Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet and Newspaper Advertising
By Scott Cornell
Think of it as old school versus new school - newspaper print advertising and Internet advertising. While newspaper advertising is one of the oldest forms of advertising, Internet advertising is the newest. Both have their pros and cons, in terms of price, reach and traceability. However, they can both be effective outlets for marketing your business, depending on the demographic and region you're attempting to reach.
Newspaper advertising is advertising that readers are likely to spend the most time looking over. Furthermore, you can target newspaper ads to particular groups of consumers. For instance, if you're advertising a new electronic gadget, you can have your ad appear in the "Tech" section of the paper. If you want to target a specific city or region, you can place your ad in the newspaper's various regional sections. Furthermore, you have flexibility in your ad - you can run half pages, full pages, quarter pages or classifieds, depending on what fits your budget.
The biggest disadvantage to advertising in a newspaper is that readership via print mediums is declining, meaning that less people are being exposed to your ad. Declining circulations are due to a combination of factors, such as more people accessing information on the Internet and the 2008 economic recession. For instance, the Houston Chronicle and Newsday - two of the country's top circulating newspapers, experienced circulation declines of 10.53 and 11.84 percent, respectively, from 2009 to 2010, according to the website State of the Media. What's more, newspapers are still among one of the most expensive ways to advertise.
The two biggest advantages with Internet advertising are its potential to reach a global audience and its low cost. Unlike a newspaper, when you advertise online, your ad isn't just going to subscribers, but to a much wider audience, so your potential to reach a large number of prospects is improved. In addition, Internet advertising is inexpensive compared to more traditional advertising methods. It's also easy to track results, so you can determine which online outlets are and aren't working for your ads.
The increased reach potential of online advertising is arguably also one of its downfalls. For instance, the Internet is huge, competitive and it's unlikely that your online ad is going to be seen beyond readers of a particular website, unless you're doing some heavy promotion yourself. What's more, Internet advertising is easy to ignore or skim over, compared to readers who commit time to reading a hard copy magazine or newspaper. Finally, Internet ads are only seen by those who own and operate a computer, meaning that online-only ads potentially isolate an important group of customers.