It’s now or never to kick up local advertising…

As the flood waters of change roll into the mid-west from the coasts – the effects are also rolling in.  We’ve been hearing the “rumblings” of niche and local advertising opportunities increasing as web analytics and target marketing become more sophisticated – and here is one really good example.

The lightning bolt

I logged into YouTube early this this morning to add a video of the kids and was greeted with this very well done ad which caught my eye right away.  Notice the “Cedar Rapids” – which for those of you not from Iowa, fairly close to me and is the city where I work.

This is the ad I saw on You Tube early this morning.

So I clicked the ad and was encouraged to pick a city…I picked CR and moved to the next step.

Step 2 was to pick a city.

Boom – the bait.  50% off food, spas, events and activities.  Half off is nothing to scuff at.

Now you can pick the "deals" you want.

The next click is serious…they want my email.  I have to admit, if I had not gotten more excited about the ad campaign than the offer – I more than likely would have stopped here.  I’m just not the coupon type.

But they hooked me with two things:  1 – I wanted to know what they were offering and 2 – they just offered my 50% off – that’s a good deal no matter how you slice it.

Now the rubber hits the road...they want an email

The final screen.  We see a number of interesting things after we get to the final page.  1 – We find out they really don’t have any deals yet and 2 – it looks a bit more “scripted” than I first thought.

Here is the result - a little bit of a buzz kill.

Here’s the point.  I work for a media company – and we are OLD SCHOOL.  Yea, we make very little money from any type of digital/online product.  We package those buys to keep our percentages up.  Its harsh, ugly and true.

After a little research, the company behind the ad/site is from Washington DC.  They are Living Social.  Very nice website – very polished and well written.  It reminds me a lot of the concept over at Groupon.  They both have taken a page from Woot! – in which a deal each day is offered.

The premise is you get an deal emailed/presented to you each day.  There is no cost for the offer – but if you want the deal, you pay and you get the item or coupon.  It’s a great idea – and one that real knows no bounds and can really pay dividends for retailers.

The conclusion
These are all good sites with good ideas (LivingSocial, Groupon, Woot!) – the key is they are moving the “coupon” from the newspaper days and distributing it digitally.  They have kicked it up seriously int he metrics department and offer so much to the business they partner with.

My point is OLD media needs to kick it up. It’s not about the advertising department and the content department.  Its not about the separation of content and product.  Its not about beat blogs and WordPress logins.  That crap doesn’t matter.

Its about delivering a viable product which has laser guided focus to a specific audience.  We need to engage participate in that  audience in ways that make us vulnerable and gives the audience a full look into who we are.

But how?  It has to work like many of the above mentioned companies have started. Allow a small group of innovative entrepreneurs (3-4) to create something that doesn’t conform to the rules.  Something that is based on a very specific audience.  Something that encourages people to share and contribute.  Something the small group is already a part of. Something that is not dependent on any of the current models (by current model I specifically mean newspaper, TV or same old content).  Something that doesn’t NEED nor follows any of the rules.  There are no rules…

Sounds easy to type – but hard to execute.  The hard part is to actually allow this group to form, let them free themselves of the chains we currently carry and encourage them to succeed and lead the way.

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