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LMA Summit – Key Insights Part III: Revenue Growth Strategies

Panel: Top Revenue Growth Strategy Panel

Watch the recorded session from this LMA Revenue Growth Panel

The theme was: Revenue, revenue, revenue!
Moderator Peter Lamb of Lamb Consulting acknowledged that COVID-19 caused most publishers to rethink and adjust revenue plans for the year. Panelists from Village Media, Beasley Media Group, and Graham Media Group shared how companies are adapting, their best practices and strategies.


Beasley Media Group

Todd Handy, Chief Digital Officer at Beasley, recommends publishers invest in people, product, and process, and shares how Beasley crafted revenue strategy using the framework. 

People

  • Built a digital support team for their 200 integrated sales staff
    • Digital sales specialists and digital sales managers to help scale and support existing efforts
  • Created a digital-only account team and leadership
  • Instituted digital sales training across the organization to improve win rates, retention, and avg. order value (AOV)

Product - Beasley is focusing on the following product areas to drive revenue:

  • Beasley is "bullish" on video and sponsored content.
  • Double-down focus on analytics, segmentation, and identifying the "right" traffic.
  • A better job of monetizing email and social channels, which already have good adoption and volume.
  • Build out and scale a digital agency

Process - Beasley is improving their process on many fronts

  • Created a Digital Sales Playbook
  • Enhanced focus on vertical markets and regional opportunities
  • Drove more process value from Salesforce and Hubspot platforms
  • Optimized programmatic revenues with OpsCo technology

Village Media

Jeff Elgie, CEO of Village Media walked through their steps to grow total revenues by 50% YoY in the heavy pandemic months of April, May, and June 2020. Their revenue baseline was 75% local advertising, 22% programmatic, and 4% donations. Their local advertising business spans many categories such as classifieds, newsletters, video, or sponsored content.

Village Media Local Advertising Revenue Channels

Village Media Employed Four Revenue Strategies During COVID

  • Voluntary donation campaign
    • Donations exceeded goals to become 15% of revenue in April, 9% of May
  • Help save existing clients 
    • Specialized tools offered such as virtual home shows, online auctions, online concierge experiences, and rapid messaging shifts
  • Finding new clients
    • Focus on clients that had a mandate to communicate quickly to the community, more so then advertise. i.e. hospitals, municipalities, higher ed
    • Facilitate local charity 50/50 raffles online
    • Targeted CPC/CPA programs to offer emergency loans, car loans, as consumers struggled with financial instability
  • Programmatic focus on government entities need for pandemic communication

By executing on these strategies, Village Media improved local ad sales by 30-40% YoY, and donations by 100-500% YoY. Programmatic was down in April and May but approached 50% YoY increase in June. 

Village Media Revenue Results Graph


Graham Media Group

Catherine Badalamente, SVP/chief innovation officer for Graham Media Group, shared their focus on seven growth strategies this year:

  1. Optimizing passive revenue and programmatic
  2. Realigning AE comp to the "right kind of sale"
    1. Selling packages that drive immediate results, with good tracking
  3. Specific category focus - Education, Home improvement, and Health
  4. Prospecting - Ensure AE's have the right training and tools
  5. Launch digital agency - Training on "results, reporting, & ROI"
  6. New revenue opportunities
    1. town halls, virtual events, big emphasis on email newsletters
  7. Focus on Membership Growth
    1. Drive sustained relationships, rather than one-and-done
    2. Monetize with e-commerce, deals, sponsorships and DTC

The Revenue Growth Strategy Session panelists included:

All of the leadership sessions have additional content, along with slides, charts, and extended Q&A segments. 
Insights from Consumer Revenue Strategy Panel
Insights from Collaborative Journalism and Business Transformation Panel


 

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