Mega-Conference, Feb. 24-26

Local Media Sales Transformation Playbook

Don't miss this important closing session!

Posted 1/21/14
BIA/Kelsey executives Charles Laughlin and Jed Williams

The increase in local media competition has created a host of challenges for traditional media organizations. These challenges are compounded by steep declines in revenues and customers and cost cutting to reduce declining margins. What can be done to offset these situations?

During the closing session of the Key Executives Mega-Conference, BIA/Kelsey executives Charles Laughlin, senior vice president, and Jed Williams, vice president, consulting and senior analyst, will present a compelling new model for sales success and map out effective pathways to change. Their experiences offer best practice examples for similar local media companies looking to advance their own sales organizations.

Be sure to set your travel arrangements so you can stay through 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

"Traditional media sellers are looking at new channel mixes to tackle the challenges involved in rapidly shifting from a largely analog to a largely digital sale," Laughlin says.  "This means looking at new customer groupings and new sales segmentations. This requires training experienced people to sell in a very different way, or bringing in new people better suited to a new paradigm."

Williams adds: "As local media aggressively mobilize to pursue digital media opportunities, a new sales paradigm must accompany it. Enter the new digital solutions provider: a consultative, needs-based seller whose mission isn't simply to sell more advertising, but to empower clients to capture and retain customers, however and wherever it can be achieved. Sales relationships must evolve to produce attributable, measurable results that solve real business problems."

About our presenters:

Charles Laughlin applies the skills he developed as a reporter and editor to the daily tasks of helping BIA/Kelsey clients understand what is happening in the world of Yellow Pages and offering insights into where the business is moving. His approach is built on doing the legwork necessary to understand what the industry's key players are doing, what they are thinking about, and how they plan to adapt to the changing nature of the directional media business.

Since becoming program director of The Kelsey Report®, BIA/Kelsey's flagship Continuous Advisory Service, Laughlin has expanded the scope of the program from an exclusive focus on new technologies for directory publishers to a broader look at how Yellow Pages is competing in the media marketplace – both analog and digital. He has been instrumental in expanding BIA/Kelsey's product portfolio. In 2002 he led the development of Global Yellow PagesTM, a comprehensive, 400-plus-page worldwide industry fact book that grew to 566 pages with the publication of GYP2007.

Laughlin earned a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois.

Jed Williams manages the company's strategic consulting practice and empowers clients to build and execute successful digital media business strategies. He has expertise in market research and segmentation, forecasting, strategic planning, new product development, partnerships and competitive intelligence. His domain specialties include social media, mobile platforms, digital advertising and ecommerce.

Williams has led strategic consulting projects for AOL, The Associated Press, Deseret Media, Google and Time-Warner Cable, among others. He is also a frequent speaker at industry events whose insights have been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Financial Times, Bloomberg, Ad Age and the BBC.

Williams received his master's in media business from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was named the Outstanding M.A. Graduate by the school. He has written extensively on creative destruction and disruptive media. His work has been published by the Columbia Journalism School and the Yale School of Management.

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