Are Print Ads a Waste of your Marketing Dollars?



At a recent Real Estate conference I attended, the speaker told the room full of agents that print advertising is basically useless. Many nodded in agreement. She’s not alone in her assessment – many think print media is in its final days. But something about it didn’t sit right with me. I’m not yet ready to abandon print media. And I’m not alone either.

19% of all US ad spending in 2013 was invested in print media.[1]

 Any magazine or newspaper you read will contain print ads by big companies who market with purpose and precision. They know what they’re doing. And they’re investing nearly a fifth of their entire marketing budget on print media.

The funny thing about print marketing is that it doesn’t often yield immediate sales. Why else in the name of all that is frozen would one advertise, you ask? Because not every business action is designed to garner a sale. I love the way James Archer puts it:

Marketing is food. It’s the regular, sustained nourishment that gets your business where you want it—and keeps it there. You need it throughout the day, every day.  Inexperienced companies regard marketing as medicine to be taken when something is wrong. (“Not enough customers? Take some marketing and call me in the morning.”)[2]

In the cooling local market, I can understand why Real Estate agents might consider advertising a waste. It’s expensive, and does not yield immediate monetary gains – gains sorely needed in slow times.

I agree with Archer, and Peter Drucker and other marketing moguls, that marketing is a long game. The benefits of continued marketing – like creating a customer base, or preventing reputation rot – are well worth the investment.

Even in slow times, (maybe especially then?) I plan to continue my marketing just as I have. I will focus on my local area where I want to do business. Even in print. To exclude print from my marketing plan would exclude an entire demographic. No, I plan to continue to invest in brand building. Slowly and steadily, I’ll continue to build familiarity with my business and what I’m about. People will know, like and trust me before we even meet. And that’s an investment worth making.


How about you? Do you invest in print ads? Why or why not?





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