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May 08, 2007


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Chad Sowash

I was around during the OCC and MonsterBoard transition to Monster.com in Jan '99 and agree they haven't been able to hit the mark set by their first marketing campaign. Although there are 2 major reasons Monster ruled in '99 and beat the pants off of HotJobs and it wasn't the cute little kids.

1999 was the first year companies drove prospects to the internet using Super Bowl commercials and they paid dearly. HotJobs and many other online properties were down for days, due to their inability to receive such a large traffic influx. Monster had no such problem, Monster wins.

Back then HotJobs didn't allow 3rd parties to use their site, Monster did. 3rd party revenue alone made up way more than half of the dollars coming in the door at Monster. Monster wins again...

I do agree Monster commercials have been losing steam for years, although the cute kids weren't the reason they exploded in '99. HotJobs inability to understand the market and their own technical infrastructure was the problem.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. - Sun Tzu

Dave Lefkow

Interesting perspective, Chad. Thanks for sharing. But I still think you can't discount the brand element.

After the initial hiccups with Hotjobs' Super Bowl ads, Monster was still the destination that more people went to for online jobs and Hotjobs' technical hiccups only reached a limited audience (although word of mouth might have spread). A big part of this was that the audience remembered and identified with the brand they had created.


Monster, as well as the job boards, are an antiquated ad model---so it's appropriate Dave talks about which 'ad' is best'...posting jobs drives innefficiencies and subjectivity--but of course, you have to pay the upfront hundreds of dollars per month to find out exactly how much a job posting DOESN'T work....

Dave Lefkow

I think it's hard to make a blanket statement like "the job boards don't work." If you're a vendor in this space, your potential customers will be very suspicious of you if you say this unless you've got some facts that back it up.

I see job boards as working for certain things, but not others. The real challenge I've seen for companies is that they aren't optimizing their spending and ensuring they're using boards only when appropriate while using other, more effective sources for their needs when they're not. In addition, the measures of effectiveness are often cost- and efficiency- vs. effectiveness-based.

Incidentally, my assertions here are based on providing ROI analysis services to dozens of companies.

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