Flyeralarm is opening up a promising digital advertising campaign channel to business customers – eBay Local Ads. Is morphing into a print and digital generalist a recipe for success?
In the last few years Flyeralarm has not only continuously evolved as a print business by massively expanding its portfolio, it has also put in place a range of digital services alongside its print-related services. Is that not relevant to online print? Oh, yes indeed! I reported back in April this year that Flyeralarm had entered the corporate publishing business. Now another digital ingredient – online advertising via eBay – is being added to the “World of Flyeralarm” mix.
Print customers, who are also looking for an integrated website and marketing service, are now even more likely to find what they are looking for in this major player’s portfolio, because there is now only a small handful of (service) segments that Flyeralarm has not yet occupied. Conversely, acquiring print customers by offering digital services also works pretty well. At more than 1.5 million B2B customers, Flyeralarm has a huge pool of potential takers for eBay Local Ads, especially since the online print provider now promotes the fact that advertising on eBay is now an option for “any” budget on its main website. “Local”, however directly implies that campaigns have a regional or local focus, which means that Flyeralarm is targeting small and mid-sized business customers in particular. Both sides – eBay and Flyeralarm – are benefitting from this partnership.
As I said before, the Würzburg-based print and digital player has been offering a number of digital marketing modules for some time now. Probably the oldest digital service that some other online print providers also offer their customers is website design. Vistaprint – Cimpress’ flagship – is an example of a major print business that has offered this service for a long period. But how do such digital services fit into the general scheme of things at print providers? The explanation is very simple – trusted provider, simple access, uncomplicated handling, can be booked online – all aspects that small and mid-sized business customers appreciate, because they rarely have the appropriate expertise themselves or access to such expertise. The same applies in this case too.
eBay Local Ads is part of eBay Advertising and generates on behalf of Flyeralarm customers direct access to regional advertising opportunities via the much-visited eCommerce platform – ebay.de had more than 132 million visits in September 2018 alone, according to Statista. If an eBay client or Flyeralarm customer opts to book a campaign, they can, for example, specify how high their budget is and what type of advertising format (e.g. image/pixel size) they require for certain regions, and there are analysis tools available to ensure effective use. Among other things, a target audience-specific, regional customer approach is guaranteed by the fact that ads are only shown to registered eBay clients and are designed to be search term- and category-specific. Here regional targeting is combined with an easy-to-access booking portal.
“By offering this advertising opportunity via eBay, Flyeralarm is once again demonstrating that it is a generalist and skillfully expanding its service portfolio. The ideal basis for further digital/print synergies within its own organization.” – Bernd Zipper
Viewed as a whole, this is a new field of activity for Flyeralarm – as well as for eBay, because Germany is only the second country after the UK to offer this online advertising option. And the intention of both companies of developing an API designed to simplify technical collaboration in the future even more shows that this is a longer-term partnership. If you gage the market power of both companies accurately, you will realize that this Würzburg-based business in particular is generating valuable synergy effects to aid its own corporate development.
What does this mean for (many) other online print providers? Well now, Flyeralarm is – as previously mentioned – not the only online print provider offering a broad range of digital services. And we can’t expect the Würzburg-based company to slow down the future expansion of its range of services. Therefore, small and mid-sized print providers should give plenty of thought to expanding their own portfolios. Of course, not every print provider needs to offer website design, SEO, digital marketing and advertising space. This wouldn’t make much sense either, if companies don’t have the requisite expertise to a large extent in-house. But there are alternatives here, like business-partnering (aka partner integration) with specialist agencies or other digital- and print-related specialists and adding smaller-scale services to retain customers and also increase one’s own visibility to potential new customers.
My take: the idea behind partnering with eBay Advertising is a good one, i.e. for Flyeralarm, since the Würzburg-based online print provider is generating further and above all “substantial” contacts to more buyers. The consequence of this is that even more of Flyeralarm’s digital clients are becoming print customers, and vice versa. Partnering with a business of the caliber of eBay is not going to be the final stage in the online print provider’s expansion of its range of services. That’s because anybody that online-prints and delivers to an extremely high level of efficiency is able, above all, to access and retain even more customers by offering other, related services and ultimately generate even more sales.