Reimagining Client Services and Products to Achieve Funding Goals

Energeticcity pivots its strategy in response to Canada’s Bill C-18.

December 21, 2023 by Hayley Milloy

Adam Reaburn photo

As the only locally owned and operated media company in Northeast B.C., Energeticcity provides critical, local news coverage for Northeast B.C. and its surrounding communities residents call home.

The Challenge

When the Canadian federal government passed the Online News Act (Bill C-18) this summer, Energeticcity General Manager Adam Reaburn suspected he would have to revise the organization’s funding strategy. Bill C-18 requires large tech companies to compensate organizations if they host Canadian news content on their platforms –– and Meta ultimately responded to this new law by blocking Canadian news from its platforms.

For the past three years, Energeticcity has been providing its clients –– small to medium-sized community businesses –– with digital marketing services. These services are critical to the British-Columbia-based news outlet as they fund its journalism. When Bill C-18 passed, traffic to Energeticcity’s website dropped by 30 percent, as its news was no longer being pushed on Meta’s platforms. With fewer people clicking through to Energeticcity’s website and viewing its clients’ display advertising, the outlet knew it could no longer rely on selling that service for revenue growth. Adam was right; the organization had to pivot to another plan.

The Results

Working with LION coach Richard Brown, Adam and his team determined precisely how much money the organization needed to raise by the end of 2024 to compensate for the lost revenue. The $150,000 figure initially felt daunting, but they worked together to break it down into more manageable steps. Adam created a dynamic sales spreadsheet to calculate how much a single client needed to spend, how much they could generate with existing clients, and how many new clients they needed to attract (knowing some would churn) each month. In the end, Adam was surprised at “how small that number became” when he realized they only needed to bring in 1-2 new clients per month to hit their goal. With this achievable outcome in mind, they could get to work on the plan.

The first step was to refine how they tracked and reported the performance of each campaign to their clients. They built an automated reporting system to help clients glean essential insights, and now have a staff member review monthly statistics and provide feedback. Showing how their services get results reduces client turnover, and by better understanding which clients’ campaigns perform best, they are more intentional about which businesses they solicit and work with.

Energeticcity continues to explore and expand its digital marketing services, working around display advertising to offer innovative ideas to its new and pre-existing clients.

The Wins

  • Developed an annual revenue goal of $150,000 and a manageable plan to reach it
  • Created an automated reporting system to track client success
  • Revamped solicitation outreach and methods

“You have to know how to pivot. We learned that during COVID-19 when we were dealing with things way beyond our control. You have to rely on your creativity and take that risk.”

– Adam Reaburn

Have a success story to share about the business side of your news business? Email the LION team at [email protected]!

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