The advantages of Internet advertising far exceed that of traditional print publication through costs, availability, wider consumer markets, and the potential for increased profit margins. Considering that traditional print methods and distribution are tried and true, the technological trends of the Internet surpass it at each level of the marketing process. In evaluating this statement, consider the following in each of the aforementioned areas.
To better understand the differences, some clarity in the two advertising mediums must be identified. Traditional print advertising is composed of common marketing collateral. Most of us better define this collateral as brochures, pamphlets, newspaper advertisements, billboards, business cards, and the like. Internet advertising is the conglomeration of electronics-a computer, or server, residing of the same marketing collateral on a professionally designed website, which is also better known as an electronic storefront. Lastly, a promotion, or campaign can be illustrated in the perspective of a “buy one, get one free” or “twenty-percent off, this week only” sales, and the process each business must adhere to, in distributing that information out to the consumer.
In evaluating costs in traditional print publication, hefty expenses are incurred through ad design for each campaign or promotion, printing fees, and storage facilities to house the boxes and bundles of material. Further, there is the distribution cost to analyze; the costs of labor to compile the marketing material, transportation to deliver the quantities of print material, and of course, the postage itself. When these expenses are applied to television and radio media, the costs may soar into five and six figure domains. If a traditionally printed promotion requires an error modification, it may incur nearly all of the costs to be paid, yet a second time, even for something as simple proofreader’s oversight. To illustrate this point, open any newspaper or magazine, and inspect them closely-both actually have sections specifically for corrections!
In contrast, while the initial startup costs of an Internet website may be at times comparable to that of a one-time promotion in traditional print media, the costs are considerably lower for the following reasons; there is no postage to affix, no expense bared for storage, delivery, or repeated design fees for each new promotion. The Internet website is reusable, recyclable, and rarely falls into redundancy with outdated material. Monthly fees are minimal for site hosting (the location of the actual website). When considering the advantages of Internet-based advertising, the error modification incurs little to no costs to repair typographical errors and wrong promotion dates. It’s much easier to fix an oversight like this at the spur of the moment, and often only takes a moment!
In addressing availability of a business, traditional print promotions are time-centered. The hours of a business or service are limited to the hours they are physically open, thereby limiting potential sales to consumers during the “off-hours.” Additionally, the promotion is viable for a set period of time, and upon the expiration of that set period, the costs are again presented in repeating the same process for each individual promotion.
Whereas the availability of an Internet website allows consumer access to information, and more importantly access to sales twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, throughout the entire year. This is also known as “24x7x365” availability. Furthermore, each promotion may not necessarily incur additional costs, requiring only a minor modification of dollar amounts, numbers, and verbiage for products and/or services in a short few minutes, as opposed to redesigning an entire promotion in traditional print with immediate access available to the public.
In weighing the advantages of Internet versus traditional print methods, the consumer market potential is extremely limited in the traditional venue with geographical restrictions in most media being available only to the local viewing area, and when larger budgets allow-national markets can be approached. Rarely can a small-mid-size business approach sales on a national, or global level.
By comparison, the Internet is an extreme opposite, having no physical or geographical limitations, and broadening the consumer base on the massive global scale. There is no cost associated with reaching and opening up the potential for consumers across the globe. The website is readily available to any consumer with a computer, and in this day and age, includes the majority of consumers throughout the world. There are no additional costs in reaching the expanded global markets.
Finally, the overall picture can be viewed in financial terms, or specifically, the profit margin. For each dollar that is spent in advertising, a business will take for granted, it will acquire a potential, paying customer. For comparison purposes, let us imagine, a business with a failed or badly timed promotion has incurred the costs of the traditional print media and expended much time and money into the profit per customer at the higher costs, while the Internet advertiser has a similar promotion, incurring little to no additional costs. This can be equated in dollars and common sense. For the traditional advertiser, it may seem like little with two dollars expended to reach a new customer, but not nearly as impressive as the dime or quarter it required for the Internet advertiser to reach an infinite number of potential customers.
The bottom line is that the advantages of Internet advertising do far exceed that of it’s traditional print predecessor, as reflected in the lessened costs, the ’24x7x365′ availability, the expanded consumer markets, and predominantly in the overall profit margin per each consumer.