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Online Marketing vs. Offline Advertising : Where to Invest

When it comes to your marketing budget, you want to make the most out of every money you spend. Some businesses may have tighter budgets than others, which is why it is important to analyze which channels will benefit your marketing efforts the most.
The debate between digital and print advertising is a conversation that marketers have faced for quite some time. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks. However for companies working on a limited budget, it is hard to deny the fact that the cost of generating a qualified lead, as well as some brand exposure, is far less in digital than in print.

Print vs. Digital

Before we get to deep into weighing the different channels, lets clarify that when we discuss print advertising, we are strictly talking about magazines and billboards. For digital marketing we are referring to search engine ads, social media, and email marketing. For our research, we are looking at the cost of an impression, instead of a click or an actual lead, and what that cost looks like in both print and digital.
As we know, almost every company is online and starting to take part in digital marketing right now because it is easier to target, and the entry to barrier on digital is far lower than it is for print advertising. For companies that are working on a limited budget, the digital options are a way for a company to create a foundation for their marketing efforts, while print can do more from a branding prospective.

Print Ads

Print advertisements can be extremely beneficial to a company, especially if it is done consistently, and targeted properly. It is not something you just do one time in a magazine with a big name, it’s a long term game. When looking at the several different magazines, a full-page ad can cost you anywhere from $20,000-$300,000. With varying circulation numbers, the average CPM was between $140-$1,300.
Its important to consider that the number of magazines in a given circulation, does not equate the number of people that are going to see your ad. Since every magazine isn’t purchased, many are left on the stands by the time the next circulation comes out.

Digital Ads

When looking at digital ads for our own accounts as well as some of our clients, the CPM can range from $2.00 - $12.00. This is a big gap that is difficult to overlook. With search campaigns, you are able to customize them to target specific audiences, and make changes at any time. If you see that they are performing a certain way in your data, you can make adjustments to improve it or alter it in any way that you see fit.
What is even more interesting is the fact that for some digital marketing channels, your CPM can be free. Google display ads for example, charge you CPC instead of CPM. Overall, if you are looking to make the most out of a marketing budget, you can see your efforts go a long way with online marketing.

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