How Advertisers Can Work with Local Publishers to Connect with Communities

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Fun fact: Street Fight started out as a publication covering local media, less so martech and localized marketing. This interview is where the two come together: how national or even global advertisers can partner with local publishers to develop targeted, location-based messages that resonate.

To find out about the current state of localized advertising, I checked in with Tom Cheli, CEO of Frequence, a solution for media companies to automate and grow their local advertising sales.

News has become more nationalized in recent years, but advertisers still need to reach consumers in local markets. How do you think about the opportunity of localized marketing in this light? 

Digital advertising is grappling with a lot of privacy issues at the moment, but for local business and media markets, the desired audience is geographically distinct and manageable. As such, those audiences will always be in high demand for a whole slew of businesses who can benefit. There remains a lot of potential to be realized in building new localized digital communities.

How have the recent financial challenges of local publishers affected national brands’ ability to execute localized marketing strategies?

All paid media campaigns these days need to be fairly comprehensive across channels, and smart local targeting is an important part of that. Our company happens to make software that helps local media companies sell more of their own owned and operated inventory alongside comprehensive digital extensions while showing more value and performance. We think that’s a huge step in the right direction.

The adtech community has been having a discussion about privacy and first-party data. Is there something to be said for local media’s close connections to their readers, whom advertisers want to reach, at this privacy-oriented time? 

A lot of local media and news companies are going to have to build their own email/login reg walls, but we expect that there will exist a natural audience familiarity with legacy local media companies that will make it work. It’s a fundamentally appealing value exchange for all parties.

What do advertisers want that local publishers are often lacking currently in terms of technology? For example, advances in programmatic and targeting, creative optimization, etc.  

With the partners and markets we operate in, a lot of people are looking for strategy, guidance, and an authentic relationship. The tech is complex and rapidly evolving, and they want reliable support and insight more than anything.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]