Digital First Media has teamed up with PaperG to build custom multi-device advertising campaigns for both desktop and mobile. The partnership allows PaperG, which automates display advertising campaigns for small businesses, to provide Digital First Media’s network of nearly 1,000 sales representatives with a full-service ad solution for mobile and desktop.
The move comes as legacy local media companies continue to pour investment in marketing services in a rush to build a bulwark against shrinking print revenues. By bundling services like display advertising, SEO, and social media marketing, local media firms believe they can reposition their sales forces to act as digital marketing agencies, managing and implementing marketing spend for small businesses.
PaperG already works with a number large publishers including Hearst and The Weather Channel. The ad technology provided by the company auto-generates a custom digital display ad for desktop and mobile using only the name and location of a business to create a complete ad for cross-device and multi-channel use.
“Consumers are accessing content across multiple devices especially mobile,” Victor Wong, chief executive officer at PaperG, told Street Fight. “The small business community of advertisers is an underserved and powerful segment; they have been called the holy grail of online advertising and I believe this will hold true on mobile as well.”
Earlier this year, Digital First Media partnered with GlobalPost, a world news site, to provide content for their consumers through multi-platform products. The management company’s venture capital component, Digital First Ventures, also partnered in June with NewsCred, a content marketing and syndication platform, to scale new content verticals and expand their digital audience.
Digital First Media’s partnership with PaperG is another example that agency model for local media is gaining steam. During a panel at Street Fight Summit West in June, Sean McDonnell, SVP Sales at Propel Marketing, which is the SMB agency created by GateHouse Media, said he expects to see about half of the company’s revenue coming from non-GateHouse newspapers. The questions for Gatehouse, Digital First Media and others is whether re-selling increasingly commoditized products can drive enough profit to keep these legacy giants afloat.
Myriah Towner is an intern at Street Fight.