Online vs. Print advertising – Where to splurge and where to scrimp?

onlinePrintHere are a few guidelines that I suggest to people who are launching a new business, and who don’t know where to begin with their strategy:

If you are selling a local service, and people need to actually see you in person before you can make money, think of social media as a cherry-on-top service. Use it to communicate with current customers, and as a way for happy customers to spread the word about your amazing service. Don’t start out-of-the gates hoping to find your first clients this way. The people you meet online will likely function as a remote sales team by referring people to you. They will most likely not be your clients. Spend less here. If you put all of your advertising eggs into this basket you’re in for a long haul. Really long. (Pack enough hot-chocolate for a few winters and then wait some more.)

Where to spend: 
Spend your advertising budget on a fab brand, and wow-factor print materials. This way you can impress potential leads that live where they need to live in order to buy from you. When you meet them in person as you are busting your butt networking, use your amazing materials and your good elevator speech to woo them. Trustworthy print materials that are given to your target client will turn more profit than thousands of followers on twitter and a handful of website visitors from a foreign country.

Spend a little on your website. Make it relevant to your local clients, and spend a few hours a week blogging. Great content that is relevant to your business and to your area will help your website make its way to the top of your local google search.

If you sell a product: Yes. Social media is your friend. Your business is not geographically challenged, and so you should invest more online. Your website is your showcase and social media is your valet. Where to save: Save on newspaper ads and flyers. You can also save on your website design here. (Yes!) You can use a pre-made minimalist template to get up and running. Save by emailing, phone calling and going to local stores that may carry your product. Court them with your print materials and your well thought out product benefits list. You can do a simple site because it will still look stunning when you splurge in the following area:

Where to splurge: Branding and packaging. Make your product look phenomenal.
Extra-special package design will create intrigue and make your product look its best. Your basic, simple white website from a template will look great if your product itself looks great. Spend money on packaging and product shots.
You can slot these into a template brochure, and it will look decent because your product photos are amazing. By doing this you will be spending money on making your product WANT-worthy, and credible.

After your product looks spiffy, spend some money on your online marketing campaign. Hire an online strategist to work out a campaign strategy for your launch online. Social media could be a great tool for you.


Of course your website and brochures, social media strategy and online marketing are all important. Print is amazing for some businesses. If you need everything, and budget constraints mean that you can only make one thing great, the suggestions above will help you to take your first step.

Happy marketing~!




About Chris Donnelly

Chris Donnelly is a brand strategist and a launch specialist. She works with entrepreneurs to flesh out their values, their launch plans and that special unspoken secret ingredient that makes them unique in the marketplace.

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