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BIA/Kelsey Leading in Local: The Role of Digital Agencies in the Local Space

A panel made up of Jeff Folckemer, president and CEO, LocalEdge and SVP, Hearst Newspapers; Jean-Philippe Gauthier, COO, Mediative; and David Hughes, CEO, The Search Agency, spoke of the role digital agencies play in the local marketing space and how to make it work.  Key points made by the panel include:

  1. Relationships and service matter.  Increasing touch with clients reduces churn rates by 3-4 points.  Relationships equate to trust which helps differentiate the agency from self-service or call center products.
  2. Use technology to reduce costs.  Make sure you provide a solution for as broad a range of digital products as possible.  Make sure you make a sufficient margin: 30% is the sweet spot – anything less is not enough.  Folks that want agencies will pay for the service.
  3. Local is critical – Google can’t talk to every local business.
  4. Traditional media still plays a part – Google acknowledges that traditional media adds a 30-40% lift to Google media.
  5. Training on digital is necessary.  One panelist trains their sales team 50 weeks a year.
  6. Incentivize digital sales.  One panelist penalizes traditional media sales if insufficient digital sales are made.

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