It’s the Rubic’s Cube of online advertising — how do you get small business advertisers to migrate to self-service advertising, and/or text ads, and/or contextual advertising, i.e., any of the efficient, low-cost advertising models. If you solve that problem before anybody else, you look like the class genius.
When it comes to this class of digital advertising, nobody has succeeded in luring SB advertisers in any significant numbers, not even Google. Greg Sterling estimates that 70 percent of Google’s base is small business, but 90 percent of those advertisers are businesses created specifically to profit off of Google AdSense. The mom/pop business is still up for grabs. In this post, Sterling tags AT&T and well positioned to attack this opportunity. I say, newspapers simply cannot cede this business to the phone companies. The revenue is vital to online growth and survival. There is no reason newspapers can’t beat print yellow page advertisers in this space — we can match them sales for for sales force, and online newspapers pretty much dominate their local markets already.