As unemployed Americans click away on job sites during this lengthy recession, it would seem reasonable that an ad network like Monster Worldwide’s would stand to benefit. After all, last week the company said that its impressions have doubled since this time last year.
Monster reached 84 million unique visitors in September via its “Career Ad Network,” while dipping to 78 million uniques in October, according to comScore. Still, the Maynard, MA-based company trumpeted the fact that comScore data showed it has the 25th most-visited network since June, building up an average monthly online presence of more than 40 percent.
However, Joran Lawrence, senior product manager at Monster, disagreed with the notion that the recession and its steadily high unemployment rate has helped drive his brand’s statistics. “If anything, the recession has actually limited our growth because recruitment has slowed down,” he said. “We expect the network to grow even faster once the economy recovers.”
In fact, Monster Worldwide, which operates the 10-year-old flagship site, Monster.com, other online entities such as Jobs.com, Military.com, NursingLink.com, and Fastweb.com, and its relatively young ad network, reported its revenue plunged in 2009. It went from $1.05 billion during the first nine months of 2008 to $692 million during the same period in 2009, a drop of 34 percent. The company’s Q3 financial report listed the global economic recession and the task of maintaining and increasing the value of brands as continued challenges it faces.
Lawrence didn’t share many specifics in terms of how his brand’s marketing tactics or general business strategies have been modified to spur the ad network’s impressions growth — or if they have been altered much at all. Though, he said, one element that Monster.com has added to the mix involved pushing its 100-city off-line traveling career fairs initiative via e-mail to local job seekers. In addition, he said the company’s recent partnership with the National Football League in a “dream job” promotion that has been delivered to mobile subscribers.
And while the brand’s employment-based ad network is partly comprised of traffic produced through its in-house career sites, Monster.com and Jobs.com, Lawrence explained that it gathers most of its eyeballs through syndication partnerships with large online entities like eBay, Comcast, and Internet Broadcasting. He described the ad network — which launched in March 2007 — as using technology “to pull targeting attributes from job postings. We use that information to put the right job in front of the right candidate.”
Meanwhile, according to recent data from Borrell Associates, Lawrence’s prediction about impressions lifting even more when the economy picks up more looks fairly solid. The research firm forecasted that online ad spending for employer recruitment would be almost three times higher than the dollars invested in print media by the end of 2009.
In five years, the Williamsburg, VA-based company projects that the difference will be close to four times more for the online medium ($7.6 billion) when compared to the shrinking print market ($1.7 billion). Borrell Associates said that Monster.com is also positioned to leverage its recruitment video application as an increasing number of human resources departments are beginning to utilize inexpensive-to-make clips to visually sell their companies to the skilled players who are in the job market.
UPDATE: This story originally stated that Monster had 17.2 million unique visitors in October via its “Career Ad Network,” according to comScore.
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