McClatchy Co., the third largest newspaper entity with 30 newspapers in 29 markets, including The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee, will aggressively target SMBs in each of its markets via an extended deal with WebVisible. The deal, per release, “will help local advertisers provide the most efficient way to get found by customers no matter how they’re looking – in newspaper listings, newspaper web sites, or search engines, or via mobile phones or navigation devices.”
The company has had a long relationship with WebVisible, offering services in Kansas City, Tacoma, WA, and Fresno. But now it is pulling out all the stops. Anchorage and Charlotte have already been added; the next phase will include Boise, Miami, and Sacramento. By December, the roll-out will encompass all 30 daily newspapers in 29 U.S. markets.
McClatchy VP of Strategic Development James Calloway tells us that McClatchy’s sales forces have seen a dramatic increase in advertisers demanding help for getting into search marketing. “There is a learning curve. It is a different state of mind,” he says. But McClatchy’s papers that have been working with WebVisible have “done well.”
Calloway says a key to getting it right has been to offer advertisers an option of going with either a guaranteed click model or a budget based model offering a range of services for a fixed amount. Over time, he sees the guaranteed model fading. But “we basically need to cover it,” he says.
Calloway’s gut feeling is that the offering will take some time to develop in each market, but that it will get decent numbers from the get-go and will continue to grow over time. It will be part of a broader package, he says. The WebVisible effort is being supported by McClatchy’s five person local market development team, which is based in Miami. They work on a a SWAT team basis, in which they hit a market, get it going, and move on to the next one. They are tasked with in-market sales training, and ramping up revenue.
WebVisible recently raised $20 million, and has raised over $37 million in all, as it competes against other third party SMB sales companies such as ReachLocal, Yodle, Marchex and Orange Soda.