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Who’s still spending their advertising budget on print?

A recent article on Search Engine Land tried to identify the six types of PPC skeptics. Who are the people still holding out against online, pay-per-click advertising? If they ignored it because they thought it was a passing fad, history has shown that didn’t happen. Even companies in conservative sectors like engineering and science are now spending much more on search engine advertising than they are on magazine advertising, for example.

So what’s holding back the rest? Well, there are always companies which are quite happy building their business without any advertising. It can be done just through networking, PR or direct mail. However, it’s hard to comprehend those which are still spending all their advertising budget on print (and believe me, we’ve tried to understand). Some of their budget, if the PPC opportunities are being worked hard, sure; that seems fair enough. But all of the budget on print? In 2016? Why would that be?

One explanation is print ads still get noticed by senior management. Their benefit is their physical presence. Online adverts struggle to compete. Their benefit is results, which is a less tangible concept. A three line advert on a Google search results page really can’t compete with a magazine advert in that respect, even if it does wipe the floor with print advertising in terms of results. And we shouldn’t underestimate the capability of experienced magazine advertising sales reps from being able to hang on to their business…

However, there comes a time when the return on investment from search engine advertising just can’t be overlooked. A monthly budget of £1000 will easily get 200 engaged visitors to a company’s website. Guaranteed. And a page advert in a magazine? Don’t make me laugh.

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