Wow. Was this not just writing on the wall? And with the announcement in MediaPost they use the cover of yesterday’s newspaper that highlights our Mayor….errr- ex-Mayor now prison inmate Kwame Kilpatrick. I have to say that I am ashamed that I live in a city that for so long allowed their image to be tarnished, ridiculed and laughed at on an international scale- weekly for the past year. I also am ashamed that more of these newspapers have not taken the opportunity to embrace online advertising and really take initiative to train their sales staff to be helpful during and after the sale.

Detroit Freep Kwame Ganett

On Tuesday, Gannett said it would be laying off 3,000 employees, or roughly 10% of its total work force of about 32,000. Not only are big companies like McClatchy and Tribune cutting, but their smaller competitors are also swinging the axe with abandon.

Although Gannett declined to give specific figures, Robert Dickey, the president of Gannett’s beleaguered newspaper division, explained that “the fiscal crisis is deepening and the economy is getting worse. Gannett’s revenues continue to be severely impacted by this downturn, and our local operations are suffering.”

Make Your Bed, Now Sleep in it
Here’s one reason – their traditional media sales people don’t understand internet and how to sell it to be effective for the advertiser. Their rates are artificially inflated with extremely high CPM’s and include limitations of calls to action and landing URL and click tracking capability that is exterior to the paper online.

My agency, TM, places media for a number of clients. In 2009 our strategy is to do many negotiations of clients for their traditional advertising so they get more bang for their buck. What we have learned is that many are getting screwed with unrealistic prices from their salespeople to place online media. Our knowledge is power to get them better placement and lower rates. Many times there are a few places we can place the media in the same online locations- eliminating a sales person.

This is across the board, and I don’t see much getting better. Honestly, this may be a good wake-up call for the media giants. They need to know that advertisers want value, and their sales agents need to be properly trained to sell – not just a product- but also forthcoming to show value.

Our clients are becoming smarter to online advertising value. Not that they are dumb, but have never been properly introduced to online advertising, conversion tracking and analytics. Now that they are seeing the metrics and control that they potentially have, they are making more savvy considerations when placing their ad dollars online.

Hail to change in Detroit and traditional media.

From: MediaPost

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