Promotions Summit Journal: Day 1

by Matt Coen Second Street

2:00 PM: The Big Shift: Online Promotions

The Promotions Summit began with a keynote address from Gordon Borrell, the CEO of Borrell Associates. Gordon spoke about the industry-wide shift from advertising toward online promotions. In 2007, local advertisers spent more of their marketing spend on promotions than on advertising for the first time. Now, these same advertisers are spending 45% more on promotions than they did in 2005. Furthermore, people are spending increasingly more time on digital media and less on traditional media.

As a media company, you are a local media expert that can provide guidance and measurable results to advertisers with integrated campaigns. Here are a few recommendations to make sure you are making the most of the shift toward online promotions:

  1. Don’t underestimate your potential.
  2. Ask for more resources.
  3. Develop appropriate measurements.
  4. Be an internal change agent.

There’s a lot of money out there! Go capture it.

3:00PM: Stories from the Field

During the first session of the summit, we heard success stories from six media companies.

Jamie Kinnaird from BH Media Group shared how Omaha World-Herald generated $75,000 with a 10-week $1,000 giveaway contest with a local outlet mall. (We’ll be publishing a full case study with all the details shortly, but you can find more information now in the 2013 Second Street Awards deck. Look at slide 20 – the Nebraska Crossing Outlets giveaway was a winner!)

Brenda Fedak from The Belleville News-Democrat told the story of how a restaurant deal for a local Mexican restaurant drove $11,000 in revenue. (We’ll be publishing a full case study with all the details shortly.)

Brandy Carter from Entercom New Orleans shared how the radio cluster generated $13,000 with a Facebook Advertiser Contest for a local bank – and how the bank drove nearly $100,000 in revenue as a direct result of the contest! See how it all came together in this case study.

Elizabeth Perry from Cox Media Group went through the details of WSB-FM’s Dream Wedding contest. The station made $30,000, and the advertiser, a local resort, booked 10 weddings as a result of the contest. Get all the details in this case study.

Tara Whitfield from WRAL-TV told the story of how the station’s Grocery Giveaway sponsored sweepstakes collected more than 62,000 email opt-ins and 78,000 Facebook Likes. (We’ll be publishing a full case study with all the details shortly.)

J. Tom Shaw from Shaw Media shared how the group’s repeat recreation deals with Key Lime Cove have brought in more than $500,000 in revenue. (We’ll be publishing a full case study with all the details shortly, but you can find more information now in the 2012 Second Street Awards deck. Look at slide 46 – the Key Lime Cove deal was a winner!)

3:30PM: Advertiser Scenarios Activity

The next session of the summit was an interactive activity. All of our attendees broke into groups and came up with promotions solutions for a variety of advertisers, like a hair salon, realty company, and a garden center.

Proposals included a Father-Son lookalike contest for a hair salon catering to men and boys, a Mortgage Giveaway to help a realty company target first-time home buyers, and a springtime Yard Makeover contest for a garden center looking for for people who are in the market to do a major, DIY landscaping project.

4:40PM: 4 Pillars of Promotions Success

Session 4 of the Promotions Summit was a panel discussion featuring Katie Wilson from the Quad-City Times and Tim Murphy from Entercom. They covered a wide variety of topics from a market perspective and a corporate perspective. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Planning is worth prioritizing. While tasks that are urgent often take precedence over tasks that are truly important, it’s worth taking the time out of your busy schedule to come up with a strong promotions calendar for the year, and for each quarter.
  • Your database is a gold mine. Don’t just focus on getting people into your database – focus on keeping them engaged. After all, when you’re selling your database, what you’re really selling is the number of people who are actively reading your emails and taking action as a result.
  • Quality trumps quantity. It’s easy to run contests and other promotions too frequently, and if you do you will experience diminishing returns. So instead of just running as many promotions as you possibly can, focus instead on creating quality promotions and turning them into programs you can repeat year after year.

The first day of the Promotions Summit was a success, and we are very much looking forward to Day 2. Check the Promotions Lab again tomorrow to follow along with the remaining sessions in our Day 2 journal.