Blog Archives

‘It’s the end of advertising as we’ve known it’

I was surprised to hear those words come out of my mouth recently, during a strategic discussion about where our company, Morris Communications, needs to be in three to five years.

I heard myself say, “We need to realize that we’re witnessing the end of advertising as we’ve known it. Not this year, not next year, but over a period of not very many years.” Read the rest of this entry

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Time to disrupt the old media sales model

The local media industry is in desperate need of new business models. By now, after seven or eight years of brutal shrinkage in ad revenues — in the U.S., anyway — it’s painfully obvious.

And heaven knows we’ve been looking. We’ve tried a lot of things — new digital advertising and marketing products, sales department reorgs, newsroom reorgs, different content models, new niche products and websites, pay walls and meters, just to name a few. Some are even working, at least to some extent.

But here’s a model we haven’t tried: Calling on every possible local advertising/marketing customer at least once a year. Read the rest of this entry

Explore ‘adjacencies’ to discover new business models

Breaking out of the mindsets of traditional business models is one of the toughest challenges for any disrupted industry. And it’s one of the most important, because the old mindsets keep us from seeing new opportunities that are staring us in the face.

In the newspaper and magazine industries, we definitely need new ways to see opportunities. At last May’s World Congress of the International News Media Association, James T. McQuivey of Forrester Research presented a good one: Adjacencies.

We’re putting it to use in a practical process at Morris Read the rest of this entry

Five game-changers for the local media business model

It was an interesting assignment: Forecast the next three years’ revenues and cash flows based on current activities, then come up “game-changers” that could produce significantly better results.

At Morris Publishing Group — 12 daily newspapers and dozens of digital and non-daily properties — we came up with five that I’ll share here. Read the rest of this entry

Doubling down on digital at Morris — Part II

In Part I, I described how Morris Publishing Group came to be committed to creating a separate digital sales division in our markets. But at that point, we still had big questions. Exactly what would we sell, and how would we sell it?

To figure out the answers, Read the rest of this entry

Doubling down on digital at Morris — Part I

You’ve probably heard this before: If you want to have a shot at holding and gaining digital market share in your local market, you need a separate digital sales force.

But “separate” can have a wide range of meanings. Read the rest of this entry