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Print vs. Online: Where to Spend Your Advertising Dollars


Most of our marketing customers come to us with very specific budgets they have allocated for advertising. Often, this leads to us making recommendations of how to allocate their dollars in the most effective way. And one of the questions we often get is, “Does traditional marketing still work, or should I be putting all of my money into online advertising?”

Yes, traditional marketing still works when done properly, but the same can be said for online advertising. It comes down to getting the right message in front of the right group of people. So then, if you have a limited budget, how do you choose?



  • There is still something very tangible about a newspaper or magazine ad that can be lacking with online advertising. Many people will still hold on to a newspaper or magazine with a great ad and/or article.
  • Pass-along factor: from doctor’s offices to friends who share, the pass-along factor is still there. Most magazines and newspapers are still read at a higher number than they are purchased.
  • Special editions are a great way to hit a specific demographic. Think bridal magazines, and graduation edition newspaper features. If you are trying to hit someone in these target markets, it is money well-spent to advertise in one of these publications.
  • Specific ages: trying to reach seniors? While many seniors are becoming more social savvy, a lot of them are still traditionalists at heart who never miss reading the morning paper with their coffee.
  • Captive audience: once someone has picked up a newspaper or magazine, they are usually committed to reading it. Online ads have the potential for constant interruption: game notifications, email, and more.



  •         Targeting options: online advertising allows for great control over reaching your target audience. You can segment by age, location, gender, even interests! Have a product only a specific segment of the population would want or need? (Tampon ads, anyone?) This is a great chance to hit just those people.
  •         Tracking: thanks to Google Analytics and sales data, you can track to see what ads were most effective. If you run two different ads, and one of them sends traffic to your website at 3x time the rate of the other, you know to run that one more and pull money away from the other.
  • Inexpensive: Online advertising is relatively inexpensive when compared to print. A $5 ad on Facebook can reach between 800-1,500 people on average. While not everyone will act on the ad, those numbers are still amazing for the amount of money you spend.

While there are pros and cons to both types of advertising, the best marketing campaigns utilize both traditional and online advertising. A comprehensive strategy makes sure you hit every target market and stay in front of potential customers, so that when they are ready to purchase, you’re their first choice!


Need help? We’ve got you covered! Contact us for your strategic marketing needs today. 256.560.0098

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