Greg Gittrich, VP, digital media, and editor-in-chief, NBC Local Integrated Media, told ILM:10 attendees that with strong corporate support, NBC has extended a consistent voice and high-value content across platforms in a manner that develops a franchise in local markets. High franchise value content differs by market. For example, locally popular content might range from shopping and fashion in New York to football in Dallas and politics in Chicago. Some vertical content plays well across markets, for example, The Feast, which is offered in 10 markets where NBC owns TV plus Boston. The Feast is a city guide directory offering “the best places to shop, eat and play in your city.”
Stephen Weis, VP, digital sales, Hearst Newspapers spoke to the issue of scaling service for clients. While each advertiser expects high-quality service it can be expensive to do this for all advertisers, even those spending smaller amounts. One solution is to outsource this work off-shore. Weis also commented on Hearst’s partnership with Yahoo. Being part of the Yahoo consortium had some sales channel conflict, sometimes this is healthy, according to Weis. Yahoo been a great partner at resolving conflicts.
Advance Internet’s president, Peter Weinberger, commented on his partnership strategy by advising that any prospective partnership should be evaluated on where it might lead three to five years down the road. What makes sense now might not a bit later. Pick partners carefully. Weinberger reported that Advance Internet has spent the past two years focusing on SEO, then moved into social. 2011 will be all about mobile focus. Weis said his company has spent the last 18 months training newsrooms on SEO, then social. Now the emphasis shifts to mobile.