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Mediacom Marketing Digest - 6 March 2006

6 MARCH 2006 - Fairfax Gets It

Around the world, the formerly-sleeping giant that is the newspaper industry has started to notice that upstart new media competitors are eating newspapers' lunch. In the words of Stephen Gray, managing director of the US new-media initiative Newspaper Next (which we covered in a previous issue): responding to that challenge requires "a shift of thought from 'How do we get people to read more newspapers?' to 'What problems are people trying to solve in their lives, and how can we help?'"

Fairfax New Zealand have now joined the ranks of those newspaper proprietors tackling such issues, shelling out 700 million dollars this morning for the Trade Me online auction enterprise. Yes, it's a staggering sum of money, well beyond earlier predictions of the value of Trade Me. On the other hand, compared to some of the pricetags other old media have paid to join the new media revolution, it could turn out to be a bargain, especially since internet advertising is projected to grow at around five times the rate of traditional advertising over the next few years.

The 700 million dollar number is rather large, but then all numbers associated with Trade Me have become somewhat expansive. A few fractal factoids for the numerically challenged:

* 300 million dollars - annualised value of auctions transacted on the Trade Me website

* 598 million - the number of page impressions served by Trade Me in February 2006

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* 2,117,504 - the number of unique browsers visiting Trade Me in February 2006

* 1,179,313 - the number of Trade Me members as we write this

* 613,992 - the number of products currently on sale on Trade Me

What can we expect to see from the new powered-by-Fairfax Trade Me? More of the same, at first, because Sam & his team will still be running Trade Me "for a good period of time". However we'd also expect to see some of the items on Trade Me's Wishlist - specifically development of enhanced services for high-volume users - turn from desire into reality. Don't expect much tinkering with the Trade Me user interface, though - victory over eBay was achieved in part because Trade Me is so simple and easy-to-use.

How might Fairfax maximise the value of its purchase? By cross-selling Trade Me and its newspaper classifieds, for a start - from little For Sale ads ("would you also like us to list that on Trade Me as well as in the Christchurch Press, madam?") to major real estate listings ("for more details on this property, go to Trade Me, keyword Karori-47"). And we wouldn't be at all surprised to see major Fairfax advertisers encouraged to open up online stores on Trade Me.

More significantly, however, watch for Trade Me to start developing a presence across the ditch, given the strength of Fairfax's newspapers in Australia. Yes, eBay has a commanding presence in Oz - but the Sydney Morning Herald and the Melbourne Age aren't bad stepping stones if you want to make yourself noticed in the lucky country.

The last word goes to Trade Me user archon2 (as featured on the Trade Me Message Boards): "Thank you for using the 'buy now' option. Could you please deposit the $700,000,000 plus 90c postage to my enclosed bank account. Please feel free to check my other auctions for combined postage. Once I have received your funds I will send the shares in the company. Please don't forget to post feedback. Sam"

Disclaimer: ye editor is the author of the book about Trade Me, Trade Me Success Secrets , but only wishes he had shares in the Trade Me enterprise.


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Affinity Marketing, Search Engine Style

GoodSearch (powered by Yahoo!) is the latest attempt to dethrone Google. It's a search engine with a heart - and a conscience. Search the internet and help out your school or charity.

GoodSearch ( ) was founded by a brother and sister team who lost their mum to cancer and wanted to find an easy way for people to support their favourite causes. Use GoodSearch like any other search engine - but each time you do, money is generated for your favourite cause. Last year search engines generated close to $6 billion in revenue from advertisers - imagine what your cause could achieve with just the tiniest trickle from the total bucket!

The company goes on to say that its goal is to direct as much money to the organizations as possible, so they're not spending a lot on advertising. That's why they need your help in spreading the word [observe blatant attempt to foster word of mouth].

"We hope that not only will you use GoodSearch as your main search engine from here on out, but will also pass this message on to your friends and family. The more people who use this site, the more money will go to your favourite cause."

GoodSearch estimate that each search will generate approximately $0.01 for the designated charity or school, so the more people you sign up, the more money you'll raise.

PS At the moment, GoodSearch only works with charities and schools in the U.S. but they hope to expand internationally in the future.

Liar Buyers

Shop-and-stealth is still a popular trick in the UK and men are the primary culprits, according to a recent study by Norwich Union. The market's largest insurer says British men smuggle and aggregate $1,714 million worth of shopping past their partners each year. Apparently, high-tech gadgets aren't the only goods being hidden away. There's pricey designer gear too.

The average male smuggles a whopping $667 worth of goods annually, compared to $450 of secret spending for women. Still, while men hide more expensive items, women lie more often, with one in 10 of them admitting that they smuggle shopping past their partner at least once a month. The reason for such secrecy is usually fear of an angry reaction to blowing too much money.

The items likely to be hidden are:

For men:

* Clothes (53 percent of respondents)

* Electrical Equipment and Gadgets (52 percent)

* Shoes (28 percent)

* Jewellery (27 percent)

* and sports equipment (22 percent).

For women:

* Clothes (88 percent of respondents)

* Shoes (65 percent)

* Handbags (44 percent)

* Jewellery (31 percent)

* and Electrical Equipment and Gadgets (17 percent).

"Money is one of the most contentious areas in modern-day relationships, and it's easy to see why," commented psychotherapist Christine Webber. "If individuals want to keep their romances intact, they should think twice about lie-buying."

We've [MEDIACOM] Moved!!

You'll now find us at Suite 7, Second Floor, 1 Cross Street, Newton. Phone, fax, email and postal stuff stays the same.


MEDIACOM, with offices in 80 countries, is one of the world's largest and most respected independent media planning and buying organisations. We create media solutions that build business for a wide range of local, regional and worldwide clients.

With $13 billion in global billings, a commitment to strategic insight, total communications planning, tactical media brilliance and tough but creative media negotiating, MEDIACOM provides unsurpassed value in today's chaotic media marketplace.

Published by MEDIACOM (NZ) LIMITED, P O Box 3369 Auckland New Zealand, Phone 09 914 4940 Fax 09 914 4903

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