Digital Genie wants to help SNPA members navigate the changing digital landscape


When newspapers are disappointed with their digital results, the problem typically is a combination of not having the right products for their market, their sales teams not being fully equipped with everything they need, and possibly not being held accountable for their digital sales numbers.

Carol Evanicky and Penny Merian of Digital Genie, a new company that launched in early April, are working with newspapers to help them address these issues and to develop those audience and advertiser segments they want to grow.

Evanicky and Merian, formerly of HubCiti, recently brought their new company – Digital Genie – into SNPA membership.

Fenice Community Media in Cedar Park, Texas, is one of their early clients.  The company, led by Brandi Chionsini, founder, president and CEO, is set to roll out a new program next month called "Find Me Lunch." The company's Hill Country News has lots of restaurants in the area, as well as workers with disposable income. A survey of both readers and those who weren't reading on a regular basis determined a need to help identify where the best lunch deals were in town.

With the help of Digital Genie, restaurants were targeted and beta tests were conducted to be sure they were interested in advertising.  The "Find Me Lunch" program was put together and Evanicky is pre-selling advertising spots for next month's launch.

With another advertising client, Digital Genie did an assessment of its sales team. They went on calls with them and observed how they prepped for calls, how they presented, handled objections, closed sales and conducted follow ups.  A detailed report for the owner then was able to identify strengths and offer suggestions for areas that needed improvement.

Merian also talked about the need for newspapers to market themselves, with both digital and print offerings. 

"I still think print's important," she said.  "It's still an excellent channel.  It's not your only channel .  Social, targeted digital products and possibly non-traditional offerings are part of the mix that help advertisers reach specific demographics.  So, a lot of the work we do centers around bundling products and bundles that are targeted at key audience segments that advertisers are interested in getting in front of."

She said the number one reason digital products often don't take off is because of the sheer breath of products that a salesperson has to sell.  "There are just too many things they are trying to sell and too many things they're proposing to an advertiser."  She said she's "a big proponent of bundling the right things – across channels – to get an advertiser's word out to the right targeted audience."

She encouraged newspaper sales staffs to think about the individual advertising segments in their markets and bundle the best advertising channels to meet those companies' particular needs.

For a restaurant, that might involve restaurant reviews, being included in the marketplace and doing a targeted campaign for people looking for lunch deals.  For a new business, the mix might include a Facebook Live event, a grand opening print and digital article with a companion rotator ad, as well as promoted posts. 

Digital Genie offers newspapers assistance with:

  • Sales effectiveness
  • Revenue acceleration
  • Sales tools/sales enablement
  • Product packaging
  • Competitive assessment
  • Product assessments
  • Audience development
  • Choosing the right tools
  • Boosting their digital effectiveness

Reach Carol Evanicky and Penny Merian at: (512-633-4288) or (512-963-4980).

Digital Genie


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