Q&A: Why the Quincy Media Group created a special unit focused only on digital services

Mary Oakley Winters
Vice President, Interactive, Quincy Media
mwinters@quincymedia.com

Q: Tell us a little about your career and how you got to your current position?

A: I represent the fifth generation of my family in the media business and came up on the newspaper side of our mainly broadcast company. About 10 years ago we decided to put together an interactive unit that could help organize and standardize efforts on the content and advertising side of the emerging digital platform.

Q: You have invested in building a full-fledged, separate digital agency. How did you make this decision?

A: At the beginning, we included digital as part of a legacy AE’s portfolio of marketing products. Over time, the digital space has continued to evolve, becoming more and more sophisticated and hard to keep pace with. It made sense to us that creating a special unit focused only on digital services would be a great compliment to what we do. Our new ‘Quincify’ group is available to help AEs’ existing customer base as well as forge ahead to assist new genres of businesses with digital marketing.

Q: How are you branding and differentiating your agency in a competitive market?

A: We are connecting and building on the long-term relationship our legacy property has in the market and introducing a locally-affiliated group of digital specialists. We believe that having a local connection is important to businesses – they need to know there is someone in the market who knows what the digital space, is there to help and is focused on customers’ success.

Q: What advice would you give to news publishers that are new to a digital agency or haven’t gotten one off the ground yet?

A: Do your homework. Get help. Have dedicated people working on it. Start with your current clients.

Q: You went through an intensive benchmarking project called your “digital labor of love.” Can you explain what that is and why you did it?

A: In many ways we felt like we needed to make a case for why digital needed more focus from our company. Managers are busy and they don’t always have time to do the due diligence necessary to see opportunities as they are presenting themselves. We took a deep dive into our current customer base (by AE and by property) to see how many of them were running on multiple platforms with us, average spend per platforms and what digital could add to a station’s bottom line. The report definitely showed that we could optimize the time we were already spending with customers by including digital as part of the marketing conversation. It also gave the managers the information they needed to hold AEs accountable for expanding their conversations with customers.

Q: What are the most important things that you learned that are guiding your next steps in growing digital?

A: Digital is not an easy business. It changes fast. It requires people who know what they are doing – training can never stop.

Q: What do you see your or the industry’s biggest opportunities with digital revenue in the coming years?

A: Content, content, content.

Q: What are the biggest challenges your company or the industry faces with digital revenue in the coming years?

A: Competition from Social Media platforms and other start-ups.

 

Learn more about Quincy Media here.