The Advantages to Print Advertising

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From online banner ads to television commercials and radio spots, advertising permeates daily life. Large companies frequently invest millions of dollars per year in advertising campaigns to sell new products or boost the sales of existing products. Like major companies, small businesses also use advertising to get the word out about their products and services or to better position themselves in the local market. But in the battle for a bigger share of customers, print advertisements offer businesses several advantages.

Print advertisements generate the best results across four of the five components of the purchase funnel--the process customers go through from initial brand contact to buying decision. The purchase funnel consists of brand awareness, ad awareness, message association, brand favorability and purchase intent. These ads perform equally in message association to ads in other media, but provide the best results in the area of intent to purchase. For a small business seeking to maximize the return on investment for advertising, print advertising also outperforms both television and Internet advertising.

Watching television and listening to the radio are passive processes, in which devices provide images and sounds that may or may not compel attention. The person who picks up a brochure or business card makes a conscious decision to engage the words and images on the page. The reader must physically turn page, look at all the material and make choices about what to read.

Advertisements must connect with customers and convince them to make a purchase. Internet users often spend a few seconds or less on a Web page before browsing elsewhere, which can make it difficult for an advertisement to catch their attention. In addition, Web users can install ad-blocking software to prevent ads from appearing on websites. However, readers may spend several minutes reading a brochure or localized mail ad, which gives advertisements more time to connect with customers and influence decisions.

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