Gone are the days where you could reach anyone and everyone by putting an ad in your local newspaper. As technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, the poor old classifieds limps on.
Don’t get me wrong, traditional classifieds still has its place, but the size of the market that you can reach is getting smaller by the day.
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The value in advertising in this medium really depends in your market.
When deciding whether or not to advertise, ask yourself these four questions:
1. Do my customers read traditional classifieds?
2. Do my customers trust the medium in making a purchasing decision?
3. Do I have too much competition in this medium?
4. How many sales will my ad need to generate in order to break even?
The key is to know your customer, where they spend their time and then to base your marketing on grabbing their attention and proving your value.
If you are advertising in print but your customer spends most of their time on the internet or only buys products that friends recommend, then your money could be better spent elsewhere.
In recent years, the classifieds have become a place for finding local service, more often than not related to home improvement.
Many people read the local paper precisely for this reason, however the audience is typically older and looking for the cheapest price rather than the best job.
If you are advertising your new roof tiling business, then the classifieds might be a worthwhile investment for you. On the other hand, if you are marketing a clothing brand for savvy 25 to 30-year-olds, you are unlikely to find them in traditional classifieds.
I predict that print classifieds will remain for five to 10 years, or until businesses like Service Central change the game. You only have to speak to someone in the magazine or newspaper industries to know that the days of print publishing are numbered.
As a new generation become homeowners, they bring their buying habits with them. Inevitably this will mean that the online marketplace becomes the preferred place to choose a professional to paint their house or which dealer to buy their new car from.