Most Gatehouse newspapers struggled with out-of-control classifieds codes, which varied across the hundreds of markets. They also had no strategy for search, either for customers to search within classifieds, or to find them online.
The first platform implemented was iPublish Marketplace, an online search and display website application for consumers to find items of interest organized in classified categories and sub-classifications, followed by iPublish Classified—a self-serve order entry front end for private-party sellers to purchase their classified ads.
The new system immediately standardized categories, provided a powerful built-in search engine, and a self-serve ecommerce solution. In addition, Gatehouse rethought their SEO strategy to increase traffic to the site by offering a classified marketplace from popular advertising categories and sub-classifications. The platform is now being upgraded adding legal notices and digital display to drive more revenue. By the end of 2017, iPublish Marketplace is live in over 100 markets; and iPublish Classifieds is live in 70 markets—installing at the rate of ten sites per month.
While recruitment is a highly competitive category in larger markets, Gatehouse has a lucrative but highly transactional business in its smaller markets that is dependent on multiple obsolete newspaper software and systems. To complicate things further, customer service needed to load every ad manually from print to Monster, their online recruitment partner. If that wasn’t enough, there were no upsells and limited content—further exposing a clear opportunity to enhance this valuable franchise.
Gatehouse chose a unique path for implementing the self-serve software. They began by first adapting iPublish in their call center—where they took recruitment orders over the phone and by email.