18 insightful comments media executives made in our latest Innovation Index report on digital marketing services

Every month, the Local Media Association surveys senior-level executives changed with growing digital revenue and audience though the Local Media Association Innovation Index.

LMA recently surveyed executives on how they are thinking about digital marketing services, on everything from the opportunity, challenges and the future.

You can read the full report here. And last week we shared a few of the biggest numbers to come out of the report.

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There is no cost. Only survey respondents receive the full report each month, including all of the verbatim comments. Everyone else gets an executive summary.

This week, we’re sharing some of the most insightful comments. Here they are:

What has been your biggest challenge in selling digital marketing services successfully?

• Finding the outside partner for fulfillment, getting reps comfortable with these products as they are our current sales staff that has struggled in past to sell basic digital products. Small businesses that think Facebook is enough.

• Finding the right size advertiser to balance the resources needed for sales and fulfillment – right now we have a high volume of advertisers who spend a lower amount/month and we would like to change that to fewer advertisers who spend a higher amount/month.

• We are far behind most newspapers in selling digital in any form. We have to do a better job selling our current offerings before we add on anything else.

• Trying to build and scale the proper infrastructure on the fulfillment side while trying to keep the reps adequately trained up.

• We sell purely on partnership solutions and what makes sense for the clients, we do our best to make sure they have a solid foundation in services (website, SEO, social) before we build on the next layer of advertising and our ROI in services is extremely low. We do not want to grow in services. Our highest ROI is on our onsite products and that is not always what a client is interested in.

• The sales reps in our smaller markets are either not educated on the digital products and services or not interested. The process of booking, trafficking and reporting is cumbersome and they are running after print goals. We have specialists who often are that in name only – they do not make attempts to further educate themselves.

• Starting from scratch with our own staff and teaching everyone is hard enough, but really helping everyone on the sales side understand expectations and results of the services is the hardest part. We are frankly dealing with learning on the fly ourselves, and have to be able to aptly communicate wins to the sales people and help them communicate that to the clients.

• Lack of knowledge and expertise in workplace to support digital services. Operating with a very vast majority of our revenue coming from broadcast television it is hard to get employees to get on board prioritizing digital services.

• Staying competitive with our pricing since we contract out fulfillment to other companies. Too many hands in the pot. Some of our markets our competitors own their agencies and do it all in-house.

What is your biggest opportunity in selling digital marketing services?

• Leveraging existing relationships to add more products and services to those that a client already buys from us. And using the long-term history of the company helping local SMBs in traditional media to branch out into more categories with them.

• Key was acquiring a start-up and supplying the capital and independence to evolve and thrive organically.

• Extending the trust and good will enjoyed by our local media brand to our local marketing services brand.

• It’s our single-biggest opportunity for explosive revenue growth. In two years it has become 8% of overall revenue — from scratch — and I could see current DMS revenue run rate doubling in the next six months.

• OTT , and continuing offering all our offsite advertising opportunities because our competitive advantage is our local reps who overdeliver on client expectations as well as optimizing their campaigns throughout the month.

• SEO is a huge opportunity for us. We have invested heavily in building that process out, and really have seen great retention rates and growth there. We also think video and email are areas we can expand with time and effort.

• I honestly think the biggest opportunity is helping grow small service based companies, that also want to grow — but cannot afford a staff. This would be compared to growing our historical best clients.

• We are a highly trusted brand with a strong reputation for community and excellence. We also have a big megaphone for promotions and distribution.

• Acting as a bit of a pioneer, we are implementing digital services in a market that is slowly progressing away from traditional marketing. In addition relatively low cost for digital marketing allows smaller local businesses to market themselves through our services.