Speaking at the CEO Conference of Publish Asia 2009 in Chennai, Murugavel Janakiraman, CEO, Consim, had an announcement to make. He said that Bharatmatrimony.com would be shortly entering into a tie-up with one of major newspapers in the country through which the consumer, who was already availing Bharatmatrimony’s services, could get his/her ad published in the print, thereby getting the reach of both online and offline.
He further said, “Similarly, those who want to place their ads in the newspaper can now also place their ads on the website by paying extra. Through this collaboration, both the mediums can leverage each other’s strength, thereby getting the extended reach and value from the respective strength of the mediums.”
Speaking on the theme ‘Classified Advertising online – Threats and Opportunities’, Janakiraman stressed that online-offline collaboration was the way forward and added that through this collaboration, each could reap the benefit from the other medium.
According to him, substantial growth has been in the online classified category in the last 10 years, mainly led by matrimony and jobs. Pegging the market size of the online classifieds at around Rs 750 crore ($150 million), he said that it was growing at 30-40 per cent per annum.
He further said that jobs and matrimony today probably held a 80-90 per cent share of the entire classified category, and added that real estate was one of the fastest growing classified categories in India, while automobile was still at a nascent stage. “We are also witnessing a scenario where classified Yellow Pages are moving online. But why are people moving online? The combined reach of print is far greater than online in India, yet online is becoming the preferred mode of medium for classifieds,” Janakiraman noted.
Listing out the advantages of online classifieds vis-à-vis print, he pointed out that unlike newspapers, online classified ads were free – be it personal, jobs or property. Also, information in the print medium was restricted as one needed to pay per word. Compared to newspapers, online offered a wider choice and one could put up one’s ad for as long as one wanted, as against in print, where the listing was available for just one day.
He further said that newspaper reach was limited to a particular geographical area, while online, one could cut across boundaries. Globally, online was the preferred medium for any classified category, he added.
“After tasting success in the online space, we are looking at ways and means to take our service beyond online. We are looking at leveraging all possible medium so that we will be able to reach far beyond than our current reach,” he informed.
Bharatmatrimony.com has already tied up with Airtel and Idea Cellular, wherein in both the mobile platforms, the matrimony service is powered by Bharatmatrimony. Similarly, the website has also tied up with DTH players, where, Janakiraman, said, “We are shortly going to launch TV programmes where we will use television as a medium for finding the right match.”
In India, a majority of Bharatmatrimony.com’s payment take place though the offline mode. “I want to give ads on print and link the ad back to Bharatmatrimony.com so that people who want to gather more information about that particular advertiser can log on to the website. Hence, we are planning to tie up with one of the major newspapers of the country,” he added.
According to him, today, the end user was looking at reach. He just wanted to get things done and did not mind whether it was through online or offline.