When Gary Green, joined Black Press as Vice President of New Media and BusinessDevelopment. One of his first challenges was to completely revamp their Web self-service place an ad solution to support its 70+ newspaper titles throughout British Columbia covering 94% of BC with a distribution of 1,099,409.

At the time, the process was decentralized and manually intensive. Each publication had a Web form that captured some pieces of an ad order. Someone at the newspaper would have to contact the advertiser to complete the ad and get it processed before deadline.

“It actually took a classified rep twice as long to take an ad this way as compared to one taken over the phone in the call center. Also because the advertiser couldn't complete their ad online, we had some customers who when contacted by our reps, decided not to complete the transaction. This area was one of my top priorities.”

To find a better way to streamline this process, a request for proposal to acquire a group wide self-service place ad solution for both print and online ads was distributed to the top providers in the industry. After careful evaluation of all the solutions, Black Press chose Bluefin Technology Partners to power their Web ad order entry process.

“One of the main reasons we went with Bluefin Place Ad was the ease of use for both our newspaper publishers and advertisers. While there were a lot of flash and features from other providers, we felt that these would not have a major impact to our bottom line. Rich Grover at Bluefin listened to our requirements and worked with us in a collaborative way to build a comprehensive place an ad platform environment. The fact that we had direct access to them to make any changes, tweaks, etc. was a blessing. Their response has been excellent throughout the entire implementation.”

For about a year now, Black Press has been live with Bluefin Place Ad and the results are impressive. Ads can be placed via the individual newspaper websites or through the main Black Press classified portal www.BCClassified.com. Advertisers can place an ad order for the entire group, in 18 regional areas, or in the individual newspaper publications. This flexibility allows for maximum ad exposure and increased classified revenue for their newspaper publishers.

“Acceptance by our customers has surpassed all expectations by 110% as we are receiving thousands of ads per month going into our print publications and online. We are getting more ad volume, more revenue per ad, and providing a complete user-friendly experience for our advertisers. It was crucial for us to automate the ad taking process for the user so that they can complete the ad at their convenience. This new process has had a positive effect on our overall revenue and profit figures.”

With the place an ad area addressed, Gary set his sites on providing a better way to publish ads on the Web. After careful review of the alternative offerings, Black Press chose to implement Bluefin Marketplace online ad publishing for BCClassified.com which has over 10,000 listings on a daily basis. They are also taking advantage of Bluefin Command Center for platform setup and configuration on, reporting, and data feed management.

“Here again, Rich Grover and Bluefin Technology Partners worked with us to produce a great online classified publishing platform that fully integrated with our place an ad solution. Our online upsell offerings from the place an ad side are natively supported within the search and display module with Bluefin Marketplace. Dealing with one vendor for both (ad placement and Web publishing) simplifies our maintenance and support processes as well.”

Black Press is leading the way for serving a Community Marketplace in British Columbia. Solutions from Bluefin Technology Partners provide them with the most flexible solution available to enhance a more positive experience between buyers and sellers.

“Bluefin has all the major features that allow us to compete effectively against the online-only classified sites. Best of all, because we have a seamless way to offer classified ads for both print and online we can give our advertisers maximum exposure in our newspapers and on the Web. This makes us the best choice for our advertisers and consumers alike. We look forward to working with Bluefin to come up with more innovative solutions that allow Black Press to take advantage of exciting new market opportunities.”

Stayed tuned for more updates!