Why Newspaper Advertising Can Still Beat Social Media Hands Down

With all the interest in social media, especially the big boys like Facebook, a business-owners could be forgiven for thinking that old-fashioned types of advertising like newspaper advertising and direct mail no longer work or are no longer worth doing. There are now thousands of people calling themselves “internet marketing consultants”, and these people concentrate completely on online marketing, and don’t even think about some of the other methods. This is a mistake, and for two reasons.

Why Internet Marketing Is Not a Panacea

The first reason is that many internet marketing consultants talk about the latest fads as though they’re a cure-all, when many of them are completely missing the point. Just because a certain marketing technique is popular, it doesn’t mean it’s effective, and there’s no real hard evidence that posting on Facebook or creating hundreds of tweets a day puts money into your bank account. In many cases, social media can’t be tested, and there’s no way of knowing whether you’re getting a good return on investment, or even any return on investment at all.

The second reason is that internet marketing works only when you use it along with traditional techniques of direct response advertising. That means using the AIDA principle of advertising, getting prospects to take action, and then measuring accurately the returns you get. The business which uses these techniques will tend to get a much better return on advertising spend no matter which techniques it uses. It’s a bit like driving a car. If you’re a good driver, you tend to drive well no matter which car you use. If you’re a bad driver, you tend to drive badly. The make and model of the car is irrelevant.

Direct Mail Makes Money

A case in point. Many business-owners will swear that direct mail doesn’t work, and yet one of my clients recently sent out a direct mail piece and got a whopping 1,100% return on investment. And as if that wasn’t good enough, he sent out exactly the same letter a few months later, and got something like a 700% return on investment. Not too shabby for an outdated marketing method.

In another, case a colleague regularly places ads in the local paper. The ad costs around $2,500 to run, and he gets about $25,000 worth of business from it each time the ad appears. Why? Because after taking some advice from me, he created an ad that does all the things I mentioned above. It uses direct response principles to create attention and then asks the prospect to take action. The funny thing is that the “taking action” entails visiting a website and buying something – a great example of how old-fashioned marketing methods can be integrated with modern technology to great effect.

So next time you’re tempted to think the internet has all the answers to your marketing problems, spare a thought for that piece of direct mail and its 1,100% ROI. You’ll never think of old-fashioned advertising as being “old” ever again, and you might well have found a great way to boost your profits.

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