According to the Great Gordon Borrell, newspapers are winning by a mile.
In a LinkedIn article "Guess Who's Winning in Digital" Gordon points out that "A single newspaper in any market tends to sell more digital advertising than any other entity in that market. By a factor of five."
Powerful stuff. Newspaper teams should be reprinting that article and sharing it with their advertisers, to help fan the flames of a bandwagon effect in their local markets.
Newspapers SHOULD dominate local digital. As Gordon points out, the local newspaper usually has a much bigger sales force on the street than any other entity selling digital, and most national level digital competitors have zero feet on the street.
Part of the positioning we help provide when we at the Blinder Group work with a local newspaper team is to help condition advertisers to ignore the multiple phone calls they get from out of town types every day. The newspaper team is the trusted source.
We have seen rapid movement toward "full service digital" product lines at local newspapers in the past few years. Make no mistake that having the right products in place is key for those newspapers that are winning.
There is still some resistance among publishers to low margin digital products such as web development and SEO solutions, but those who ignore those product lines will yield market share, and sometimes control of the advertisers, to the dark side inhabited by directory companies and pureplays.
This is year to flesh out your digital product lines and take a major digital sales effort to market. Call if we can help.