Print Advertising For Small Business: Is it Worth it ?!!!

Each year companies, big brands, small businesses in the US spend around 160 billion – 260 billion on advertising (1) that is huge investment! And definitely that means they are doing it because it works or does it ?

Note: Print advertising here refers to: brochures, flyers, leaflets, booklets etc excluding newspaper advertising.

Print advertising in Small Business
Let’s consider things in context of a small business, I have selected print advertising for several reasons; first with little creativity you can do wonders, can grab target audience attention for almost eternity (okay that eternity thing is not true ;p but still creativity delivers, we all know that!).

And even if you are not creative, now you can be! Its easy, read this little article Secrets of Creative Print Ads Revealed .
Second most of the small businesses (esp. new ones) can’t afford other advertising mediums.

Third, it is actually something that small business owner can control almost in real time, manage which is not possible in other mediums.

And that controls offers small business owner a window to look into print advertising more objectively, He can measure its ROI plus gaining better insight thus tweaking things (print advertising timing, message, design, frequency etc) accordingly.

Fourth, print advertising has quite good long life, I mean you see your suppliers years old brochures, booklets on your office desks right? 

And you are too lazy to save those contact numbers (on printed brochures..) rather you pick up that brochure whenever you want to contact your supplier… 

The truth is TV/Internet/Radio advertising doesn’t have that kind of life! Unless you have a super hit ad, that have gone viral and so people watch it over and over on YouTube! And that is quite rare!

So here we have Four good solid reasons to consider print advertising

1.      Creativity
2.    It is relatively cheap, affordable 
3.      Control, Insight, Measurable ROI 
4.      Longer life compared to other mediums

Now still the question remains, is it worth it?

Well to answer that, I would ask you guys to do market test to see if it’s worth it!

Print Advertising Market Test

Market test that I personally do, is quite simple!

Step One Market Segmentation

First I split up market into certain segments, to test each segment for a different print ad (brochure, pamphlet, flyer). Each segment of my market is made up of certain numbers of retailers/wholesalers.

Step Two Setting Sales Officers Marketing Target

Then I assign distribution target of printed ads (specific amount) to each of my Retail/Whole Sales Officers (RSO/WSO), these targets are usually for 10 days at maximum.

The printed ads that are distributed in the market are actually selected by my whole team, we select usually best three printed ads in terms of design, message and then print those ads for market test according to each market segment number of retailers/wholesalers.

We usually give each retailer 15 print ads while 20-30 to wholesalers.

Step Three Monitoring Market

Then I monitor market, assessing affects of each type of print ad on sales/purchase orders/demand and compare it to the rest of printed ads impact on sales.

Now How I do that ? Simple

Step 1: My RSO's/WSO's daily bring me report of new sales, purchase orders from retailers/wholesalers.

Step 2: And since I have assigned each RSO/WSO to distribute a specific type of print ad in specific market segment to a specific number of retailers/wholesalers, so I know which retailer/wholesaler got which type of print ad.

Step 3: I minus the routine average demand/sales/purchase orders from the report provided by the RSO's/WSO's to see which type of print ad out of those three has brought the maximum number of purchase orders, sales.

That's how I assess response from each market segment and measure potential ROI by all three printed messages (ads).

Step four Utilizing the best print ad

After assessing market response for each message (print advertising) from each market segments, I go for the one with the healthiest response in terms of sales/purchase orders. 

And usually utilize that specific print ad until I want to offer something new to my target market.

And that’s how I find if it worth it or not!

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About Publisher Arshad Amin

Certified SEO Professional, Small Business, Start-up, Marketing Expert with ton's of practical, actionable ideas, insights to share, Proud Founder and Owner of and


  1. The blog is unique that’s providing the nice material. Please post more interesting articles here.

    1. Hello Lauren, thanks for stopping by and appreciating my work, thank you so much, means a lot to me! :-)

      I have written hundreds of articles on different aspects of business, if you want to read similar articles please dig out this blog further, you will definitely love.

      Plus I have written in Urdu language too, for local readers so just avoid those or you can translate them too with google translate to see if the translation makes any sense ;-p

      Thank you for stopping by and do let me know if you need more help, thanks!


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