Meet Deb Nichols.
Businesses in many communities in eastern South Dakota will likely see Nichols and her colleagues in the coming months. Business operators who don’t see her might want to look her up because she probably can help them.
Nichols is a Sioux Falls-based account executive with the Independent Cable Advertising Network of South Dakota, or ICAN.
Beginning Monday, December 29, the start of the new broadcast year, SDN Communications and ICAN will launch a partnership to sell advertising spots on cable TV systems that serve more than 30,000 households in 80 communities in eastern South Dakota. Cities that will be served include Aberdeen, Brookings and Mitchell.
ICAN of South Dakota is a division of a similarly named private company based in Marion, Iowa. Andy Pepper formed the company in 2009 to help businesses take advantage of cable advertising.
“The service we offer allows them to carve out the geography they serve, and it’s affordable,” Pepper says.
For businesses, the average cost of a TV ad is expected to be less than $10 per showing. In addition to TV ad placements, ICAN can help businesses produce ads. The company has offices in Marion and Sioux Center, Iowa, with production capabilities.
However, ICAN’s main goal is to get businesses’ ads on the air, not sell them production services, Pepper says. Ad-production services often cost less than $500 because ICAN just tries to cover its production costs, he says.
ICAN welcomes the opportunity to complement its Iowa operations by working with SDN in South Dakota, Pepper says. “It’s a huge deal for us.”
Nichols and her ICAN colleagues will work with businesses in cable TV markets served by 10 SDN member companies. The companies and the location of their headquarters are:
- Alliance Communications (Garretson)
- Interstate Telecommunications Coop (Clear Lake)
- James Valley Telecommunications/Northern Valley Communications (Groton/Aberdeen)
- Kennebec Telephone (Kennebec)
- Roberts County Communications (New Effington)
- Santel Communications/Mitchell Telecom (Woonsocket/Mitchell)
- Swiftel Communications (Brookings)
- TrioTel (Salem)
- Valley Telecommunications (Herreid)
- Venture Communications (Highmore)
The reach of many of the companies extends to farms, ranches and rural homes in their market areas.
Nichols has been selling cable TV advertising for more than 10 years, most recently with Viamedia. She started working for ICAN in September and is based at ICAN’s new office in Sioux Falls. She can be reached at (605) 359-9114 or send Deb an email.
Nichols began her career in the hotel business.
“Growing up in the hospitality business gave me a great customer-service brand, so to speak, which, I believe, has helped immensely in my second career of cable advertising sales,” she says.
Nichols looks forward to working with businesses served by SDN member companies.
“It’s a great product. It’s a great market,” she says.
She’s expected to be joined in by an additional sales representative in the future. The ICAN team in South Dakota already includes Vicky Engelhardt of Harrisburg, who assists businesses in northwest Iowa.
The SDN-ICAN partnership will help businesses air spots on about 24 cable channels, including on popular news and entertainment programming such as ESPN, HGTV, Fox News, and CNN.
Executives at SDN welcome the opportunity to partner with a regional company that can relate to the Upper Midwest and the needs of local businesses.
Cable advertising can help businesses connect efficiently and effectively in market areas that can be difficult to reach, says Vernon Brown, vice president of marketing and communications at SDN.
“It’s a very affordable way to advertise,” he says.
SDN is owned by a coalition of 17 independent telephone companies, including cooperatives and private, municipal and tribal businesses. SDN provides broadband connectivity and related communications services to businesses and institutions.
In addition to cable TV, SDN’s member companies offer consumers and businesses in their communities with services such as long-distance phone and Internet connectivity.
For more information about SDN and its members companies, visit the SDN Communications website.
For more information about ICAN, visit the ICAN website.