Andover, Massachusetts-based Bluefin Technology Partners recently bagged the Douglas Budget (Wyoming) as a client for its self-service advertising solutions. The company’s offerings include Bluefin Place Ad, which lets advertisers place classified ads in multiple print and online publications around the clock, and Bluefin Marketplace, where papers host their online classified listings.

Among its clients is Canadian-based Black Press, which has some 60 titles using Bluefin’s (www.getbluefin.com) tech.

“We give the publishers tools so that the application brings the advertiser into the self-service world, just like other industries,” says Steve Rosenfeld, general partner, sales and marketing. The tagline that Rosenfeld likes to use is that Bluefin's solutions help publishers empower advertisers and engage readers.

Bluefin’s tech allows advertisers to place a “complete and compliant” ad that follows the publisher’s rules, which Bluefin programs in. “It's all done without the interaction of anybody at the newspaper,” says Rosenfeld, although the publisher is notified so it can review ads.

The tech gives the advertiser the ability to “upsell themselves,” online, says Rosenfeld. The upsells include featured positions on a page and additional photos or video.

“Revenue comes in because studies have shown that if you compare the price of an ad that is taken in a phone room, let's say, or internally, compared to self service, that the self-service ad price is over 20% higher than one that’s taken in the phone room," says Rosenfeld.

Rosenfeld says he views classified and other advertising as not just a revenue source, but rich local content. “Newspapers and media organizations should be the main destination for relevant, reliable and trusted local content. Classified advertising can be an important part of this local content,” he says.

“They want us to answer the phone,” says Rosenfeld when asked what media companies want from vendors. Community newspapers is one area the company focuses on, and especially for them, customer service is key. “They need help,” says Rosenfeld. “They need help to find new ways to enhance their print and digital strategy.”

Papers pay a monthly fee for Bluefin’s service.

Rich Grover founded what is now Bluefin Technology Partners in 2005 and was joined by Rosenfeld. Both are industry veterans with companies including Atex, System Integrators, AdStar and Edgil Associates as former employers.

In December, Bluefin plans to announce that it’s extending Bluefin Place Ad to support display ads and online banner ads, said Rosenfeld