No Big Budget Also Can Do Print Advertisement!

No Big Budget Also Can Do Print Advertisement!


Those who know me would know that I believe in building wealth through smart marketing with limited budget. Even if you say you don’t have a single cent in your marketing war chest, I will still say you can market, advertise and promote yourself, your product and your services. Email marketing, viral marketing, referral marketing, word-of-mouth marketing are just some great methods that you can “DIY”. If you don’t know, there are plenty of websites offering good and free advice that works. “But you can’t do print advertisement!”

Print advertisement is easily the most expensive after TV and radio commercials in among traditional media. A quarter page full colour advert in the news section of The Straits Times (in Singapore) during the weekend is S$16,600 (or USD11,900). A full page, full colour right-hand page ad in the leading periodical, Her Word, is S$5300 (or USD3800). That’s a lot of money for small business owners. And that’s exactly why many of them give print advertising a miss.

Print advertising, comprising largely of press advertising and magazine advertising, are extremely important to create and shape, or even to change and correct the perceived values of your target audience. They are even more important if your products/services are targeted at a niche that sees internet and multimedia stuff as unreliable. Not incorporating print advertising within your marketing campaign will be a bad idea.

Barter trade is not big in Singapore and very, very rarely do we even hear from the grapevine that a publication is willing to barter advertising pages. Folks in the United States are more fortunate in the sense that they can actually bid for advertising space in print media. In other words, they don’t pay the standard rate card rates. They bid and if successful, can save as much as 90% off rate-card rates. This is something I wish we can have in Singapore. But I honestly don’t see how it can be feasible due to our small collection of local publications. USA is big and size does matters. Because the many media will be vying and fighting aggressively for a slice of the advertising pie. As an advertiser, you will stand to gain somehow. If you doubt what I have just shared, go visit this media paradise call Mediabids ( It is a big market place offering close to 5000 newspapers, journals, magazines, trade magazines, etc. Whether you opt for magazine advertising or newspaper advertising, you can enjoy saving as high as 75% or more.

Why so cheap? I honestly have no idea, and so I went Googling for answers. Someone said in a forum that these are leftover space. So rather than waste them, might as well put it up for sales. Hmmm… whatever, more importantly, it is a win-win for everybody.

Interestingly, the Mediabid folks also have what they call an advertising auction. Essentially, an advertiser puts their ad budget out to bid, and publications submit bids of ad space for the dollar amount they wish to spend in their publication. That’s creative media buying.

3 Replies to “No Big Budget Also Can Do Print Advertisement!”

  1. Hi Vivienne!
    This is a good piece! Print is damn costly; but offers like these make small-time clients to advertise and get the mileage.

  2. Kudos to you Vivienne on this refreshing and realistic take on what many in the social media arena has unfairly lambasted and ridiculed. Like you, I FIRMLY believe in the value of print advertising (of course I also believe in new media but that’s a separate discussion which I’ll save for another day). Not everybody has gone online and in Singapore, you will be surprised how many still do not trust Internet merchants.

    There are benefits to print advertising and one will be surprised that there are many affordable options. Even Classified ads can be quite a powerful way of drawing business if you find the right combination of offers and words to draw eyeballs.

    In Singapore, the duopoly of SPH (which is the bigger print player) and MediaCorp has resulted in a fairly rigid pricing system when it comes to print spaces. Smaller independent media houses are more flexible when it comes to bartering advertising spaces for other in kind benefits, but unfortunately most of their publications have a limited reach which goes to niche audiences.

  3. It’s a well known fact that direct advertising sales generate more ad income than adwords tradedoubler. So it’s just amazing to me how so many sites dont have any kind of ad rate card, ad pricing or even a advertising link for potential advertisers to contact.

    I’m trying to change this. is free and open for everyone.

    Also if we think about print publications, they may have rate cards but only PDF – even still today! when web is going from 2.0 to 3.0, print advertising sales are still back in 80’s

    Still – blogs and small print publications have very good and high quality reader and pin point target groups…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.