Lead generation: Reframing the future of advertising

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In the last several weeks, my whole concept of advertising and marketing has been reframed, and I'm still sorting out what it means. But I know this: It has given me a clearer understanding of the path local media companies must take in sales.

Now I'm going to try to work the same kind of reframing on you.

Reframing is what happens when some new fact, or a new interpretation of old facts, reveals a subject in a very different light. It's often a breakthrough that clarifies your priorities and shows you new ways to overcome your challenges.

And in advertising and marketing, we have more than our share of challenges. Print and broadcast media have been struggling for years to assimilate a bewildering array of new tactics.

The list includes buzz terms like SEM, SEO, targeting, retargeting, social media, video, reputation management, email, native advertising, content marketing, Big Data, programmatic advertising and more. And new ones show up all the time.

We struggle to figure out which of these we need to learn and sell, and how we can sell them effectively, fulfill them well, and make money on them. It's tough, and we're competing with myriad all-digital competitors offering many of the same things.

Reframing doesn't solve problems, but it shows more clearly what needs to be done. A past boss of mine liked to quote Charles Kettering: "A problem clearly stated is half solved."

What reframed my understanding of our current challenges in advertising and marketing was taking a deeper dive into lead generation. That's one of the buzz terms on the list above, but I now realize it's the "unified field theory" that puts all those other buzz terms in their right places.

At Morris Publishing Group, what prompted us to look harder at lead generation was the struggle our own sales staffs were having.

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Gray

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