Web Design Articles

Web vs. Print Advertising

By Adrian Stein

Let's get one thing straight - I'm a bit of a techno-geek and a lover of the internet, so it probably doesn't come as a surprise to you that I'll side with the web in this argument. 

There's no doubt that print advertising certainly has its advantages - right now on my desk, I have a beautiful printed, glossy personalised card from Mazda, sent to remind me of my next car service. It feels good in my hand - it's got my name printed in glossy white letters, and it makes me feel important. Mission achieved. 

But when you consider the cost of print advertising compared with an online solution, it does make you wonder how much money is slipping past the keeper. I've often heard advertising described as "throwing money at a wall, and hoping some of it sticks". Certainly without professional advertising boffins looking after your campaign (which most people can't afford), this is probably the case for most businesses. Let's not even get into television or radio advertising, which can be a very expensive and "scattershot" exercise.

You know the other thing I have on my desk? The Yellow Pages. I don't use it for looking up businesses, I use it for propping up my computer monitor. For me, that is the most useful service this book can provide. If I need to find a plumber in my area I don't pull out the book, I do a Google search - or if I'm getting serious, I go to the Yellow Pages website. In this day and age it surprises me that more people aren't embracing new technology and advertising online instead of in print.

Here are a few other points to consider:

  • Environmental - don't roll your eyes, this is important. Did you know that 99% of my junk mail goes straight from my letterbox to my recycling bin?
  • What happens if you make a mistake? I learned about this the hard way. My first business cards read "Blackbird Soloutions" - can you spot the extra letter? I didn't pick up on the error during proof-reading, so I had to have 1,000 business cards reprinted and the originals thrown in the bin. Ouch.
  • Printing costs - for every person that reads your ad, something must be printed. Elementary, my dear Watson.
  • Distribution costs - somebody's gotta pay the little boy on his bicycle who delivers the junk mail, right?

And now the fun bit. Let's take a look at how web advertising compares. 

  • Al Gore will be pleased - you've skipped the environmental overhead of printing material, and the printing and distribution effect. Do you feel good?
  • Oops, I made a mistake - don't sweat it, mistakes are easily fixed. Furthermore, you can easily keep your information up to date.
  • No need to print or distribute - I think you'll appreciate the extra change in your pocket. 
  • Very little ongoing cost - Once a website has been developed, there are minimal ongoing costs. You'll need to pay for domain name registration and hosting (expect a couple of hundred dollars per year), but apart from that you're home free.

If you're not convinced yet, well I'm afraid we're not friends any more. I'm kidding, of course (but not really). There's certainly a time and a place for print advertising, but if you haven't considered developing a website as a part of your overall marketing strategy, you're living in the dark ages. With a professional online presence, you're giving your business the best chance it can possibly have to succeed. You're also offering potential clients the ability to consume your information in their own time, at their own pace, but you're still in control of the way your business is presented.

Interested in learning more? Let's talk. I'd love to hear more about your business and help you develop a powerful online presence.

Read more about our web design and development services