Classifieds Convergence - Print Media Meets Online Classifieds

Michele Warg
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By Rich Milgram CEO, Nexxt, Inc. Turn the clock back several years to a time when corporate employers relied heavily on print advertisement to promote available jobs through national and local newspapers, which held a monopoly on employment classified ads. Job seekers were forced to review job postings by searching through pages and pages of classifieds, which often times described job opportunities minimally at best, due to the high cost of print advertisement space. Connecting job seekers and corporate employers was a labor intensive task for individuals and a significant expense for employers. With the emergence of the Internet, print-based channels have experienced a significant reduction of their advertising revenues in the employment classified space. Employers no longer have to rely on print advertisement alone. By incorporating online advertisement into their promotional mix, employers have the ability to more fully-describe and promote their jobs to a larger candidate pool than ever before, thereby maximizing the full potential of their advertising budgets. In addition, job seekers now have a simple way to research companies and connect with potential employers anytime, from anywhere. Recruitment advertising continues to be a critical area regardless of whether or not you are a small business or large corporation. When you engage in recruitment advertising, you are not only promoting available jobs, you are also marketing your company to the masses. Therefore, you need to be sure that you are logical in your approach in order to reach an audience which is appropriate for your business. It is important to select the most effective offline and online advertisement channels that will allow you to reach your local candidate pool, attract both passive and active job seekers, and provide a large enough reach to ensure that you are getting the most out of your advertising dollar. There has been a gradual shift from offline to online advertisement spend which has caused an upheaval among traditional media publishers, initially reluctant to embrace this emergence. These publishers are beginning to see that Web classified areas, such as recruitment advertising, continue to grow, diverting a larger and larger share of their offline advertising dollars. This situation has created fierce competition between online and offline publishers. In addition, other web classified entities such as Craig’s List, Ebay and Yahoo also continue to threaten the future survival of print media publishers. Reluctantly, media publishers are beginning to see the value of online advertisement and its ability to allow them to supplement their advertising revenue and attract a new segment of advertisers. Traditional print advertisers can now publish advertisements to pertinent online outlets and offer more integrated advertisements, signaling a Classifieds Convergence. Classifieds convergence is happening all around us. It is happening even in our own backyard. Philadelphia Media Holdings, the new owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and announced an agreement with to launch a co-branded job search and recruitment site. This announcement has made quite an impact within the online recruitment space as well as among local media channels. Major print publishers are now beginning to partner with online channels to blend their core distribution channel with a strong web-based presence. At the same time, online communities are realizing the value of print advertisement. The goal of print publishers is to extend the total reach of classifieds and capture a larger segment of local advertisers that do not traditionally purchase print-based advertisements. For online communities and major publications, this is a powerful combination. At Nexxt, Inc., we have experienced classifieds convergence firsthand. In 2006, we have partnered with magazine publishers, such as EETimes and InformationWeek, to leverage our technology to create or expand their online presence and further integrate their print media with their online media. This approach allows publishers such as these to strengthen existing relationships while reaching and connecting with new customers. The end result is a more robust product line and larger market share. Classifieds convergence is not only occurring in the recruitment advertising sector. Partnerships are occurring across other classified channels such as real estate and personals and other media outlets such as television and radio. This convergence will change the way each of us approach our media buys and spend our advertising dollars. To some of us, it brings partnership opportunities, business growth and increase revenues. To others, it brings more opportunities at a reduced advertising cost in a more manageable fashion. Clearly, it is important to stay informed about technology developments affecting the advertising world in order to assure that you continue to help your company grow in its marketing efforts and increase its market share in the months and years to come.

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