Month: October 2011

Trends #1: classified verticals internationally

After discussing trends in classifieds with several ICMA members around the world this month, I heard many themes come up but the most prevalent was verticals – anywhere from identifying online communities, to speaking with specific target market demographics, and executing niche classified strategies.  So what better subject to discuss in my first ICMA blog post (of many, I hope!)?

Looking at the big picture, large companies like Adicio working with ImpreMedia, are working on expanding and refining  job & career categories – then onto autos and real estate most likely.   But with international multi-language powerhouses like that casting a big shadow, where does the little guy stand?  Are they paving the way for us, or more likely are we experimenting with multiple verticals as we ‘run fast with scissors’ (if this is lost in translation, in Canada we have a saying ‘don’t run with scissors’ , meaning ‘Be Careful!’ which smaller companies at risk of being squashed by biggies don’t have the luxury)?  I digress.

We have the ability to adapt and speak to our customers in a way that a big conglomerate simply cannot.  I doubt craigslist or Schibsted sits down with customers every week the way companies like or IPC Classified can.  Biggies (have I just coined a term?) may do surveys and hire big swanky advertising companies but does the executive at the top level really know how to describe someone in their niche market obsessed with the ‘specialty vehicle’ or ‘electric guitar’ categories like we can?   These larger companies should be scared of us; we’re moving quickly in a big industry, an industry that has shown us over the last 5 years that there is plenty of room for more players, whether it’s moving online or maybe the next iteration will be mobile, tablets, and retinal scans with micro-dermic insert-really-big-word-here ‘big data’ segment classification?  I’m no scientist, but you get the idea.  The trend these days is move quickly or die.  And most members of ICMA are doing this – are the biggies?

Future ICMA Trends blog topics (monthly):
:: For employers posting on their own websites instead of us, how can we convince them to convert or at least try both?  Or do we content scrap?  Or maybe go social instead of partnerships.
:: The world is already becoming social, mobile, and online-all-the-time.  What are classifieds doing to stay ahead of the trend around the globe?
:: If classifieds were available ONLY on smart phones in 5 years what do we have to start doing TODAY?

Written by: Charlotte Cowley of, in Canada

ICMA Rising Star profile