Advertising: Print vs. Digital Discussion

Depending on your age, advertising may have varying degrees of importance in your life, and your choices when purchasing goods and services. Advertising in black and white in the local paper was a significant “first step” for advertising, for both the publication as well as the featured company; a real win-win proposition. These print ads began in the latter half of the 1800s and are still seen today. They are especially robust around the holidays as retailers highlight sales and feature new products.

Montgomery Wards and Sears made the print ads in a dedicated company catalogue famous in the late 1800s. These catalogues were mailed to your home a couple times a year until the early 2000s. While these publications may have started off in black and white, they progressed through the years, and are now issued in vibrant color and printed on glossy paper. Both company catalogues remained an iconic publication for over a century. Of course, many imitated these two power house publications, however their place in Americana was well established.

Within the past 50 years, there has been a surge of magazines that are full of articles, pictures and advertisements. These magazines typically target a certain audience, offering relevant or topical information, as well as cross advertising to a variety of different groups (or sales market sectors). Today, there are multiple magazine brands for every interest category, or business you can imagine. Advertising

In the 1960s, we saw the boom of TV, in the mid-90s came the explosion of the internet, and in today’s technology rich world we have mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in the palm of our hands. This technology has changed the way we do business, search for goods and services, and even advertise. What has most profoundly affected how we connect and share information, however, is a variety of social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). These technological advances provide a perfect platform to advertise to the masses faster, more often, in more methods, and generally cheaper. They also help define our culture in a digital age, similar to that of the industrial revolution, but perhaps more far reaching. iPad and Computer

The historical and nostalgic practice of print advertising has coexisted with the increasing popularity of digital and social media advertising predominately for the last 15 years. As a marketing manager or company executive, one has to only look on the web for the answers to the following questions; although they can also turn to their peers and managers:

  • What is the best way to advertise to attract customers and to make a sale of a good or service?
  • Is print advertising dead?
  • Does print advertising provide more return on your investment (ROI) or does digital advertising?
  • In terms of customer acquisition and connection, is advertising a worthy investment for any company as a foundation to attracting new and repeat customers by word of mouth and by direct interaction, one at a time and face to face?

Advertising may certainly have varying levels of importance depending on the market or industry your company is involved in. For example, the fashion industry provides goods, whereas the construction industry provides services (and sometimes goods). Each industry must tailor their advertising and marketing campaigns towards the proper audience in order to see results. Each industry must also make different marketing decisions.

There is sufficient expert opinion that for a sales or marketing plan to be balanced it must include print advertising, digital advertising, social media advertising, and word of mouth/direct customer interaction. The argument being that a balanced approach supports the theory that a consumer (of goods or services) must be brand aware, have trust in the brand, and be connected to that brand (and company) several times, and in several ways, before a sale can be secured. Buesing Ad Example

Each company must ask and answer the aforementioned questions, among others, and then conclude what is best for their business goals, strategy, and budget. The advertising concept of enticing a prospective buyer to purchase your goods or services based on a picture and a few words seems simple enough. However, the implementation and sustainability of advertising following the typical what, when, where, who, and why question matrix is not that easy, especially in our ever changing world.

This blog was written by Buesing Corp., and considers the wide-ranging aspect of advertising, with minor context of the construction industry. I would love feedback regarding this blog to gleam from your perspective and what side of the advertising fence you are on; print side or digital. Perhaps, you removed the fence and planted a tree.

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