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Web, print, outdoor: it’s ALL good – Working Words

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Web, print, outdoor: it’s ALL good

Recently I saw an ad for one of my favorite web-based marketing companies, VerticalResponse.  I use VR all the time for my wedding publishing company, and for several of my consulting clients —  it’s a fantastic tool for creating and tracking email marketing campaigns.)

Anyway — back to the ad — what was notable about this campaign was the medium: a bus back.  VR does a great job with social media (they have a lively blog, and they promote it politely and regularly to their clients, plus they are often featured on other companies’ blogs) and with web marketing.  But, what impressed me was that this web-based business was using a very old school medium alongside their excellent use of technology.

Why does this impress me so?  I too often find clients — and, especially, marketing consultants in the web marketing and social media space — have the idea that other forms of advertising must be left behind once social media and other web marketing tools are embraced. 

Forum posts on the need to choose one or the other abound: “Which is better PR — pickup in a blog or in print?” “My clients still want to use print — how do I convince them to migrate to social media?” etc., etc.

But, why must it be one or the other? Print, television, events and outdoor all still have their place in my view.  They’re still more efficient at reaching large numbers of targeted eyeballs en masse in many cases — especially for audiences that are less dedicated to electronic media sources, but, even for younger, more wired audiences, they can sometimes be more reliable and efficient.  And, they can often be purchased in combination with web advertising on related sites.  What’s more, in today’s market, pricing is adjusting in step with smaller audiences and the shifting economy, making traditional media a better value than ever.  Even television is becoming more targeted and affordable for smaller companies than ever before. On the flipside, the costs of web 2.0 can be much higher than expected, because of man-hours needed to maintain blogs, participate in forums, etc. — for many small companies, it’s not possible to move the needle using social networking alone.

There are those few audiences that have moved almost entirely away from traditional media for their work-related reading — it’s conceivable that technology professionals are probably no longer efficiently reached via traditional media, for example.  But, I believe it’s wrong to generalize.  I’m using a blend of media for most of my clients these days, and achieving better, more cost-effective results this way.


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