want to know more about how The Blinder Group is increasing both digital and print market share for local media clients, give us a shout!




Twitter @Bobkellagher













Kayla was one of the most productive newspaper reps we encountered during our sales campaigns throughout North America in 2014.  Her combination of organizational skills, enthusiasm, and customer rapport are impressive.  During our week long sales campaign in Moose Jaw, Kayla accounted for a whopping $49,008 in new business from multimedia programs sold to her clients.

We caught up with Kayla to learn more about her success strategies:

What was your background before working in the newspaper industry? Prior to working in the newspaper industry, I explored a number of career options. One of the more recent ones was a Sales Representative at a cell phone company. I loved the sales aspect of the job but I didn’t feel like there was an opportunity for growth within the company and it really bothered me that I wasn’t truly making a difference in anyone’s life with the product I was selling. From there I completely switched gears and became an Early Childhood Educator with the Moose Jaw YMCA. I made the switch because I wanted to make a difference in the world and thought that acting as a positive role model for young kids would be a great place to start. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was getting fulfillment from it because I was finally helping others. However, I really missed interacting with the public and I desperately missed sales. That’s what led me to the newspaper industry. I began taking classes outside of working hours to work towards a Marketing Diploma while keeping my eye out for jobs. I came across this one and applied for it with no marketing experience and no schooling to back me up. I was elated when I got the job, and over the past 7 months I have realised that working in Marketing is not about what kind of diploma you have or what kind of jobs you’ve worked in the past, it’s about who you are. If you’re the kind of person that genuinely cares about your clients and you have the drive to help them succeed, then that’s really all that you need. If you get along great with the people you meet, keep your clients’ best interests in mind, and keep a positive outlook while maintaining a diligent work ethic, you can move mountains in marketing regardless of your qualifications or experience. 

What are the keys to your recent success? 

1. Honesty and diligence: People can tell when you’re full of it! Being open and honest with each and every client has allowed me to gain the trust of my clients to the point where they allow me to make marketing decisions on their behalf. Diligence is getting to know the client without expecting a sale instantly or from each contact. If you get to know the client – personally and professionally – not only will they see that you have their best interests in mind, but you’ll be able to offer them products that suit their needs and will help their business grow! This saves both of you time and money because it prevents you from putting effort into proposals and offers that won’t work for your client. The worst thing you can do is offer a client something that they do not need or at a time they do not need it. They’ll see better results and learn to believe in your product if you simply take your time and do your research. 

2. Never give up! Have faith in the process and don’t measure your success in dollar signs: You may visit a client plenty (6, 7…10?) of times before you leave with a sale of any sort. When you’re just starting out, measure your success based on your relationships, not dollar signs! If you manage to learn something about the client that you didn’t know before, your meeting was a success. Go back to the office and apply that knowledge to your working plan for the client! Know that the next time you see them, you’ll have an even better picture of what their needs and desires are and a better idea of what to offer them. 

3. Every client, and every person within an organization is worth your time: Of course it’s important to score the real estate agents and auto dealers! But remember, it’s the SMBs (small/medium businesses) that keep you afloat. Focus on helping an SMB grow and they may soon evolve into an A-list client! When it comes to which people you talk to, treat the gatekeepers like gold! You may think that person at the front desk is ‘just the receptionist’, but he or she quite often has the power to send you running for the hills before you even get to talk to the decision-maker. And remember, the gatekeepers tend to be the quiet voice of logical reason that the owners and decision-makers rely on for advice. Never count any business, or any person, out! 

You were instrumental in your company’s success with a Blinder Group sales campaign. What advice would you give others to maximize their success with sales campaigns? 

Know your clients, know your product, and believe in what you’re selling! The better you know your clients, the less time you’ll spend approaching people that won’t purchase the product you’re trying to sell. Plus, when you’re selling a product that you really believe will help your clients’ business grow, they will see your confidence and automatically feel reassured that it’s the right move for them. Even better, once you implement the program and it starts to work, your clients will be happier than ever and so will you! Know the product that you’re selling inside out, so that you can answer any questions they may have with ease and confidence. If you don’t know the product, how can you be confident in it and how can your clients be confident in you? Final words of advice: Believe in your worth and the worth of your product!: one of the biggest hurdles I faced in the earliest stages of my marketing career was being able to tell a client with confidence and ease what my product was worth. You have to believe in the value of your product or no one else will! Also, believe in yourself! Regardless of how much experience you have or how little you know about marketing, if you have the best interests of your clients in mind and are willing to work for it, you will do a good job! Do not forget this about yourself. Don’t be afraid to tell a client you don’t know an answer, but remember that you are the expert in this. Telling a millionaire that his marketing strategy sucks is tough, but it may be the best thing you’ll ever do for that client and they’ll love you for it in the end! Thank you Blinder Group for the opportunity to share! I really hope that those new to the industry can benefit from these words :). 

(note - Kayla's local media career just took a new twist.  Just this week she started a new sales position with a local radio station.  Hopefully we can check in with her down the road to get her take on radio sales)

If Kayla's words have inspired you, give us a call to chat about a Blinder sales campaign in your market in 2015.




Twitter @Bobkellagher





Everything we needed to know about social media we learned from Taylor Swift!

Well, not really...but according to Joshua Swanson's article in Digiday, Swift's "true genius" is in her use of social media.

The article is perhaps targeted to celebs, but celebs are just a specific type of brand.  Swanson's articles contain great lessons for media companies and their local business clients alike...and perhaps "celebritization" is something we should all be thinking about more.  Car dealers and Realtors have understood this principle since long before the Internet came around.

Taylor lesson #1 - "it's not all about you" - is something we have been telling our clients for years.

To read all the Taylor-isms click here:

Stay tuned for our next segment: PeeWee Herman's ten tips for improving sponsored content.  (j/k)

If you want to talk about how strong social marketing strategies can improve your local market share, send us a selfie, or just shoot us an old fashioned email.





Twitter @Bobkellagher



Are you fully utilizing social media for your company and your clients?

A recent article on the inma audience blog talks about going beyond just posting links to your content to fully ultilizing the power of each major social media platform.

It's time to pay special attention to YouTube, the video phenomenon that has virtually stolen a generation of viewers from traditional media companies.  YouTube now reaches more 18-34 year olds than any cable network!

You can read the full inma article here:

In 2014, we saw a few clients actively building YouTube channels for local businesses, and working to understand what drives interest on YouTube.

We also saw local newspapers leveraging the asset of their Facebook presence to help local businesses drive new business via Facebook.  Those early efforts have now taken on great significance.  One of the big issues in local marketing going forward will be reacting effectively to new Facebook policies that have virtually walled off local businesses from the audiences they worked to create over the past few years!

We have the answers to that challenge and more.  Give us a call if you want to position your media company as the local source for social media marketing.





Twitter @Bobkellagher



Five digital elements that will make your local business proposals sizzle in 2015.

If you are in the business of providing marketing solutions for local SMB's, now is the time to hone proposals that will drive new revenue and market share for your clients in the coming year.

Throughout 2014, we saw our local media company clients lock up market share and further position their newspaper or station as the number one full service digital provider in the local market.  The winning formula typically included:

- A mix of traditional and digital ad units;

- Meaningful digital services, so that the package could be presented as a "complete marketing program" with enough meat on the bone to freeze out competitors;

- Realistic pricing, with a drop down option for the smallest, one location businesses.  Generally our experience is that if the lowest priced package costs more than $400, your campaign will exclude a significant percentage of small businesses.  

Looking ahead, we see five elements that will hook local clients on your bundled offerings:

1.  NATIVE ADVERTISING.  This is the element with the most sizzle potential - the sexiest of the sexy.  Sponsored Content and other forms of Native Advertising started getting traction with national brands a couple of years ago.  In its review of Native Advertising in 2014, Ad Age prominently featured efforts by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.  We believe that all this attention has created a ripe environment for Sponsored Content on Main St USA.  In 2014 we found a high awareness of Native Advertising among local business owners.  In sales campaigns where our media clients utilized Native Advertising as a component of their bundled programs, we closed over 70% of qualified sales calls!  

2.  SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING.  Over the past few years, Facebook did a tremendous job of heightening the awareness of local business owners to the opportunity of social media.  Now that many local businesses have invested time, energy and money in building significant audiences ("likes") on their business Facebook page, Facebook is pulling the rug out from under them, severely limiting the distribution of business posts in the hope that they can force local businesses to buy Facebook ads.  Local business owners and managers are upset, and with clever strategies we can help them maintain and increase the power of their social media presence.  Most local media companies also have the resources to build and maintain a YouTube channel for their local clients - a powerful draw in a world where the Internet is quickly becoming a video driven medium.

3.  MOBILE.  This is the "duhh" feature on the list.  Most local business owners are presold on the notion that mobile use is exploding in our society, and those businesses that find an effective mobile marketing solution will leave competitors in the dust.  Be prepared to make all parts of your offering "mobile ready."

4.  REACH EXTENSION.  Any network that can serve up local digital ad impressions that go beyond the reach of your company's website will quickly get a business owner's attention.  If you can layer in demographic and behavioral targeting, and reach areas that go beyond your traditional geographic footprint, then this part of your program will propel many sales that you might otherwise miss.

5.  LEADS MANAGEMENT.  This can be as simple as adding an email marketing or SMS text promotion element to your programs, or as sophisticated as products being offered by companies such as Adstrix, which allow your clients to track all their leads from all sources in a single database.  Businesses are in love with the idea of increasing repeat business from existing customers, and if you can provide a good lead generation tracking solution at a reasonable cost, you will be a hero.

If you want help in shaping these ideas into a meaningful program that you can take to market to drive new revenue and ace out local and national competitors for digital spending, just give us a call.





Twitter @Bobkellagher



Revenue from Native Advertising to Soar!

According to a recent Business Insider story, revenue from Native Advertising will nearly triple in the next few years, reaching $21 billion in 2018.  That's up from an estimated $7.9 billion in 2014.

Social native ads will continue to account for the biggest share of native revenue, and native style display ads will see the fastest growth.

Sponsored content is getting spotlight treatment on some national websites, and is generating considerable excitement.

Native ads score higher click through rates than traditional online display ads.

Read the full story, with a link to obtain the full report, here:

The Blinder Group field tested Native Advertising strategies throughout 2014 in anticipation of the trend.  If you would like to explore ways to put your own Native Advertising strategies on steroids, give us a call today.




Twitter @Bobkellagher



The Hot Button for Local Businesses in 2015

Over the past few years Native Advertising has taken Wall Street and national advertisers by storm, and now that same storm is brewing on Main Street USA.

Click here to read what Jaci Smith has to say about Native Advertising for smaller newspaper companies.  Smith, managing editor of the Faribault Daily News, has put native ad programs on her agenda for 2015, and is doing major research on the subject.  She will update her findings at the 2015 Key Executives Mega Conference February 23-25 in Atlanta.  That sounds like a reason to make a trip to Atlanta. 

Smith cites tight resources at smaller papers as a major hurdle that must be overcome in order for local media companies to be winners in the Native Advertising arena.

At The Blinder Group, we agree with Smith about the growing importance of Native Advertising solutions, and we feel her pain regarding tight resources.  We worked with many clients in 2014 who were operating with reduced head counts - looking to do more with less.

The Blinder Group has been working behind the scenes to develop technology and sales strategies around Native Advertising, so that our media clients will be ready in 2015 as we take meaningful digital ad/services programs to market for local advertisers.

We are also working to address the tight resources issue.  We have created a content team that can handle outsourcing of any content needs a local media company might have in regard to Native Advertising programs.  This solution is up and running, and we can provide quick turnaround of your native advertising story assignments right now.

Call us today and let's talk about how Native Advertising can help grow your revenue and market share in 2015 and beyond.





Twitter @Bobkellagher



Borrell says Digital Marketing Services is where the action is in your local market

We all talk about being client driven and preach needs analysis, but if you are responsible for revenue at a local media company, you must read the latest digital services report from Borrell Associates.

The report warns about a "quiet revolution" that already has businesses spending 5 times on digital services what they spend on digital advertising.  If your company is not poised to meet your clients' digital services needs, you are missing out on the bigger pie, and you are giving up your share of local spending to your competitors.

Highlights of the report:

- US businesses are spending $501 BILLION on digital services, with $74 billion of that total being spent by local SMB's.

- Over half of the total is spent on Web presence, and 40% of that is local.  The bulk of the dollars spent on web presence go to web hosting, and website design and management.  Though many newspaper companies have embraced a digital agency strategy, most are overlooking these product lines.  That has allowed both national and local competitors to build a base of local clients for web presence services, and eventually sell them other digital services.

- The digital services market is highly fragmented today, and SMB's are "overwhelmed by sales people causing confusion."  That makes the market "ripe for a superior provider."

- Facebook is emerging as a formidable competitor to traditional local media companies, mentioned as a top provider in almost every digital services category.  Already twice as many businesses pay for a presence on Facebook compared to Google.  

On the digital advertising front, Borrell warns that SMB's are already spending 30% of their ad budgets on digital, with an additional 11% going to mobile media programs.

Click here to read the executive summary of the report.  If you are not a Borrell client, consider buying the full report as a special holiday gift to your future!

This report provides the data you need to clarify the best digital strategies for your company going forward.  If you need help implementing smart strategies quickly to maximize revenue in 2015, give us a call.









New Revenue Secrets from Canadian Media Companies

How did two Canadian media companies drive over $2 million in new revenue in the past few months?

Mike Blinder recently hosted a live Webinar from the Inland Press Association meeting in Chicago, and was joined by two panelists:

- John Knowles, Digital Director for TC Media

- Peter Kvarnstrom, President of Community Media at Glacier Media Group


- TC Media generated $1.5 million in new revenue in one month!  Glacier brought in $540,000.

- Multi Platform Bundles reward advertisers for using print plus digital to achieve desired impact in the market.

- TC Media offered extended reach in local markets beyond the newspaper website by tapping their National Network.

- Glacier achieved extended reach by including demographic, contextual and site retargeting from their vendor,

- Advertisers chose between Instant Impact or Frequency Branding options.  Instant Impact programs include larger ads run less frequently, and are popular with clients who have special offers seeking direct results.  Frequency Branding programs offer smaller ads run more frequently, and appeal to clients who are more interested in long term positioning in the market.

- Local businesses have a strong appetite to leverage social media, so special Facebook programs were included, and were a big selling point in the programs that were offered.  A vendor called Friends2Follow offers a product that dynamically flows clients' Facebook posts onto the pages of the newspaper website, thus solving the problem of limited audience for posts due to Facebook's new rules for business pages.  Now thousands of new viewers see every post the client submits.

- Both companies emphasized reach and frequency in their selling, capitalizing on their combined print/online reach in local markets that blows the competition away.  Most local newspapers are delivering over 70% local penetration among adults.

- Both markets kicked off their efforts with client workshops featuring Mike Blinder.  These free sessions provided marketing education and direction for clients, and helped create demand for followup sales calls during the sales blitz week in each market.

To view the full Webinar just CLICK HERE.

To learn more about how Blinder Group solutions can help your media company grow revenue CLICK HERE.









What Does It Take to be an Entrepreneur? Ask Mike!

Mike Blinder was recently featured on the podcast Entrepreneur On Fire—sharing insights into how he moved from being a college DJ into becoming one of the top digital marketing experts for the media industry.   “I’m a big believer in entrepreneurial faith and taking the leap,” said Mike during the interview.

At the beginning of the interview, Mike shared his favorite “Success Quote” from mentor Ivan Burnell:  “I am important.  So is everyone else.  I will never use my importance to put someone else down, and I will never allow their importance to put me down.” 

How does he apply this quote to his life?  “In life and in business, what you are trying to do, in my humble opinion, is establish equality with the person you’re with.   Without that equality, how do you communicate?  When you engage with a human being, 93% of the process is nonverbal.  It’s how  you’re being perceived the energy you exude.  And that’s always carried with me over the past few decades and helped me to grow my business and my life.”


Click here to listen to the entire interview and find out Mike’s “Entrepreneurial AHA Moment.”