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The death and resurrection (multiple) of Transactional Advertising

Newspaper in the rubbish bin


Once a revenue staple for newspapers and advertising agencies like Adcorp, classified advertising in print form seems headed for extinction, losing out to a new world of online providing an abundance of opportunities for consumers and clever marketers alike.

Classified advertising, or non-campaign as it’s called in Government circles, was until very recently booked based on the demographic profile of your audience; primarily where they lived or were located. As Media Planners and Buyers who have been around for a while, we all remember the huge volume of ads that were dispatched to print media every week and how we were best friends with production teams at every newspaper to ensure an ad was never missed.  Wow, it was all pretty straight forward back then and you can see why the industry thought we were order takers. Well, in hindsight, that’s what we were!

Life moved on with the easy adaptation of print classified ads to online with the launch of classified sites such as Seek, Domain and Cars guide. In their infancy these sites allowed the consumer to scan online job, car and real estate listings in much the same way as they scanned the classified ads in the newspaper, with some display advertising opportunities available.

THEN the world changed, or should I say as consumers we changed, no longer did we just go online to keep up to date, we started being a part of keeping the world up to date, our search methodology changed to find everything and anything on the www and we began to connect with friends, companies and brands online.

With the online world taking over, the media, online networks, search engines, and organisations at large collected an abundance of data on each and every consumer. This knowledge provided advertisers and their agencies with the ability to behaviourally and contextually target consumers online – ripe for the placement of any job, car or real estate ad across any website. It was like a match made in heaven – we now have the target audience data that tells us how to find them!  

And with the love of multiplatform usage across smartphones, smart TV’s, desktops, laptops, tablets, and eReaders at all hours of the day we're now learning and finding out what consumers like to do with which technology and when. Seek tells us that 23% of job searches are conducted on smartphones whereby the application for the job is actually made on the desktop. However this gap is closing with big developments being made in the usability of mobile sites (m-sites), tablet sites (t-sites) and device specific apps in the areas of allowing consumers to purchase and apply providing users with a seamless experience.  

Clients are now building m-sites and t-sites specifically for recruitment as they know people are searching for employment on their mobile devices. We are also seeing the media open up and develop unique online advertising environments and products that are specific for the ad placement of jobs, real estate and cars. As consumers we are also changing our search habits and now conduct detailed searches for exactly the job, car or house we want.

What’s more we are seeing Social Media evolve to be integrated with Applicant Tracking Systems and becoming a powerful viral tool allowing us the ability to post, share, like and promote a recruitment ad to our peers, friends and family with one click. Facebook has been the latest to launch into this area in the US with its very Job Board and a specific Facebook Career App. With a billion users on Facebook and the ability to target by demographic, psychographic and geographic data, the candidate attraction process has changed forever.

With all of these options across multiple platforms the creative representation of that old classified ad has changed and will continue to change. We’ve seen the launch of video ads and virtual tours to promote real estate be hugely successful and we’re just on the verge of this trend exploding into recruitment; why wouldn’t you want to get a feel and sense of the location and culture of your future employer and learn a bit more about a job through a video?

So as we look back, it suffices to say that the non-campaign or transactional ad no longer exists and we are no longer order takers. We are now connecting people with their next new job, house or car through multi platforms, multi networks and in multiple ways.

Sarah Moon, Head of ACT/VIC & Media





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