Feb. 10, 2012

Profit First
Newspaper Sites

Newspaper execs that couldn’t make money w/ digital



Digital Business Models

Not a Business Model

Leverage Digital
1. Reduce costs 2. Increase print share

3. Tap new revenue

Vulture Journalism ?

Mel Taylor Background


Online Journalism / Content
looking for

Revenue Models

Proven Revenue Models
that support

Online Journalism / Content

Core business
Newspapers Journalism Communications Advertising Enable Commerce

Run Web Like Print
Think like Publisher / Owner

1. 2.


Profit Operations Editorial

in this order

If Web Loses Money
Which Department is Gutted?

Digital Operations Manual
Do you have one?

Prices are always dropping Features always getting better Monitor this at least 3x per year

Best Product & Price
Is person in charge of your site…… financially motivated to get lowest cost & best features?

How Long Will You Bleed Red Ink

Before You Clean House?



Remove Bozos

Watch clip of person killing your business from within.

Common Errors
Salaried exec in charge Research for sales direction Over-reliance on vendors Poor inventory management Clunky and limited CMS

Who Should Manage Website
ONE PERSON compensation & job security tied to digital profitability
Mel Taylor Media - Dec 2010

Who Runs Website?
Mandatory Skill Set
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Think like Publisher Entrepreneurial Biz-Dev & Direct Sales Digital DNA Traditional Marketing

• Webmasters • Designers • Editors
Tell you what you can… …and can’t sell online ?
Do you ask pressmen about what types of print ads you can sell?

Always done it that way
Platform can’t do it We don’t offer it Don’t have time Too expensive Bad user experience

• We hit our web budget
• Web rev up 500 %
• Web traffic is strong

• 50,000 Facebook Fans
• CPM selling

Client Questions
• Current marketing allocation
• Current digital allocation • Digital you are considering

• Who’s pitching you ?

Where are the revenue experts in this picture?

a) John Paton b) Jay Rosen c) Jeff Jarvis




New Business Models for News

The day I discovered that AOL PATCH had no idea how to make money.


The New Workshop from Mel Taylor Media

Online Business 101
for Editorial, Programming & Web Producers
When content creators understand online business models… they create more advertiser-friendly & profitable websites

Remove Geek Speak

cpm pageviews uniques


click-thru rate



New Business Development

Reps Operating Blind
Fully aware of how clients are spending budgets?

Take this Test
• What % of print clients buy web ?
• What % is sold local direct ?
• Plan to reach non-print ?

• Know marketing plan of clients?
• Are your managers in the field ?

Current Print Clients
Meet Dick. 25 years in the Newspaper biz. Always hits his print budget without fail. Dick always wins sales contests, like this one to a tropical island. But because Dick is a print-sales superstar, he gets a pass when it comes to web. Dick NEVER pitches web. Yet 90% of Dick’s clients already buy digital. Dick’s print clients buy online video, SEO, Groupon, banners and social media…. …from Dick’s competitors. Dick’s clients LOVE him. They would buy Web from Dick……if only he offered it. Hi. I’m Dick.

Print Sales Superstar Wins Sales Contests Hits Budget w/o Web

Integrated Sales Force Structure
• All reps as super sellers • 1 web champion • 1 point of contact for client • Offer many solutions • Reach & power of all platforms
Read: EPIC FAIL; Separate Digital Sales Teams

Overhaul Comp
• Revenue per rep & manager

• New business per rep (per month)

• Grow % of current clients
• High commission: new clients • Low commission: transactional • Bonus & PENALTY


> Grow % of clients using web

> Bonus & PENALTY
• Don’t hit web ? Lose PRINT bonus

• Don’t hit web….all the time?
> Lose acct or job

Rate Card
& Pricing
Supply & Demand (not CPM)

Super Dumb Practice
Protect ‘rate card integrity’
@ $10 cpm
and then…..

Sell unsold inventory to ad networks @ $1 cpm

Smart Practice
weekly instead of monthly rates
sounds expensive sounds reasonable

$ 400. per month $ 95. per week

Sweet Spot Pricing
• Designate a premium unit
• Sell 24 hour exclusive • Limit inventory…7 only…Pick a day • Pricing • Flat Fee….Raise rate as you sell out • Short commitment (3-6)

CPM RoadKill



Bigger Not Always Better

Un-limited Supply + Commodity Unit + Limited Demand

Ad Networks
on Home Page & Section Fronts

At Work Day-part
Internet Prime Time Mon-Fri 9a-5p

Morning 6a-10a

Mid-day 10-3p

Evening 8-11p

Exercise Caution
Intermediaries, Middle men

Toll Taker
30% to Steve… Proceed with Caution

Share cropping
Building business on land you don’t own

Outsourcing Sales
Outside Sales ‘Experts’ Hard Sell
4-legged Calls

High Churn Rate
Clients feel pressured

Outsourcing Sales
• Protect & grow your LOCAL sales staff • Keep client relationships to YOURSELF • YOUR managers should be trainers • YOUR managers should do 4-legged calls • Using imported sellers, makes your sellers look WEAK

• Quick deals closed by outsiders will slowly KILL YOU


• Started out as ADVOCATE
for Newspaper Web sites

• NOW….
They rep ANY & ALL sites

Raised $22.5 million
• expand sales force • target mid-tier advertisers / agencies • automated media-buying software

• • • • • Middle man Commoditize Hidden spread Can’t sell premium ops Less reliant on Newspaper


LIFT Platform
sorta like: Yahoo Consortium DUMB

Your site: Reader & Advertiser Friendly ? Train-wreck of content ?

Is your site full of non-proprietary content that users can easily get elsewhere?

Sales Kit
Easy to understand
For local business & reps

Advertiser focused

Media Kit 2 Yrs old

Leaderboard should be called TOP BANNER
Complexity & Inside-Talk Kills Sales


Remnant Ad Network on Home Page

Cause for Dismissal

I’m ready to give Rob Curley the hook

Burn Thru Cash

Remnant Ad on Home Page

Remnant Ad on Home Page

Competitor Remnant Ad on Home Page
Competitor Remnant Ad on Home Page

Remnant Ad on Home Page

Would you ever put remnant ads on your paper’s front page?

Competitor Remnant Ad on AUTO Page

Total Reach
Newspaper: Website: Mobile YouTube Twitter Facebook Email xxx,000 xx,000 xx,000 xx,000 xx,000 xx,000 xx,000

Total Reach: xxx,000

3 Simple Packages

Helping SARASOTA Business

Print & Online

Get Online

FREE Local Plan 1st year • 3-page website • Domain name • Website hosting • Email support Year 2 (per month) • $4.99 site/hosting • $2.00 domain • Cancel any time

Web Marketing 101
For Local Business

Web Marketing 101
For Local Business

Digital Services

Surprising NEW Players Going After Local Dollars

Hyper Local

Indie-site already rules

Hyper Local

-Ad Network -63 sites -PBS -NPR -Ad Agency

Launched in February 2009

Huffington Post
• Traffic • Low-cost • Advertisers • Profitable



Banner Design Creative

Branding focus No call to action Why full URL ? Why zip code? Will you get credit ?

How They Decide
• Reads paper • Support Journalism • Pageviews or CPM

• News coverage
• Social, Mobile, Video

Ad Mix
see local business looking GREAT?

See any

Super Premium
ad positions ?

Mel Taylor Media
Success Story
Results: 90 day web-sales initiative
Year 1 February $71,813 Year 2 $134,847 Web Revenue Increase 88%





mel taylor media

We generated over $140k of new (quarterly) online business.
The seminar results far exceeded our expectations.

Mel’s presentation was also a very effective learning tool for our print sales staff, reinforcing our in-house web training.
One key to our success was Mel’s presentation style. He was able to build the advertisers’ web comfort by using non-tech, easy to understand methods & terminology. John D’Orlando, VP Advertising; Orlando Sentinel

mel taylor media
Our ‘Web 101 for Small Business’ seminar was a huge success
• $140,000 in new revenue and signed 26 NEW advertisers
• Increased average revenue per account by 18%.
Mel is charismatic, well spoken and easily captures attention of the crowd. He takes the time to build a story that can make the most difficult concepts seem easy.

Before the client seminar (where Mel trained our sales staff) he addressed the most common objections. Mel helped give the sales staff more confidence, and made them fully prepared to sell.
At the client seminar, Mel engaged the audience, spoke in terms that made them comfortable, and made professional reference to promote our Newspaper website, without losing credibility as a professional, outside consultant.

Dan Sarko ; VP of Interactive; Tribune

Re-think EVERYTHING • Compensation
• Pricing
• Inventory Management • Vendor Deals • Aggregation & RSS • Local Indie-Journos

Reduce Costs

• CMS Platforms
• Sales-Based Video • Management

> Open Source > Crowd Source > Revenue Share

TOP 10
Web Revenue Mistakes of Local Media
1. Management, Owners & CEO’s lack specialized web training 2. Wrong person in charge 3. Limited or no training of sales reps 4. Management structure & compensation conflicts 5. Poor attention to fast changing, online environment 6. Setting web budgets too low 7. Ineffective online inventory & yield management 8. Confusing media kits, sales packages & pricing 9. Director of Interactive; tech & content background only 10.Over-reliance on vendors & research for sales strategy

Feb. 10, 2012

Profit First
Newspaper Sites