Study: Digital Sales Knowledge, Campaign Monitoring Lags In Local News Media

Local media continues to experience devastating financial repercussions further impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To speak more fully to how local media can further its financial gains, the Local Media Consortium (LMC) and the Google News Initiative (GNI) solicited a study from business strategy and research company Magid.

The result is the “2020 Advertiser Assessment of Local Media Digital Advertising,” published today.

“We’ve teamed up with the Google News Initiative to analyze advertiser perceptions of local media in order to identify ways for these news organizations to strengthen their digital ad sales strategies,” Fran Wills, CEO of the Local Media Consortium, wrote in a blog post. “With more people relying on journalism in their communities, these findings come at a vital time for the industry.”



Wills reports the majority of the LMC’s 4,000 local media members are seeing a 30% to 60% drop in ad revenue.

The study gathered analysis and insights from national and local advertisers and agencies across the U.S.

Through its analysis, Magid developed three key areas local news publishers should focus on to deepen their connection with advertisers and regain revenue. Those include: strengthen sales teams’ digital expertise, improve campaign monitoring and reporting and identify what makes a local publication unique.

Magid suggested solutions, such as providing digital sales teams with additional training so they could better meet campaign recommendations and insights; develop more streamlined processes and campaign reports, particularly around data points related to cost per thousand (CPM), viewability, article and video completion rates and unique audiences; and emphasis their relationship to the community when speaking about value.

“Addressing the local media advertising dilemma will help provide a path toward sustaining the trusted reporting that is so important to our communities. We hope these insights bring local publishers opportunities to drive digital revenue growth — now and in the future,” Wills wrote.

The study builds on the recent launch of the LMC’s “Support Local News” campaign, which was backed by $15 million in funding from Google. 

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