Archived Webinar

How to Compete with Big Tech: 4 Strategies to Win More Sales


Presented by Markus Feldenkirchen, president of sales, North America, and Sarah Hartland, global inbound marketing manager,  Lineup Systems

What is Lineup Systems? It provides advertising sales solutions to roughly 6,700 media properties that have a combined ad revenue of more than $31 billion. U.S. newspaper customers include The Seattle Times, The New York Times and the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago.

Google, Facebook and Amazon: Compete or collaborate? In a word, both. With many newspapers offering digital advertising agencies, they must partner with Big Tech since they use their platforms. But they also compete, largely from the news side, as they want to drive traffic back from search or social media platforms to their own sites. Newspapers are also competing for advertising revenue.

The case for consultative selling. Newspapers should be not simply selling advertising, but essentially helping businesses market successfully. Newspapers must research the companies and their target markets, listen to their concerns and design specific marketing solutions for them.

Sarah Hartland said it: “With every marketing dollar being precious and budgets being cut, you want to make sure that you are not the local media cut out.”

 The virtue of being trustworthy: Local media, including newspapers, have on average three times higher the trust of consumers than platforms such as Facebook.

 Get specific about your trustworthiness. Newspapers do depend on the trust factor in selling, but it’s important they be specific about trustworthiness in their markets.

I’m easy. Many SMBs gravitate to advertising on Facebook and others offering PPC (pay-per-click) because the process is simple. Newspapers must emphasize that advertising with them can be as easy as with Big Tech.

And I’ll make it easier for you. If you make life easier for your customer, they will return to you regularly. Have a self-serve option. Have a lead-generation solution as an alternative to PPC.

A rhyme to remember: I make doors swing and phones ring.

Go organic. Paid search will not accomplish web traffic growth by itself. Any campaign must also have organic content. The top three organic results still get 75% of clicks on Google — despite all the platform giant does to steer users to ads. Advertising and branded content with local media is a great way to get organic results.

Stay safe out there. Campaigns on Big Tech platforms can show up in undesirable places, such as sites featuring hate speech or disinformation. 80% of consumers surveyed in 2018 said they would not patronize businesses that advertise on or near dangerous or extreme content. Brand safety is a huge selling point for newspapers and local media.

Sarah Hartland said it: If you depend only on the algorithms of (Big Tech), you definitely risk having your ad show up in undesirable places. But if you advertise on local media, you can avoid that almost entirely.

Don’t make it an either/or conversation. Don’t try to tell SMBs not to use PPC advertising, but that they should include a combination of marketing services.

 Key Takeaways (the short version):

  • Teach while you sell!
  • No either/or conversations (see above).
  • Position yourself as the gateway to Big Tech by offering SEO and other digital marketing services.
  • Know what you’re talking about! Be able to articulate the advantages of marketing with local media.

Screening out. Look for social media fatigue to become a thing. People are spending so much time in front of their screens during the pandemic, that social media will become less effective as a marketing campaign. Sarah Hartland: “Anecdotally, (people) are getting real sick of social media. That could provide an opportunity in the next few months.”

Really, Facebook, really? A lot of the boasts of Facebook, Google and other Big Tech platforms on their targeting abilities for local businesses kind of fall apart on close examination. Plant seeds of doubt about their targeting prowess, compared to local media.    

Want to follow up with the Lineup Systems presenters? Contact Marcus Feldenkirchen at and Sarah Hartland at

Check out the Lineup Systems blog at

View a recording of the webinar on our YouTube Channel

View PowerPoint slides

Additional materials from Lineup Systems:

Whitepaper here

8 Things Every Publisher Must Do to Make Ad Buying Easy – blog post here, infographic here

 Related Reading:

Lineup Systems, Markus Feldenkirchen, Sarah Hartland