Studies show that print advertising is still more effective than online or digital formats, but many small businesses refrain from allocating an adequate portion of their advertising budget to print precisely because of the expense. However, print marketing need not be a costly endeavor. If coordinated efficiently, small businesses can run a print ad or marketing campaign that is small and inexpensive, but effective.
"To be effective, advertising must be interruptive – that is, it must make you stop thumbing through the newspaper or thinking about your day long enough to read or hear the ad," writes Susan Jacksack of the small business consultancy group SCORE. "Advertising must also be credible, unique and memorable in order to work."
As for limited-financing print campaigns, spread your ads through as many mediums as possible. Posters, newspapers, brochures, street flyers, small billboards – these are all effective ways to attract the attention of ground-level audiences. Be creative and unique in your design and message, but maintain simplicity.
Ubiquity is also important. Aside from sheer volume of advertisements, small businesses should strive to generate exposure with their campaigns as frequently as possible. Even with limited funding, writes Jacksack, "Enough money must be spent to provide a media schedule for ad frequency, the most important element for ad memorability."