SME tips: Reasons to include offline local newspaper/magazine media in your marketing strategy

Small businesses in the UK are still suffering from the lingering effects of the recent economic recession. For many, this has resulted in a reduction of revenue and a lack of sufficiency of capital to be able to develop a robust and effective marketing campaign for the future. To compensate for this problem, many SMEs are focusing their campaigns solely on social media and other Internet media channels. However, while this approach can have a positive effect on improving brand awareness, the diversity of the audience the message is being transmitted to means that it will not necessarily be targeted at the appropriate audience.

For many SMEs, their main audience is likely to consist of local businesses and consumers. Despite the increased use of social media as a means of purchase decision-making, a reasonable percentage of this target audience are still attracted by messages transmitted through offline media channels. This article highlights some of those media and identifies the benefits of using the offline newspaper as a means of enhancing the effectiveness of your marketing plan.

Benefits of newspaper & local magazine promotion

Audio/visual promotions, such as TV and Radio might be nice, but one has to question whether they provide adequate returns in terms of consumer coverage, return on investment, and increased sales? With such promotions, the viewer or listener often leaves the room to make tea when these are being aired, which devalues their effectiveness.

local newspapersUnlike these channels, local newspapers have a distinct advantage. Firstly, they are a low cost, if not free option for consumer purchase. Secondly, they provide interesting and relevant information about what is going on in the local area, which is of interest to most residents and businesses. More importantly, there are still a large number of consumers and businesses who wish to shop locally, and who will use local newspapers as a means of fulfilling this objective. In addition, the reader cannot so easily discard the advertising message as it tends to be mixed with the news and article text in the paper.

Furthermore, local newspapers are often read by more than one member of the household and, if discarded in a public place, such as a café, it likely to be picked up and read by other community members. This serves to increase the reach of the promotional message at no extra cost.

Conclusion

Yes, it is true that Internet media is increasingly being used as a means of brand promotion and marketing. However, that does not mean that SMEs should discard the impact of local newspaper adverting. It can be seen from this discussion that a marketing plan, which includes promotion in local newspapers will provide the small business with three benefits. First, it is a value-for-money program that provides an improved return on consumer response levels. Second, it will be more cost efficient for the business therefore easing cash flow pressure. Finally, it provides a local focused target audience for the brand message.

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