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The Marketing Edge - Is print advertising right for your business?

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As the world becomes more digitally oriented, it’s easy to assume that print is dead and useless when it comes to marketing. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even though digital marketing is an extremely successful way to market your business, you should consider a few things if you’re planning to cut print from your plan. Marketing is a balancing act and knowing where to invest can either spell out success or failure for your strategy.

Who are you trying to reach?

Knowing your audience is a crucial aspect of deciding where you should invest your marketing budget. Do you cater to an older demographic that reads the newspaper instead of a Facebook feed? If so, choosing print advertising may be a better option for you. Do your research after you’ve determined your target audience so you can figure out where your marketing efforts will have the most impact. Hint: according to the PEW Research Center, 48 percent of Americans 65 years and older get their news most often from print newspapers, while 50 percent of those ages 18 to 29 go online.

What are your customers saying?

When was the last time you had a meeting with staff who communicate with your customers? They are your best way to find out what your customers are saying about your marketing efforts. Maybe a few customers mentioned that they saw your ad on the back of the community bus, which is why they decided to visit, or they mentioned the Facebook ad you’ve been running. Listen to your customers, especially the new ones, to find out where they heard about your business and why they decided to visit.

Where is your audience located?

Is your audience mainly living in an area where the internet connection is less than ideal? This may be something to take into consideration, especially here in Maine. If your target audience is primarily rural, finding a way to reach them is important. Maybe they regularly visit the small diner where the Coffee News is readily available. Perhaps that’s something to experiment with as you try to determine how best to reach your unplugged audience.  

When are you advertising?

Putting an ad on a bus in the middle of the winter may not be effective in Maine when no one is standing on the sidewalk in below freezing temperatures or the snow and icy conditions are occupying their attention while they drive. Using digital mediums during certain times of the year, or event certain times of day, may be a more effective way to reach your audience. For example, Facebook advertising has a feature that allows you to select the time of day an ad is shown. Do your research first and find out when your audience is most likely to be on Facebook, then cater your ads accordingly.

Why do you advertise?

The purpose of your advertising can oftentimes help you decide where best to put your marketing budget. Are you aiming for online transactions? Asking for those in print advertising will probably not be as effective as a Facebook ad leading to your website. Consider what your end goal is and move backward to determine how people would reach that goal in the most efficient way.

Are you planning to use print advertising for your business? Consider these things as you form your plan, and then decide which platforms are best for you.

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