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.

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

Cancellation Policy: There is a $150 cancellation fee before July 24. After July 24, no refunds will be given.


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.

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: Differentiating Your Brand in a Highly Competitive Ecosystem No matter what market size you serve, the competition for digital marketing services is intense. Stephanie Slagle, Director of Digital, WBNS, is in the midst of a name and branding change that will take their Columbus, Ohio-based agency to the next level. Slagle will talk about their new strategy and specifically how they are working with local ad agencies (who are also amongst their largest clients on the TV side) to grow their business.

Lisa Bishop, Chief Digital Officer, Heartland Media, represents very small markets. Her company doesn’t have the resources that some of the larger media companies that she competes with have. She’ll talk about their strategy to differentiate themselves and become the go-to-resource for digital marketing services in extremely small markets. Moderated by Nancy Lane, President, Local Media Association.

10:40: Break with R&D Partners

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. Presented by Andrea Rowan, General Manager, Excelerate Digital (McClatchy). Moderated by Jed Williams, Chief Innovation Officer, Local Media Association.

2:45: Break with R&D Partners

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 Jay Horton, President, WEHCO Digital. 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 with R&D Partners

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 produce the biggest strategic change?

Noon: Sessions conclude

The Gleacher Center, Chicago

Chicago, IL


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