Once upon a time, newspapers controlled the world. People depended on newspapers for information and news.

Businesses took advantage of this and started placing pictures of their products and services.

They were great opportunists. Cause Effect thinks you should be one too.

If you’re still investing in newspapers, you’re following an old trend.

The world has gotten SOOO MUCH better at disseminating information and news.

The world is going paperless. This includes newspapers.

You should start looking for the modern version of the classic newspaper.


Do Numbers Lie?

In 2015, The Star had a circulation of 272 507 newspapers daily*. They also have a claimed readership of 1,185,000 readers*.

*This statistic was acquired from Nielsen

This means that the rough estimate is each newspaper is read by 5 people. We highly doubt that.

Even if that’s true, do they read the whole paper? Do they only read the funnies? The Business section?

Malaysia had a population of 30,331,007 that year. This means that at best, The Star is reaching only 4% of the population!

Compare that to Facebook’s 19 million users* in Malaysia. A WHOPPING 62.4%!

*This information was acquired by internetworldstats.com

Put an ad on every paper in Malaysia and you would still not reach that amount.

We value journalism highly. We think that journalism is important in disseminating news and credible information.

Advertising, on the other hand, is business.

So let’s start talking about it. Are newspaper ads still relevant?

We don’t think so. Here are 7 reasons why we think you should never place an ad in the paper ever again.

1. Cost

If you want to market your business, cost determines EVERYTHING!

You can refer to the prices above for how much a newspaper ad on The Star will cost.

As for Facebook, it’s a performance-based advertisement.

You only pay for the ad when somebody acts on it.

How much? That’s completely up to you. The efficiency of the ad depends on how you create it and the target market you choose.

Facebook Advertising can cost anywhere from RM0.70 to RM4.00+* per click.

Be warned, though. The price range is heavily dependent on your industry, the size of your audience, and the quality of your ad.

If you place an ad for an ad for an oil rig support system on Facebook to a very small audience, the cost will go higher than the range provided.

Having said that, Facebook is extremely cost effective. The cost efficiency for a Facebook ad ultimately gives you more options and resources to improve your other marketing efforts as well.


2. Less Friction

Friction is important in communication. What does it mean?

Friction is interactions that inhibit people from intuitively and painlessly achieving their goals within a digital interface.

In simpler terms, they’re what makes it harder for users to do what you want them to do.

Let’s take a look at the friction of a newspaper ad.


Let’s assume you want to research the company.

Step 1 – Read the ad (Newspaper)

Step 2 – Make a purchase decision (Newspaper)

Step 3 – Take a picture of the ad (Phone)

Step 4 – Type in the link from the ad (Phone)

Step 5 – Read Website (Phone)

Step 6 – Type In The Number (Phone)

Step 7 – Call (Phone)

Let’s do the same thing with a Facebook Ad.

Step 1 – Read (Phone)

Step 2 – Make A Purchase Decision (Phone)

Step 3 – Click (Phone)

Step 4 – Read Website

Step 5 – Call (Phone)

Facebook makes it easy to act immediately from an ad. You can do it all from your phone with just a few movements of your fingers. It takes LESS TIME too.

You lose fewer customers through the process. That’s important. That means your ad reaches and converts more people when you have less friction.

You know you’re going to lose this coupon.

3. Variety Of CTAs (Call To Actions)

What is a CTA? It’s a message to ask the potential customer to make an action (buy, click, fill up a form, learn and etc).

A newspaper has to lead you elsewhere to make an action. Call, visit this page, come to this area and etc.So the CTAs available there are limited. In most cases, it’s call this number.

A Facebook ad allows you to direct an ad to A LOT of different options.

There are lead generation forms on Facebook, your website, landing pages and call buttons. With the invention of new technology, you can direct different parts of the same ad to different links. Because it’s cheaper, you can have multiple ads with different CTAs.

This allows you to create more efficient ads to target niche markets. You can create ads to sell your products (Buy Now), lead generation (contact form), branding (learn more) and even remarketing. We wrote a whole article about that. Make sure you read it!


4. Targeting & Messaging

Targeting is important for advertising. When you place an ad in a newspaper, you’re talking to everybody who reads the paper.

They might not be earning enough to purchase your products. They might be too young. They might be too old. They might not qualify for your service.

With Facebook, you can target your ads to specific categories of people. The only people who see your ads are the people who can act on it.

This changes everything. If you create an ad for people who own a Toyota, you can customise the message to suit them.

“Get A Free RM50 rebate when you take your Toyota for servicing at XYZ Sdn Bhd! “

If the right people sees a good ad, more of them will act. This means more sales!

You also spend less money on marketing through Facebook. This means you can make more ads. Target different niches. Expand your reach.

You can focus on growth instead of survival.

facebook-targeting-user-acquisition-4-638 (1)

5. Flexibility

You launch an ad in the newspaper for a month. That’s a big risk.

So you spend more money to make it.

What if it still fails?

A Facebook ad is flexible. If it’s not working, you can optimise it. You can change the placement, words, image, ad type and targeting. Keep experimenting until your ad works. Minimise your risks. Facebook ads cost less and there are more options.

Change it every day if you want to. No deadlines.

Stop the ad. Run a different one. Take calculated risks.

Flexibility allows you to learn what works for your target. You can keep improving to achieve the best impact from Facebook.

This means Facebook is scaleable. You can use it for a small cafe. You can also use it to market an entire country.

You can make mistakes on Facebook. You can learn more. Achieve more. Relate better with your customers.


6. Does It Work?

Here’s one of the best reasons to stop advertising on the newspaper.


Do you know how many people saw your ad? Do you know how many people called you because of your ad?

How many people hated it? How many people bought your product because of it?

You don’t.

You can only guess. The truth is the creative agencies designing your ads are probably guessing too.

Facebook gives you real-time updates on your ads. You can find out how many people have seen it, clicked the buttons and even how many people dismissed it.

This allows you to learn how your niche targets think. You can learn what they like. You can learn what they hate.

When you know the people you’re selling to, you sell better.

We can’t think of a better way to learn.



Facebook allows you to be flexible, attack niche markets, encourage more actions, increase your conversion, save cost, have a higher reach and track your ad impact.

What more can you ask for?

That’s where people are today.

Facebook is where people are making purchases, looking for entertainment, information and communicating.

In short, it’s the modern newspaper.


The Star’s on Facebook here too. Your customers are most probably reading the news here now.

Cause Effect has a lot of respect for The Star as a news organisation, but businesses can find better ways to advertise these days.

We sincerely hope they will not be offended by this article.

Tell us what you think about this article. Let’s discuss it on our Facebook page.

If you’re interested to know more about advertising on Facebook, make sure to read our articles! Better yet, send us an email (click on the button below) and we can talk over coffee.

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