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Inspiration or perspiration at #BorrellMiami2023 — it depends

#BorrellMiami2023 started Monday in Miami, Florida. It was a gathering of people who are interested in the future. Throughout the sessions, there was opportunity for inspiration and for perspiration. It wasn't the Florida heat causing the perspiration, but the potential fear of the catastrophic period of change we are experiencing as media companies. One message is absolutely clear: You can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch what's going on in the advertising/content ecosystem, you need to get involved and create a strategy.

Whether you're inspired or sweating depends on our current position on the journey. The hot topics, in no particular, order have been:

Influencer marketing.

The elimination of third-party cookies.

Technology enhancements to better serve our customers.

The revenue opportunities because of technology and existing relationships.

TikTok for advertisers and publishers.

Amazon Local Ad Sales.

For local broadcasters that last topic could really make you sweat. Amazon has a local ad sales strategy. Samir Janveja, head of channel sales, Amazon, shared their mission:

To enable local business to connect with relevant customers and communities in the most efficient manner.

What Amazon has is massive amounts of data from all their platforms to be able to provide customer purchase behavior based on life events and a myriad of other data points available to help local businesses leverage local opportunities. They are also looking for local partners in markets to share the data with and help generate revenue for both partners.

We asked Allen Power, president, broadcast media, Salem Media Group, how he felt about Amazon Local Ad Sales. He said, "How I feel about it is irrelevant. What will I do about it is the important question. It's much like the weather, I have no ability to control it, but I can prepare for it and so we can do something about it."

Jeffrey Warshaw, founder and CEO, Connoisseur Media, and current RAB board chair said:

The passion and intelligence of the participants was inspiring. The rising importance of first-party data as third-party cookies disappear was a major topic, as well as the opportunities and challenges that result from the end of the cookie. The need for even the largest publishers to go beyond their own inventory was a consistent theme.

The relentless fragmentation is a reality we all have been cognizant of and dealing with. This has been validating, but also underscores the need for us to continuously evolve while never losing focus on our clients, communities and employees.

Andrew Samalot, manager of influencer network, Salem Media Group, gave his three-point plan for maximizing influencer marketing within Salem, but his plan can also serve as a blueprint for broadcasters addressing the digital opportunities and challenges in their market:

Adapt — It's never too late. Now is the time to identify the changes and adapt to them in whatever way works for your company.

Empowerment — Empower your teams to take risks, explore new opportunities and help your creative types understand and improve business acumen.

Observe — Inspiration and opportunity can come from anywhere. The younger generation is driving much of what we're learning about today. Samalot says figure out what they are doing and learn from it.

Randy Hawke from Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Madison, Wisconsin, ended the day on the stage with inspiring words from his father:

Be active in your own rescue.

Whether topics like those being explored at #BorrellMiami2023 will inspire you or make you sweat depends on how you view change and opportunity. The great news is that if you want to navigate it, adapt to it and benefit from change, there are plenty of like-minded people who are all trying to figure it out. There's no better time to join the conversation.

Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at RAB. You can reach Jeff at or follow him on social media: Twitter, LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP-Professional Development, RAB