OK - the paywall went up this week which means we now have to pay to access the editorial content here. Now i am slightly conflicted in that i want to support innovation and new business models (OME, in its way, has completely re-written what a successful rec ad agency might look like) but.....
Our job is to plan and buy the best media for our clients and the redesign and re-launch of their sites have the following issues.
1. If you have to register (lets forget paying for time being) - many people won't bother - speaking personally i wouldn't bother unless there is information data and content that is not available elsewhere. Does the times site have this? i really don't know. Therefore traffic is and will be down - this is fact not conjecture. Therefore response is and will be down - fact not conjecture.
2. At same time - the times and Sunday Times have split sites. Now for last 10 years - users have been going to timesonline to access jobs and adverts for senior executives. Now - no rec con can advertise on Timesonline and no job above £40K salary. So the user goes to where the relevant jobs have been for 10 years - searches and gets zero ads returned. Result - the user goes elsewhere...
3. The damage here would be lessened if there was proper signposting of where users (indeed recruiters) should go next - instead its a maze and requires a lot of dead ends and clicks to try and find what you need. Not a shock to anyone but the digital user is a lazy person who wants instant gratification not to have to think about where should i go next?
4. If you are gong to make this sort of change - you had better have a big marketing budget to persuade people - i have yet to see this.
So all this is without looking further at damage of a paywall - my overall thought is - i love the Times/SundayTimes as a media. i really like the people we deal with but this appears to have been done without putting the recruitment advertiser or candidate anywhere near their thoughts. And the really silly thing is - i reckon you can solve some of the issues above in a day but will they do so before real damage is done??