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We have decided to create an ongoing series of posts on the choices available to marketers for online advertising. Over the last week we sent a set of questions to several different websites and online platforms, asking them a series of questions about the what, how and why of advertising with them.  We have chosen a range of websites that offer advertising independent of Google or adcentre. We also included social networking and sharing websites as well as traditional online newspapers and media.

The first company to respond to our request was online publisher of the year and owners of the Sydney Morning Herald ( Fairfax Digital. Although Fairfax off advertising across their wide network, including The Age and Essential Baby, we wanted specific information on one domain, and is one of the most important news websites in Sydney.

SMH has some impressive stats as far as audience and reach go. From their own media kit, they have 6,373,125 Unique browsers per month, with 62% of the audience Grocery buyers and 62% of the audience are men.

Fairfax, and offer a dizzying array of options as far as advertising types go. Their display advertising options include; brand, direct response and behavioural targeting.  They also offer video and mobile advertising and eDM and newsletter opportunities.

With advertising for newspapers expected to decline this year, it is no wonder they are creating some strong marketing opportunities for customers. We asked the following questions to Fairfax, and John-Jo Eastwood, Sales Director Business Development, kindly responded. All the answers here are unedited, in total.

CD: Why should someone run an advertising campaign with

SMH: We offer clients to opportunity to connect with Australia’s most valuable and engaged audience –

What is the lowest amount someone can expect to spend?

Minimum spend is $2k

Which industry would gain, or has gained the most from advertising with

The main industries we specialise in are – Finance, Travel, I.T. & Telco, Entertainment, Retail & FMCG & Automotive

For an average campaign, or an example campaign, what would be the cost, number of impressions, and click through rate of the campaign?

Campaigns range for $2k – $2 million, 100k imp to 100 million imp, 0.01 CTR – 5.0 CTR

How closely can you target a campaign, eg:by keywords, by articles, by categories?

All three

How do you compare to other online advertising, such as newspapers or social networking?

Online is just another part of the marketing mix for the clients to consider.

Where do you see your online advertising platform going in the next year? Will you be introducing any new features?

We introduce new ad products, site sections and various other innovations monthly. You can keep abreast of this here –

Advertising areas are in pink.

Compared to other online advertising options, the starting cost is very high at $2k. As the largest and most popular choice in in online advertising, most websites are bound to be compared with Google Adwords, where prices are as low as you want to go. There is no doubt, however, that you are engaging with one of the most valuable audiences in Australia. Most AB consumers and high income earners would not use social networking or social news sharing, so newspapers still have those markets pretty much cornered.

If you are a car manufacturer looking to engage with a high end audience in an interactive way,, and other high end newspapers, are the few media allowing you to achieve this. Again, this works well for those advertisers with big budgets, however  production costs for Flash and video may make the exercise cost-prohibitive for some.

How effective those ads are is something of a speculation. On the one hand, there are many examples of users complaining the audio and video ads are intrusive. On the other hand, more research is showing the recall of ads is higher online than in other media. Certainly, according to John-Jo, the CTR is comparable to other media, as we discussed in our other posts, and would probably sit in the average to lower end of the scale at .01% to 5%.

Car manufacturers were heavily represented on this morning, as there were three companies vying for your attention. This makes us wonder about the level of “noise” that exists on a typical page.The image on the right shows the advertising areas in pink, excluding links to “features” on credit card rates etc. Although the level of noise is lower than other online newspapers, it is still higher than on social media.

As we have said before, advertising with an online newspaper is not for the tight-fisted. Starting costs are high, cost per click is high and cost of production can be high, when compared to other alternatives. However, the type of reader you can reach is unique, broad, and wealthy. The type of creative you can display is also unique, allowing you to create something visually engaging. For  these reasons newspaper advertising is still one of the most important parts of an advertisers arsenal.

Creative Development is a marketing and web design agency based in Sydney.

If there are any other websites you would like to see here, or any information you would like from the media, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below and we will see what we can do. All our comments are do-follow, so enjoy the link-love.


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