Print in motion / classifieds
Overview of this campaign
Print in Motion. We all know that classified advertising is declining; but instead of accepting this hemorrhage, the Albuquerque Journal is fighting back. Where do we begin? As a newspaper, and industry, we have not invested in our classified areas. Instead of starting from scratch with an in-house operation, we outsourced our classifieds to A Marketing Resource (AMR) who handles our customer service and retention functions (The Journal kept Legals and Obits).
AMR already had everything in place. A trained and professional sales staff, a deeply rooted sales culture, state-of-the-art technology, vast industry knowledge, and a consistent process for innovation. We don’t view them as a “vendor” but rather a “department”. This partnership is critical to our success.
The process began by taking our traditional, grey, nine-column classifieds and moving them to a color-rich, eight-column format. We added digital components to our ads, activating them with a “text to” feature. AMR’s sister company, SkyBridge Mobile, a digital focused technology and marketing company, developed this program. Once a customer sends the text, we respond with a link to a mobile-optimized website. We chose this approach because we recognize that 90% of the population has a smartphone in their pockets, when reading the paper so we built a link from our print product to their phone. We also created new landing pages to support the classified section. With this approach, we have literally built a new digital classified pairing to every print ad.
Our classified ads are now an interactive medium with action that drives engagement. Each print ad can include the following features that extend print to an interactive experience; click-to-call, email, text messaging, website, pictures, and social media links.
Results for this campaign
Since May 2016, we improved from year-over-year revenue per ad decline of $20 per ad to year-over-year gains of over $50 per ad – a positive swing of over $70 per ad. Our in-house department was averaging -24% year-over-year. Since our conversion we have averaged -9% year-over-year and have realistically budgeted 2017 flat to 2016.
We created an entirely new revenue stream, and named it Journal Digital. We’ve continued to improve this new product line by adding mobile coupons, video, the interactive landing page and multiple ways to digitally bring print ads to life. We have budgeted over $500,000 in 2017 and are confident this is a conservative projection as the 4th quarter of 2016 generated over $100,000 in new revenue. Additionally, this change allowed us to concentrate on our local display advertising while letting our partners facilitate the inbound and outbound classifieds business.