Four key takeaways from Borrell’s Local Online Advertising Conference

By Jeff Schmidt, RAB

The Local Online Advertising Conference was presented by Borrell Associates this week in New York. CEO Gordon Borrell opened the annual event with his prognostications for the next 2-5 years. Among them:
  • 7-day-a-week newspapers will disappear
  • Print coupons will disappear
  • TV primetime will become a recorded, on-demand event
  • Video ads will replace banner ads
  • All digital advertising will be bought programmatically
As in years past, the rapid change of the media landscape, technology, and consumption of content dominates the conversation from the presentations to the hallways. In other words, the only constant in our media world today is — change.

Four over-riding themes resonated this year at the conference.
  1. Location-Based Marketing — They know where you are…
  2. Video grabs attention — Want to get noticed? Use Video
  3. Event Marketing drives profit — Radio is positioned perfectly for events
  4. Radio’s Success Formula — Townsquare Media's keys to success
Here is a brief summary of each of those key takeaways.

Asif R. Khan, Founder and President of the Location Based Marketing Association, noted that 85% of all data today has a location element to it. That includes the pictures you take with your cellphone, the messages you send, your tweets, etc.

Marketers can determine where you are and can send content to you that is location-relevant. Kahn says that location-based marketing will be a $43.3 billion dollar market by 2019. "Location is the new cookie," according to Kahn.

Brian Russell, Chief Operating Officer of Media Distribution Solutions, shared some stunning research about the power of video in your marketing:
  • Having video on your website makes it 53 times more likely to show up on Google
  • Video causes people to stay longer on your site by an average of 2 minutes
  • Video is shared 1,200% more than photos and texts combined
  • Emails with videos get 50% more clicks compared to emails without video
The takeaway is that video is clearly the new frontier in capturing attention in your marketing.

Radio is positioned perfectly to execute events that can drive huge profits for the station and cluster. Jason Taylor, President of Gatehouse Media, says the keys to local media companies' success in events is:
  • Market Penetration — Local media covers the market
  • Brand Recognition — Local media is an established brand
  • Diverse Portfolios — Local media has multiple formats to attract
  • Creativity — Local media has the creative talent
  • Workforce — Local media has the manpower to execute events
  • Community Partnerships — Local media has local relationships
Nancy Lane, President of the Local Media Association, says one of the primary reasons local media companies should consider doing events is PROFIT. The average profit from an event is 40%. There are several revenue streams from events for local media:
  • Sponsorship Sales
  • Ticket Sales
  • Booth/Table Sales
  • VIP Packages
  • Premium Seating
  • Merchandise Sales
The takeaway is that radio has the "voice" in the market and can drive the success of events.

Steven Price, Chairman/CEO of Townsquare Media, told the audience that while some radio stations believe their FCC license is their most valuable asset, Townsquare management believes value creation is driven by increased monetization of other strategic assets:
  1. Having the “megaphone” in the marketplace
  2. Having a local sales force
  3. Having an active, local, email/data-base
Price says that by using these three strengths, radio companies can position themselves in the marketplace to be the integrated marketing solutions provider for local advertisers.

This was the 7th year for the Borrell Local Online Advertising Conference. The event provides a unique peek behind the curtain for what successful companies are doing today, and equally important, offers a "crystal ball" look into the future of the media business.

There is no shortage of excitement with respect to the power of local media companies and the power of radio as the driving force as a comprehensive, integrated marketing solutions provider for helping businesses grow.