A Monster of a Marketing Plan

Originally we said Monster rival Yahoo!'s (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) HotJobs also suffered from "work from home" scam jobs dominating its site. After further research, we can't support that statement. We're sorry. We regret the hyperbole and apologize to any HotJobs users who may have been offended. -- Fool Editors, 4/30/04

Monster Worldwide (Nasdaq: MNST  ) indicated in its first-quarter earnings report that its marketing expenses increased to $39 million from $34 million a year earlier. The operator of well-known employment site Monster.com has increased its marketing spending recently because it's hiring more sales people and promoting its brand as the economy improves.

But, I wonder if Monster.com really needs to advertise so heavily anymore? I don't fault that past ad spending, as it's done an incredible job with the brand. In fact, so good that I imagine Monster is the first place the vast majority of people turn to automatically if they are posting or seeking a job online. It's common knowledge that Monster.com is as good as it gets.

Or maybe it wouldn't need to market so much if it spent some of the $12.4 million in net profits it had in the first quarter on eliminating the "work from home" scam jobs that dominate the site. That's a large source of revenue for these online job boards, but perhaps revenue they would be better off without.

Monster.com could probably more than make up the loss in revenue from eliminating questionable jobs as more users came to the site and more legitimate employers pay to post jobs. The incredibly annoying opt-out, full-page ads people are rewarded with every time they log in have got to go, too.

All that said, I and millions of others love the site and everything it has done to make the least-efficient market in the world a whole lot more efficient, and an incredibly painful process much less so. There's no doubt that Monster.com will experience incredible growth in the next big employees' job market.

Looking for a job? Want some advice? Check out our Ask The Headhunter discussion board.

Fool contributor Mark Mahorney doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned.


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