Selling Digital Marketing Services

August 8-9 | Chicago


The industry’s only event dedicated to the business of selling digital marketing services. As this business evolves and matures, find out what is working and what is not at a diverse mix of local media companies.

LMA Member / Borrell Associate Client
Media Assoc Partner
Non LMA Member / Non Borrell Member


Send 4 or more people from your company and save $35 on each registration.

Email Lindsey Estes at to take advantage of these discounts.

August 8, 2018

8:15 AM: Coffee & Light Breakfast
8:45 AM: Welcome
9:00 AM: Morning sessions begin

9:00 AM: Who’s Doing Well, and How Do You Know?  Market leaders look more like agencies than media companies. What’s their go-to-market strategy? Why do they look more like ad agencies? Presented by Gordon Borrell, CEO, Borrell Associates.  His presentation will identify 3 market leaders, whom he will briefly profile.  Throughout the day, we’ll hear directly from the key executive in charge of each of the named companies – Belo+Co, Townsquare, and The High Road Agency.

Presenters include:

  • Jared Merves, Chief Digital Officer, Belo+Co.
  • Tim Pirrone, President & GM, Townsquare Interactive
  • Rob Bunch, Managing Director, High Road Digital

9:20  Market Leader Presentation: Townsquare Interactive.  Townsquare has transformed itself from a radio company into a dynamic marketing entity.  We’ll hear from Tim Pirrone, President and General Manager of Townsquare Interactive, on the company’s efforts to work not only with radio advertisers, but also to reach out to a new clientele altogether.

10:00  Competing With Local Ad Agencies: Pitfalls and Benefits. If you’re selling services to local businesses, you’re likely competing with some of your biggest clients – ad agencies. Do media companies hide their agency services from local agencies? Is there channel conflict? Speakers include Stephanie Slagle, Director of Digital, WBNS and Lisa Bishop, Chief Digital Officer, Heartland Media. Moderated by Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association.

10:40  Break

11:00  Market Leader Presentation: Belo+Co.  At more than $50 million, Belo has a remarkable 32% share of the Addressable Digital Market in Dallas. The company’s efforts to morph from a media company to an agency has them offering an array of services to some of the largest advertisers in Dallas.  Jared Merves, the company’s Chief Digital Officer, describes the strategy and why they’ve chosen to pursue only certain types of advertisers.

11:40  Fishing Downstream: How To Target the ‘S’ in SMBs. By most counts, the small guys account for the lion’s share of the opportunity in digital services. But it’s such a bear to reach and service smaller businesses that many have abandoned the idea altogether. That’s not the case with GateHouse Media. They have invested heavily in this area.  Newly-named ThriveHive President Perry Evans will share the company’s highly successful strategy and plans for the future.

12:15 – 1:30  Lunch on your own

1:30  Market Leader Presentation: The High Road Agency.  From its unlikely roots within a small newspaper in a sleepy Tennessee market, The High Road Agency has grown to a competitive marketing force in a larger market, Tri Cities, Tenn.  At the helm is Rob Bunch, managing director, who will describe the company’s remarkable story and the evolving strategy behind it.

2:15  Talent Acquisition & Retention. The business of running a digital agency or selling services isn’t at all like widget-making.  It takes a special brain – a special skill set. Where can that talent be found? Are there local pockets of genius, or do you have to look outside the market?  This session explores the tricks of the trade. Moderated by Jed Williams, Chief Innovation Officer, Local Media Association.

3:00  Customer Retention Best Practices.  Churn rates in the services business are as high as 60%, or so we hear. First-hand accounts offer a perspective on how to reduce churn, increase customer loyalty, and lift lifetime value. Presenters include Amber Aldrich, Senior Sales Director, The Seattle Times and executive from WEHCO Media to be announced. Moderated by Jed Williams, Chief Innovation Officer, Local Media Association

3:45   Selling Digital Marketing Services Case Studies.  Jack Zavoral, LMA Director of Member Development leads a one-hour session that will feature several case studies focused on methods used by local media companies to close the sale of digital services.  He will be joined by local sales leaders fresh off the street with real-world experience to share;  Matthew Poehls, Digital Sales Manager, Chicago Region, iHeartMedia Markets Group and Justin Shively, Regional Sales Manager, Quincify.


5:00 PM:  Happy Hour at Lizzie McNeil’s sponsored by Dream Local Digital



August 9, 2018

8:30  Coffee & Light Breakfast

9:00  Day 2 Preview:  Jack Zavoral and Jed Williams

9:15  Tapping the Lucrative Real Estate Vertical: How Digital Services Serves them Well.  Some of the biggest spenders of all on things like Social Media Management, SEO, and video production are real estate agents. This session lays out what agents are buying, how it’s priced, and what they’re expecting in terms of results. Gordon Borrell leads this session reviewing what’s happening in Real Estate and highlighting some of the better strategies to serve local agents and brokers.  Joined by Jim Brown, VP of Sales, Borrell Associates.

9:45  How To Use Digital Services To Drive Traditional Media Sales.  There’s no doubt about it – certain types of digital services can fuel the purchase of print, broadcast, and even outdoor advertising. The best of the best talk about how they’re packaging digital services to complement traditional advertising buys. Speakers include John Halford, VP, Pikewood Digital/WV Radio Group and Kerin Rue, Corporate Director of Online Advertising, Adams Outdoor Advertising & Fairway Outdoor

10:30  Break

10:45  Where’s the profit? What products sell best? What should you be making in your market?  Gordon Borrell uses Borrell’s media revenue database and vast set of advertiser expenditure data to help attendees benchmark themselves against what the industry is doing. Brace yourself: The availability of dollars in any market is very broad, though many companies have settled in on selling only one or two key products to a half-dozen types of businesses.

11:15  Key Takeaways.  This highly interactive session engages all participants to discuss the big “ahas” from the past day and a half. What will you take home and implement immediately?  What will product the biggest strategic change? 

Noon:  Sessions conclude

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The Gleacher Center, Chicago

Chicago, IL


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