The Hoax of Classified Ad Platforms
Every morning I turn up the newspaper expecting to read and learn what happened the past day. I start turning pages. The first page is full of ads: a big white paper with a shiny brand in the middle. The second page also features an ad and so does the third. Every page contains ads in one form or another; some good, some irritating and some completely pointless! I forgot when I was reading Times of India and started reading Times of Ads.
I know that readers are consumers of newspaper ads and that’s what their business model is based upon, but isn’t it also in their best interest to learn how to be accountable, how not to irritate, how not to keep bugging the masses to buy this, buy that, marry him and marry her?
In this age of inbound marketing , when companies and startups are innovating new and organic ways to get users and generate revenue; do we really have to rely on discomfortable content blocking ads?
Online Classified Ad Platforms have made the situation extremely worse:
What’s more is that these so called high-end, world class service providing businesses have not even an ounce of merit in them! For instance, if you have an used article, may it be an electronic good, a book, a vehicle or a piece of furniture, the first thing you do is to list it on an ad platform, which is not exactly a market place; it’s an advertising paper on internet. There have been multiple instances of fraud and robbery and online harassment, which are just the tips of the iceberg. The online scams that goes on in these classified platforms are endless.
You don’t know how many people you would have to talk to, putting your identity and your safety at risk all the while wasting your time and getting a fair amount of headache. We cannot take buyers and users for granted, we simply cannot! You started a f**king company, nobody cares until and unless it’s addressing an unique problem. If it’s piling up problems rather than solving them then believe me, sooner or later, you will be replaced by a brighter and more user oriented solution.
You know what buyers deserve? They deserve not be cheated, not to be harassed, not to be catcalled online. That’s why I hate classified platforms: they feel like an “institution”. You might have heard of those institutions where people are fed a propaganda on a regular basis.
Online Classified platforms have become the de facto destinations for scams. I don’t mean to trash TOI, OLX, Quikr or any of the dozens of classified ad platforms, maybe I do, but my principal motive here is to point out that they seems to be severely lagging when it comes to innovating and giving users a new and personal experience.
I wonder what are we preparing our perspective users for? Are we trying to make them smart and intuitive by leveraging technology and showing them that one particular problem can be solved by another awesome approach or are they just another derivative point on our website analytics.
The obsessive ads focused upon selling your old stuff in exchange for money is not why they spend time on your conspicuous looking websites. Old things are about values. They represent something more than money: They represent a different time frame. They represent the feelings and emotions of their previous owners.
Whenever we have witnessed a paradigm shift in culture, market or society, representation has been at its core. A new idea has to be represented in a way that people would relate to it. If your idea is not addressing a problem, then there is no point to it.
A lot of new startups are putting these problems on the map by simply giving users a bunch of choices. I think it would be unsurprising to see a change in the customers’ demography, when they would prefer customizing their old product and truly making it personalized rather than just fall into scams of our “beloved” classified ad platforms.