Internet Marketing Killed the Classified Ad

December 20, 2010
"FOR SALE" - a classified ad in a ne...
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At one time, newspapers were built on two pillars of revenue, commercial in page advertising and classified advertising. But over the past fifteen years, that’s changed, and marketers have begun to realize that the old way of doing business is no longer working.

When working with consumer based markets, such as mortgage marketing, it is important to understand where the potential customers are most actively looking for information. Years ago, it was in the newspaper, but the immediacy of the online news cycle has made it impossible for newspapers to stay relevant from a timeliness perspective.

As people have made the move to online sources to obtain their news, that has pulled them away from printed newspapers. The introduction of online classifieds was a natural progression for readers, as it put the ads right where they were spending their most time. Classifieds had the same advantages as other online media, in that publication is fast and flexible, and access is global.

What this means is that anyone advertising a consumer service such as mortgage marketing, must have a solid grasp of the new rules of conduct for online classified ads. Contrary to what one may think, it is not simply a wholesale replacement of print classifieds. Certain verbiage and phrases should be avoided, because people have learned that specific red flags may indicate online scams or untrustworthy advertisers. Advertisers who want to get as much response as possible from their online classified ad must take pains to make sure they are seen as credible advertisers.

 

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The overall effect of the ubiquitous availability of online classified ads as well as the speed of online publishing created a massive migration of readers to the web. The businesses and individuals who normally would advertise using print classifieds soon found that the pool of readers was much larger in the online world than in print, so of course they followed suit and also moved to the digital medium. All of this combined to create a scenario that spelled doom for print advertisers and their classified ad offerings. In what must have seemed like an overnight occurrence, the newspaper business, successful for over a century, quickly saw bottom lines plummet.

While some newspapers are still operating, staffing levels have dropped dramatically and many smaller papers have shuttered their operations. It is currently thought that it is just a matter of until the newspaper business dries up completely.

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