The Ranger Story
Offering solutions and opportunities for substantial revenue growth. That's the basis of Ranger Data Technologies, founded by George Willard Sr. in 2001. Willard had a career in the newspaper business that lasted more than 30 years, with the last 10 years as the owner and publisher of a chain of suburban weeklies.
The genesis for Ranger Data Technologies was two persistent problems Willard observed within classified departments at most papers: obtaining new business leads and renewal of ads placed by existing advertisers. Both are, of course, directly related to revenue.
Early in 2001, Willard lined up investors and hired programmers to develop software that would offer solutions to both problems. Classified Ranger came first in 2002, assisting newspapers with one of the most important elements of growing classified revenue - obtaining new sales leads. By "scraping" websites, Classified Ranger is able to collect the names and numbers of thousands of potential customers already using classified advertising in other papers, free distribution products, and on the web.
Outbound Ranger debuted in 2004 to help call center employees and managers with both customer service and creating additional revenue by ensuring full accountability, organization and reporting of renewal and competitive lead calls. The software monitors a newspaper's own classified activity by keeping track of when ads expire and prompting ad reps to make timely renewal calls. Likewise, Outbound Ranger also monitors the effectiveness of competitive leads calls allowing mangers to optimize efforts resulting in increased revenue.
In short, Classified Ranger finds advertiser leads for new business revenue, while Outbound Ranger gives the newspaper the ability to effectively manage outbound and inbound calling resulting in incremental revenue.
Grace Shields joined the company in 2006 as Marketing Director after many years of selling ad services to newspapers. In addition to her responsibilities in sales, she conducts invaluable monthly report review meetings with clients, offering advice and addressing concerns to ensure that newspapers make the best use of the software.
Willard's son, George Jr., joined as Vice President of Marketing in 2007, with over 14 years of newspaper experience in sales, marketing and publishing, most recently as advertising director for The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. His knowledge of the internal workings of major metropolitan dailies, and track record for driving incremental revenue increases is invaluable.
Tony Marsella joined Ranger Data Technologies in 2008 as President and Chief Operating Officer. Formerly Marsella acted as vice president of classified advertising for Morris Communications, a privately held media company with a national network of daily newspapers. Prior to that, Marsella was vice president of classified advertising for the Newspaper Association of America. His intimate knowledge of the industry will help Ranger Data Technologies with software enhancements. In addition, as a successful user of the Ranger Data Technologies while at Morris, he offers detailed knowledge of how to make the software bring in the maximum amount of revenue possible.
Ranger Data Technologies' clients have achieved phenomenal success. One example is the Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star. After implementing Ranger Data Technologies' programs, it increased its classified sales by 300 percent in a single month. After three months, classified sales soared a stunning 600 percent. Another client, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, tripled its sales in the same amount of time.
Ranger Data Technologies continues to grow as more organizations discover the benefits of both the Outbound Ranger and Classified Ranger software packages. The company's strength lies both in the widespread distribution of its products and its internal company structure of executives and programmers dedicated to producing a useful, high-quality product with constant service and support to customers.
Today, more than 100 newspapers across the United States and Canada use Ranger Data Technologies products. Ranger software has also been translated into Spanish for newspaper clients in Mexico and other parts of Latin America.