Printcasting's Advertising Implications
I ran into Steve at the Individuated News conference in Denver, Colorado in June, after giving a presentation about Printcasting. He asked me how our tools could be used by businesses, and if there were any implications for classified advertising. I told him that while classifieds per se aren't a focus of Printcasting, self-serve advertising is, and I see a lot of parallels between the two. The posts above are the result of our conversation.
How does Printcasting dove-tail with Classifieds? They both help small businesses market their products and services. A large percentage of newspaper Classified ad revenue comes from commercial customers (basically auto dealers, real estate agents and employers). These businesses are accustomed to writing text ads that are formatted to look good in print. The better tools on the market eliminate most of the design work for the advertisers, and simply accept feeds which are then automatically formatted into nice-looking Classified ads.
At a high level, this is how Printcasting will work, with feeds of variable content flowing into pre-fab publication templates. We want advertising to work the same way. A small business will only have to type in a compelling message about a product or service, optionally upload an image, and choose which publications they want their ad to appear in. After that, we will automatically generate display ads with different dimensions and fonts. They'll be able to see what their ads will look like in different sizes, but they won't have to worry about finding a designer for every ad.
If our advertising approach is successful for small businesses, I can imagine it being applied to larger commercial customers, as well as consumers. Forget about how things work in newspapers now, and instead think about the fundamental need for everyone at one time or another to get the word out about something. That applies to everything from garage sales to white sales, and everything in between.
Newspapers have a lot of different tools and terminology for different types of ads, but in the end they all boil down to the same thing: "Will you buy my apples?"
printcasting, steve outing, classifieds, advertising, small business marketing