must have been giving out free donuts again in the conference room hallway
during Jump Ball: TV, Print, Radio and Web Hustle for Local Ad Dollars. The
mean count (taking into consideration the trickling in and out of misdirected
expo hall salespeeps) was 42 conference-goers – and that is including the panelists and moderator David Hutchinson of
Program Partners, Inc. Maybe the 2-day hangover had finally set in for 90% of
conference attendees, or maybe, just maybe, nobody wanted to hear about how
local ad dollars are being spread across multiple media platforms.
certainly hope that this is not the case. If so: shame, shame, shame on you, ad:tech attendees. Don’t
cha know that local is the way of the future? Seriously, folks. We talk about
demographic targeting and direct marketing, but often ignore the fact that
where the consumer lives and works Is a major factor in their buying decisions.
relevant content surely has promise. LA
Times Sales and Marketing Managing Director Juliana Jaoudi pointed out that
the popularity and higher click-through rates of portals like Yahoo! Local
shows that there are major potential revenue buckets available for those
prepared to focus on regional commerce, catching consumers “at the end of the
buying funnel” and more importantly, before the big guns have a chance to get
in there. (Oops, CBS
has already “jumped the ball” on that one.)
that she should mention the “big guns,” because she’s one of them – as were the rest of the panelists. Dan
Rodrigues, Director of Sales at CBS-Affiliate KPIX-TV, for example, spoke with
the confidence that one best finds in television sales departments. He also had
a commanding stage presence, front and center on the midnight-blue couch. Was
that thing mad comfortable? Sean Cummings of Ask.com definitely looked like he
was sinking in nicely. Cummings was the
black sheep of the panelist family, surrounded by major media: TV, newspaper,
and radio (KFOG 104.5 FM Sales Manager Omari Patterson). He had nothing but
nice things to say about the quality and scope of the content that his comrades
provide, but asked an important question: “How are you going to build a revenue
model for online advertising?” It’s a young industry – 30% of media consumption
is online, yet ad spending is still in the single digits. Dan the Man jumped in, noting
that a problem may be that local online outlets can be so fragmented that they
lack the critical mass necessary for focused advertisers.
master plan for local media, therefore, is to slowly develop online extensions
of trusted local brands and leverage their community relationships with new
media. Online is no longer a side note to traditional platforms, they agreed,
as the fear of computer generation is being (partially) overcome. “It’s going
to be a while before it changes,” said Ms. Jaoudi, as she explained that
economics dictate the attitude of the advertiser. For example, as long as print
is still the more expensive buy it will be deemed the more effective medium.
However, as personnel are trained in how to effectively sell new media, we will
see a faster and more complete transition, particularly in the local ad sphere.
“We need to be on the forefront – at the local level – of how people are
consuming media so that they don’t go somewhere else,” said Rodrigues.
last question that arose was measurements of their success. I particularly
enjoyed Sean Cummings’ statement that “the Internet suffers from
over-measurability.” This, coming from the sole online guy? But it was all
about relevance: You can’t ask for click-through rates on a highway billboard. You know what else you can’t do? Roller-skate in a buffalo herd.