Are physical ads better than online?

Advertising has always been a crucial factor in running successful businesses. This is clear from the continued growth of advertising spending across the globe.

Advertising has always been a crucial factor in running successful businesses. This is clear from the continued growth of advertising spending across the globe.
Image credits: unsplash.com/@aleks_marinkovic

Studies suggest that advertising spend will continue to rise into 2022, surpassing post-pandemic levels, with a predicted increase of 10.4% in spending in 2021. With an increase in spending comes an increase in competition for ad positions and consumer attention. This will lead to many smaller businesses with smaller budgets needing to be smart and creative with their advertising spend.

Below we explore why physical ads may be a better option than online advertising.

Why Advertise?

Many companies reinvest a considerable percentage of their turnover in advertising. One study by Gartner highlights that CMOs are consistently spending upwards of 10% of total revenue on marketing and advertising, with only a small dip during the pandemic.

Advertising is often considered an essential part of doing business. Yet many marketers don’t take the time to consider the exact benefits of investing in advertising such as building brand loyalty and awareness, increasing sales and remaining competitive.

The Downside of Online Ads

Online advertising and digital marketing have shifted from experimental budget spend to the main concern of the modern marketer. There are many reasons to use online marketing such as the ability to hyper-target your audience and engage them with professional content.

However, many of the benefits of online advertising are no longer applicable. Once a budget-friendly way to reach your audience, online consumer attention is becoming more desirable and as a result - more expensive.

Changing Marketing Spend

The shift from physical to digital advertising is clear when you see recent figures highlighting where marketers plan on allocating their advertising budget spend in 2022.

Digital methods such as online video ads (76%), branded content by influencers (71%), ads on social media stories (70%) and online display ads (55%) are all seeing huge increases in spend. Physical methods of advertising such as billboard/outdoor ads are seeing slower growth at 6% and radio ads (-8%), magazine ads (-53%) and newspaper ads (-55%) are all seeing a decline in spend.

Not only are digital methods of advertising becoming increasingly competitive and expensive, but consumers are also becoming less receptive to them with 42.7% of global internet users report using an ad blocker at least once a month.

Ad blindness also plays a role in the drop in effectiveness of online ads - we have all looked around the room or played on our phone impatiently as we are forced to watch an ad before getting to the YouTube video we really wanted to watch.

Why Use Physical Ads?

Smart marketers and advertisers will spot an opportunity in the statistics outlined in the previous section, seeking the sweet spot between methods that are super competitive and expensive and those that are no longer relevant.

Outdoor ads, events and pop-up shops are all examples of these sweet spots. These methods of advertising are still highly applicable due to their ability to capture audience attention and offer incredible value for money due to relative low awareness.

Physical advertising is more likely to be listened to than digital methods. A survey by Forrester found the following results in order of ‘most listened to’ types of advertising:

  • In-store ads (43%)
  • Outdoor ads (42%)
  • Ads on social media (33%)
  • Ads in search results (28%)

Intent also plays a big role in the benefits of using physical ads. When browsing online, we could be passing the time, working, researching or looking for helpful information. Yet during this time, we are constantly bombarded with often irrelevant advertisements.

Physical ads, especially in the case of in-store ads, allow brands to target consumers when they are already intent on making a purchase.

Physical Ads: Better Than Online Ads?

It is clear that physical ads such as in-store ads and outdoor ads are less competitive, more affordable and more appealing to consumers than digital options. Although online advertising certainly has a role to play in successful marketing, smart marketers will strongly consider the role that physical ads could and should play in their advertising strategy.

As more brands move their budgets to digital methods, the opportunities available through the use of physical ads are only set to increase.

Written by POP UP SHOPS - November 30, 2021

Related article: Retailtainment - The Future of Retail?

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