Nowadays Advertising: Online vs Printed Medias

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If you are a new business you might be asking yourself: “Should I use printed media for my advertising circle?”

If you are established one your question would be: “Should I stop printed advertising and switch all my budget to internet?”

Most of the businesses asking themselves those questions today. As a marketing industry specialist I will try to answer it in a most efficient way. But first, you need to ask yourself a few question:

-       What size is my business?

-       What is the age of my targeted clientele?

-       What is the competition in my industry?

Based on these “variables” your answer might outweigh to print or online advertising.

Business size:

Small or medium business don’t really need a print advertising today. Even after print advertising rates went down, the feedback from print advertising doesn’t cover the expense. There are many reason for this problem, for example:
-       More older people switch to internet usage today

-       Internet is more interactive so the conversion done easily

-       Even after seeing the ad, consumers will go online to search reviews on products or services

-       Information is more accessible online, so instead keeping old magazines or newspapers consumers will just search online for particular brand or company

For these and other reasons, traditional “lead generation” is better to conduct online. After all leads are the bread and butter of any small / medium business.

online-marketingLarge businesses and corporations on the other hand still need the print presence. When business grow, service self-cost grows too, so are the rates; products or services become more expensive but the same time more attractive because the services provider is well known and its promises are “backed-up”. Here comes the “brand awareness”, but before product or services becomes a brand, its potential buyers have to be exposed to it at list 6 times. And the best result achieved when consumer get the message from a few different sources. So yes, successful advertising campaign for brand name should include at list one popular print media and additional “sense” media like TV or Radio. That’s on top of the internet and social media channels of course.

Consumers Age:

Not ones I was exposed to businesses which took all their budgets from print to online and… failed! The reason is that their potential customers are still used to their familiar printed format when making decisions. If you sell medical gadgets for older people, commercial real estate or retirement housing you definitely have to split your budget between web and print. You even may find that print is still more profitable than web. No joking!

On the other hand, if your target group is younger than 45 you probably need to focus your budget on online medias. Generations are growing or getting older, and the families between 30 to 45 years old are already grown-up kids of first internet waves, not sure they use any printed media at all. I am 35 and there is not a single magazine or newspaper in our house; but there are plenty of computers and mobile devices, approximately 3 devices per person.

Industry competition.

marketing managerOne more thing I noticed on the market, is that companies start to compete each other for better spot of online advertising. This results in higher bids for PPC, more attractive websites, multiples web-properties for “covering the market” and more. It’s great for online marketing agencies, but for the advertisers, actual services companies, online marketing rates reach efficiency limit. For example in some industries cost per click already reaches $15-20, with average closed deal of $300. In such case advertising cost can reach 70-100 dollars per closed deal; higher than that could be too expensive.

When competition grows, the consumer becomes less responsive. With so much stimulations and wide choice of online advertisers visitor will choose the most attractive service (product), for example something on sale, or some business who offers a great special. That what actually happened with the “daily deal” industry bubble, when businesses had to compete almost “free” services of their competitors

So considering this high competition, print (or other traditional medias) could be a good shot. Especially now, when rates went down and so the amount of advertisers.


To summarize this article:

  • If you are not at the stage of making brand out of your company / product, use the internet  – this is the best channel for leads generation
  • If your target group ages are younger than 45, don’t spend too much on print advertising. 45 and up – think twice before cutting up newspapers or magazines
  • If your industry reach its edge of competition online (locksmithing, appliance repairs, real estate etc) consider to put your eggs in different baskets. Perhaps your competitors all left printed medias and there is an opportunity you can catch.


Do you have a question about online marketing? Be comfortable to ask, send me an email at

Truly Yours, Alex Rakhmilevitch, Goldeye Media founder.