With local outposts in cities across the country, Gannett has an insider’s view into American communities and what their residents want and need from big brands.
“Big, national brands often don't want to be perceived as big, national brands,” said Kevin Gentzel, chief revenue officer at Gannett. “They want to feel embedded in local communities, just like our readers and journalists.”
While its outlets skew local, Gannett also is the publisher of USA Today, which offers national coverage while bringing together a network of newsrooms to create opportunities for data-driven editorial and distribution.
“Our journalists often are the neighbors of our readers. They go to synagogue or church together, and their children go to school together,” Gentzel said. “We take that foundation, our reach to red state-blue state, urban-rural, north-south, east and west and then figure out what that means for a brand.”
Local businesses also offer a huge opportunity for Gannett, which has a footprint of 109 media brands reaching 125 million uniques across the country, as ranked by comScore.
To service local businesses’ marketing needs, Gannett in 2016 acquired the search and social channel provider ReachLocal, and in 2017 it purchased SweetIQ, a platform that manages online reviews, location data and listings. With these tools, Gannett offers a “growing suite of agency-like services” for local businesses, from designing to deploying ad campaigns, Gentzel said.
“We believe we can make [these capabilities] scale because of our footprint, our sales organization in local markets and through relationships we’ve built with local businesses over time,” he said. “It’s our ongoing initiative to build a comprehensive set of solutions for local businesses. [They] will drive the spend shift for the next three to five years.”
Gentzel spoke with AdExchanger.
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