As you might be aware of advertising, which is a marketing tool that is used to create more awareness about a given product or service, and to make a brand and/or its offerings recognized easily within the target market segment. There are many different kinds of promotional methods and advertisements through which a company can market its products, and in many cases, these are quickest fixes as well. Advertising forms may vary according to the target customer segment, location, and other aspects. Therefore, there are many different advertising methods and ways through which the products and services are marketed. Billboards, print advertising, digital advertising, television advertising email advertising…! There is no dearth of advertising channels nowadays.
Classified advertisements are one of the advertising/marketing tools and have been popular since the past many centuries. These are one of the most cost-effective ways to create awareness about an offering. But the scope of a classified is not limited to sales and marketing benefits/purposes only, as we will see later see in this article.
The small messages that you see in the newspapers or magazines, and which are often of a more local nature, are termed as classified advertisements, or “classifieds”. Apart from newspapers, a classified advertisement may also feature in the periodicals and magazines, among other print media. The low-cost advertisements often feature in a dedicated classified section of a newspaper. As of now, you can also find classifieds on popular social media websites including Facebook, and other online websites as well. The online classified sections content may also be made responsive to fit the screen of modern gadgets, including tablets and Smartphones. Therefore, the classifieds do not lose on this marketing/communication channel as well.
Different Types of Classified Advertisements
While the first public notice resembling the modern day classified advertisements was created in around 2000 BC in ancient Egypt, the first classified featured in the year 1704 in a newspaper by the name Boston Newsletter (Oyster Bay, Long Island, USA). Over a period of time, there are now many different kinds of classified advertisements. A classification of the classifieds on the basis of their form is given below.
- The Regular Classified Advertisements- These classifieds are devoid of graphics, and are placed on the newspaper page, within the classified section. An advertiser pays for them on a per letter or per column basis.
- The Classified Display Advertisements- The newspaper advertisement message is placed in a box, or within borders in the classified section of the print media. It may also include visual images and logos. The payment for these may be made on the basis of per square centimeter.
- The Display Classified Advertisements- The adverts can be made colorful, have the maximum impact and should have a size of at least three centimeters. These are the costliest classified advertisements for the advertiser.
All of these above-given types of classified ads can also be further categorized and classified on the basis of the message they contain. These classified advertisement types are given and briefly described below.
These advertisements are mostly posted under the “classified advertisement” category, or the “display advertising” segment and category. These are placed by businesses and individuals to hire job applicants. A job seeker may also post the classified where he or she would describe his/her qualifications and skills, and seek a job.
These classified advertisements are related to the renting, purchase, or sale of a property and may be posted by businesses, landlords, property owners, and brokers. But the real estate project advertisements (the full page or large real-estate adverts you see in the newspapers) are another kind of promotion and do not fall under the classified advertisement category.
In some countries like India, matrimonial advertisements are very popular. These advertisements may have the description and images of the bride or groom seeking a pair.
Classified newspaper advertisements may include sales promotion advertisements. These may also be used for inviting partners, for business proposals, or for presenting business opportunities, among other uses and benefits.
Many private tutors and coaching centers use education classifieds to get more students at a low cost. Students may also post a classified seeking a teacher.
These classifieds often contain the images of the dead and departed, along with condolence messages. The classifieds may also be used for remembrances and for funeral invitations.
Just like obituaries, personal classifieds may also not be posted for any economist benefit. These messages may include personal achievement messages, birthday wishes, greetings, and other messages. The classified messages are mostly placed by individuals.
Classified may also be used for making announcements or for bringing something to the notice of public at large. It may also be a necessary step for a legal procedure. The common kinds of announcements include the address or name change, lost/found, marriage/divorce, and legal notifications among others.
Advantages Offered by Classified Advertisements
Classifieds offer a number of advantages over other forms of promotions and advertising.
- Classified ads are the simplest to create and even a layman can post a message that may generate the necessary response.
- Classifieds can contain contact information. While the offline classifieds featuring in the newspapers have the contact phone numbers and/or addresses, online classifieds have the links or Website URLs.
- Classifieds usually have a very low cost. Therefore the individuals and the medium and small scale enterprises may expand their business and increase their revenues at a low cost.
- Classifieds may have tremendous reach. Most major newspapers nowadays also have the online version of their print newspaper edition, where the classified section is also featured.
- Classified may be read by thousands and millions of individuals. They may bring to a business even more opportunities than what is anticipated.
Disadvantages of the Classified Advertisements
The classified advertisements may be an older/traditional method of promotion and marketing and have their own set of limitations and disadvantages.
- The print media classified may have the shortest life span and remain fresh for only a day. Therefore it is important to bring maximum limelight onto them.
- Newspapers are common and therefore advertisers may be reaching to even those segments that are not a customer base of them.
- Classified advertisement, when posted in the unpopular newspaper or magazines, may not reach to the target community or market segment. Therefore, it is important that the classifieds (especially the business classifieds) are placed in popular and relevant print/online media.
- In a classified advertisement page of a newspaper, your competition’s ad may be placed just next to yours. Therefore, it is important for you to have proficient backup operations and a classified ad that has an edge over the competition.
Irrespective of the disadvantages, classifieds remain one of the most popular and cost-effective methods for businesses worldwide to reach to their target customers or user base instantly. These messages also serve many social, individual, and philanthropic purposes as well.