Now is the Time for Newspapers to Lead SMBs into Digital Advertising

Newspapers have struggled for years with declining ad sales, but expectations of continued growth at the local level, coupled with the ability to easily offer digital advertising services, represent a clear path to turn around those losses.

In a recent speech at the Key Executives Mega-Conference, media analyst Gordon Borrell called newspapers “marketing powerhouses,” noting that his research indicates papers are often biggest digital sellers in their markets.

But newspapers can do even more work to put themselves in the best position to offer those digital services to more SMB advertisers. Borrell’s firm, Borrell Associates, forecasts that SMBs will spend $36 billion less on advertising, choosing to move that money instead into marketing services.

For newspapers to capture that growth, they need to work with service providers to make sure they have the tools and ad products that will help them serve SMB advertisers. In 2016, newspapers must partner with companies that can offer them an ad agency in a box – essentially, marketing services providers that enable digital advertising, mobile, programmatic, and even website services, without hiring additional staff or making major changes to their sales forces.

The tools are there for newspapers to grab the digital opportunity – they key is for them to choose the partners that put them in position to capitalize on the digital opportunity.