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Self Service Ad Placement Guidance from
the Experts – Your Peers
Newspaper classifieds need a self-service online ad placement product to most
effectively build revenue. While self-serve coaxes consumers into scheduling a
longer ad, and one with more features and a longer run, it can also free up classi-
fied phone staff to make those all-important outbound or outside sales calls.
Rhode Island’s Sun Publishing installed Creative Circle’s AdQ about 15 months
ago. “We’re getting twice as much revenue per ad than before our self-service
installation,” Karen Davis, classified supervisor, told me. “When someone places
an ad online they will spend more money because they are actually writing the ad
- they’ll put in more words. Someone on the phone or at the walk-in counter will
say, ‘Can’t I take this line or these words out?’ ”
Deb Daly, director of classified advertising for
Canada’s Black Press, reported even greater
revenue increase since implementing BlueFin
Publishing Solutions 18 months ago. Private
party revenue has jumped from an average of
$11.13 per ad to a whopping $56.90.
“Advertisers tend to like their control on how
the ad is worded,” said Daly. “They don’t
seem to stop themselves from explaining, par-
ticularly with recruitment ads.”
All newspaper ad managers I spoke with, including Ray Roy, ad director of the
Record-Journal in Meriden CT and Stacy Ward, online classified director for
Media General, agreed that that it must be easy for the consumer to use. Ward,
whose papers are in the process of rolling out Kaango Classifieds, also said that
good reporting tools are vital. “You want to see the traffic that you’re getting,
have the ability to collect the e-mails and account information of the customers
placing the ads and the flexibility of adding features and special promotions.”
Deb Daly said that she can view ads by classification, by rate package, by cus-
tomer and for a particular time period. “I can see when people drop off without
completing an ad, though it’s not easy to find,” she said.
Ray Roy pointed out one obstacle that ad managers must consider: will your
front-end system work with the self-service vendor? If not, you might, for exam-
ple, end up able to provide transient self-service but not able to access contract
rates that would allow your business advertisers to place ads online.
In summary, here is what to consider when choosing a self-service product:
It must allow the consumer to complete the transaction online without any
It must be easy to understand and follow.
It needs a reporting system that will allow the ad manager to track the drop-off
points, ad sizes and revenue by classification, publication and time period.
It should enable and encourage upsells such as photos, video, bold, and bor-
ders. A community aspect is a nice traffic-building feature as well.
It should empower the newspaper ad manager to change rates and schedules,
add and drop products, create timely promotions and so forth.
Compatibility with your front end system is crucial.
The ability to upsell to print is a great feature as well.
Please note: The vendors mentioned here are not the only self-service vendors
available, nor are they meant as my, or SNA’s, recommendation. It’s important
that you explore several product options before making a decision on self-service
Sales & Marketing Manager
jumped from an
average of $11.13
per ad to a whop-
TABLES IN CHICAGO
The Retail Advertising & Marketing
Association will once again host their
annual RAC conference in Chicago next
month and the gathering is a perfect
opportunity for SNA to try to snag some
of those attendees for roundtable meet-
ings with its’ members. Unlike past
years, the SNA meetings will not be
affiliated with the RAC Conference or
held in the same hotel. The cost for
SNA to be a RAC sponsor has simply
become too high (over $10,000). For
those that would like to register for
RAC, visit www.rama-nrf.org.
The SNA Roundtable Meetings, FREE
to SNA members, will be held on
February 6 & 7 at the Ambassador East
Chicago Hotel located at 1301 North
State Parkway; it is a quick cab ride
away from RAC headquarters at the
Chicago Hilton making it convenient for
those members who wish to attend both.
Already confirmed to participate with
the SNA roundtables are Newspaper
Services of America, Strategic Print
Marketing & Valassis. Invited but not
yet confirmed are representatives from
Michaels, Walgreens, Lowes, Vertis,
Target, Dick’s Sporting
Goods, American Communications
Group and more.
Ambassador East Chicago Hotel reser-
vations can be made by calling 312-
787-7200 or 888-506-3471. For more
information, contact SNA hq at 888-
SNA PARTNERS WITH
NAA AT 2008 MARKET-
SNA has part-
nered with NAA
to offer members
the opportunity to
next month in
Orlando, FL. For
the special one-
day price of $375,
SNA members can participate in the
Sunday, February 24 sessions that will
Smaller Market Workshop
Opening General Session (David
Polinchock, CEO, Brand Experience
(Target, Stage Stores and Meijer, Inc.
have been confirmed - see the NAA
web site for frequent updates)
Federation Welcome Receptions
The Marketing Conference is NAA’s
foremost education and exhibits event
for executives in newspaper circulation,
marketing, display and classified adver-
tising, research and digital publishing.
The conference features six educational
tracks and general session program-
ming, top industry exhibitors, and net-
working opportunities with retailers,
merchandisers and industry colleagues.
To take advantage of the special
SNA one-day rate for Sunday, February
24th only, you must register through
SNA. See details at www.suburban-
news.org or contact Tanya Henderson.
SNA Director, Conferences and
Membership Relations at 804-266-1114
SNA members can register for the com-
plete NAA Marketing Conference at the
NAA member rate but to get that special
discount you must contact Melissa
Howerton, NAA Manager, Federation
Services at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or 571-366 -1064. Additional conference
details are available by visiting
Deadline for discounted registration
pricing is February 1.
TWO MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES
FOR MEMBERS NEXT MONTH
SNA Retail Alliance
Free to members.
Monthly conference calls.
Guest speakers. Excellent topics.
Next call: January 25
Subject: Co-op and Vendor
Support – Co-op is still alive and
well with billions of dollars in
Contact Tanya Henderson
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