How Small Media Companies Can Beat Tech Giants

BY Kathy Crosett
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We all know the story of David and Goliath. At this point, many small publishers feel like they're David up against Goliath as they watch their ad business being gobbled up by Facebook and Google. But media sales reps and publishers have ways to fight back. Kenny Katzgrau outlined a few of his ideas on Mediashift not long ago.


As a media sales rep, you’ve heard all about how Facebook and Google are giving small businesses a personalized relationship with their customers. That’s true. But, ask them how easy it is to work with these companies. You have the flexibility to sell different formats to your clients. They can purchase an entire page on your site. As a local publisher or media company, your clients know that consumers in the immediate market will be checking out your site to get the scores for the local basketball team. They know you deliver content nobody else has. While they're reading about what really happened with that fire on Main Street, they'll see your clients' ads, too.

Here's a newsflash to share with your clients. The most recent AudienceSCAN survey from SalesFuel's AdMall shows that 44% of U.S. adults regularly read local or Sunday newspapers in a variety of formats.


Katzgrau reports that clients asked frequently about sponsorships last year. When a name, logo and message appear daily in the same spot or section of a publication, a local business generates visibility with consumers. Businesses that purchase the sponsorship of an entire section for a year will be noticed sooner or later by everyone in the local market. This kind of visibility is not possible with the tech giants.


When a client buys an ad from you, they can be assured that their ads will appear on a specific sidebar or a footer. Maybe they want the position above the headline on the sports section? No problem. You could also guarantee that their display ad will be a full-​screen takeover for a few seconds before consumers see your main page.

Making these kinds of promises to your clients puts them at ease. If they’ve dealt with the likes of YouTube, they know there’s no guarantee. Their ad could show up next to a video touting jihadi violence or stupid things people do when they’re drunk. Are those really the kinds of associations your clients want consumers to make with their brands?

The ad market is truly a competitive jungle these days. But you have a product that has been serving your local market for decades. Remind prospects and clients that your primary goal is to help them generate more business. Once they sign a contract with you, follow up with the kind of customer service they’ll never get from a distant tech giant.