What’s Your Promotion Mantra - Paper Media Vs Social Media

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1838 , Published on 28 July 2013

Paper Media and Social Media- How Different are they?

Medium of communication has been of prime importance for every business. The nature of the business defines what kind of medium can be adopted for planning on the promotional or expansion strategies of the business. The general mode has been the print media or paper media. Nowadays the social media is also gaining importance. Print media essentially deals with communicating through printing in newspapers and magazines. Social media deals with sharing information through networks over internet. With the fast moving world and increasing dominance of internet in the lives of the people, social media has become an attractive option for the businesses in order to capture customer base. The dilemma will always exist what should be the right medium for the management of a business. Exploring the details of the two leading media will be helpful in understanding which media can be suitable for businesses. Paper media is old, but social media is relatively new. Should business stick to paper media or change route towards social media? Which is profitable? Which is effective? There is no concrete answer to all these questions. These questions can only be answered based on the business under consideration. Nevertheless, a comparative study of the two medium will help in getting some insights to the above questions.

Navigating through Pros and Cons:

Paper media, though very old, has its set of advantages even today. Pointing out a few of those is as follows:

  • It is cost effective
  • Can be made available in various languages easily
  • Easy to target educated mass
  • More detailed information about the product or the service being promoted can be given.

Promotion always aims at placing the product at the right place in the market among the right set of target audience. Using paper as a promotion medium easily reaches those who are regular newspaper and magazine readers. Even if the advent of internet has changed the world used to be before the 90s, still there is a demand for paper reading and print media method of communication. But at the same time there is no guarantee that the newspaper or the magazines will be read by the target audience. As a result of which, it becomes very uncertain whether the promotion will help in capturing potential customers. In this fast paced world, people generally have time crunch in every activity of their daily life. So even if one picks up a newspaper, that person might just have cursory glance at the main news and ignore the rest of the paper. So the probability of a print ad being helpful in promoting a product or a service is variable. At times it may strike the right chord, and at other it may just be a silent space in the paper. The variance in the behavior of the people becomes a defining factor how paper is suitable for promotion. If the target market is very small town or rural area where the internet access is limited then more importance should be given to using the paper as a medium of promotion. It is because in those places, where there is limited accessibility to internet or even smartphones , people look up to the newspaper as their window to the world. So the chances of attracting the customers are quite high in those areas.

Social media is the buzz word these days. School going children may not be interested in reading but are quite active in the social media platform sharing their thoughts, ideas and views on topics of their interest. Some of the advantages of social media are as follows:

  • Helps in creating brand awareness among a larger customer base over the web based platform
  • Better communication with customer thus making it easy to solve the queries in less time.
  • Cost saving
  • A dynamic platform to experiment innovations.

Social media is in fact an extension of the “word of mouth” marketing. It helps in coming closer to the audience in a short span of time. It leads to the positioning of a brand or any new product in a very small span of time. In addition it also reaches a much wider client base as compared to that of paper media. The internet is a pool of millions of users. So segmenting them and reaching them over the internet is what social media aims at. People of all age groups are social media active users. So be it any product, promoting it through this medium is a good beginning of a bright future. Social media has its unique tools which help in spreading a message or promoting a product very quickly to a vast group of people. With its numerous advantages, social media is ruling the hearts of many these days. But the point to think over is, what to do when we need to promote a product in a place where people have very less or no accessibility to internet. In such cases social media will not work, rather the traditional ways of promotions need to be adopted here. It is true that social media helps in promoting product/service very fast, but at the same time it can also spread a negative word about the brand in no time. The tools which help in sharing comments are equally dangerous. One sharing of negative comment can lead to cascading of such comments and defame a brand. So the promotional activities through social medium need to be done meticulously and with proper planning.

Current Market Significance

This is the age of internet and smartphones. People stay connected with the world over the internet and round the clock. So social media has attracted many brands to launch their campaigns on popular social networking platform to take feedback from customers and implement their ideas to make their products better. Brands are also organizing contests to attract the younger generation and thus the products get promoted. Social media leads to a greater degree of customer engagement, so it is quite often seen as a good option to promote a new product or revamped product. Social media is faster, cheaper, and meets a huge customer base.

War or peace?

With the increase in the choice and preferences of the people, the demand of new and innovative products is also increasing every day. With that, there is also a steep increase in competition among brands. So companies look forward to introducing new methods of promoting their products. There often goes on a war among companies to demonstrate the best promotion method. Some prefer paper as the medium and some try the social media platform. The competitive spirit among the brands has given rise to innumerable creative tactics of brand positioning. If paper media and social media can be utilized in unison then it may work wonders for promotions as well.

Is a Handshaking possible?

Paper and social media are different in their ways of communication, but combining the both can help the promotion activity to a great extent. A right promotional mix is the need of the hour. One cannot just stick to one particular medium of connecting with the customers. So the right way of integration both will definitely enhance the business activities of the company involved. Spreading news through paper and magazines and social media sharing of ads or updates about products can be adopted together as well to harness much better audience base. Strategies of both will be different, but aligning those towards a common goal is the trigger to set the wheels of the business running.

There is nothing next to Best!

In my opinion, the medium of promotion should be chosen depending on what product is to be promoted and which is the geography and audience to be targeted. If the product caters to a much wider customer base, then the right mix of both strategies can bring good results as well. Any medium of approach should be able to meet three major of concern as follows

1. Business Case: Any medium adopted should always add to the business value. So this needs to be planned properly.

2. Social Collaboration: How well can a promotional initiative target the customers and engage them.

3. Resource Management: A proper management of all resources involved in the promotions.

But marketers should always remember that it is very easy to get lost in today’s world, the point is to be different and stand out of the crowd.

This article has been authored by Swetali Kar by XIMB






If you are interested in writing articles for us, Submit Here