Online vs Offline advertising in the Construction, Civil and Environmental industries

We are often asked our opinion about online/digital marketing in comparison to traditional (offline) marketing and how important it is for the Civil, Environmental and Construction Industry (CEE) specifically. With competition being fierce at all scales (local, national, and global), effective marketing is critical for any CEE firm seeking for a dynamic and sustained business growth. But when it comes to the decision where to allocate the marketing budget, there is a dilemma.

About 10 years ago, the majority of CEE firms would focus on offline advertisementin established printed magazines or at conferences. However, in recent years, data indicates that marketing expenditures of engineering firms on print advertising is declining, and online marketing continues to grow.

There are three major considerations in making decisions related to online and offline marketing: (a) cost; (b) messaging and targeting, and (c) accessibility. We review those next.


Traditional marketing in CEE includes primarily the following avenues:

  • Advertisement in Printed Magazines
  • Advertisement in Printed Magazines
  • Direct mail
  • Presence at conferences

These techniques have proven success, but generally remain expensive. Direct mailing is always costly. For some of them, such as the advertisement in printed magazines, it is very difficult to quantify the impact, since an ad in a printed magazine for example will be featured once, typically in one page of a multi-page magazine. Presence in conferences has the unique advantage of personal contact. This is a major advantage. However, the seller needs to compete for the attendees’ attention in the exhibition room. Not always easy.

On the other hand, online marketing has an adjustable cost.
If your CEE company is well presented and easy to find online you will definitely attract more potential leads. A good performing, responsive website offers greater opportunity and flexibility, and has trackable activity. We see a great percentage of our clients that invest time and money to redesigning their website; make it more user friendly and mobile optimized, in order to add value to their business because they have realized that online awareness is the key to their business success.

Messaging and Targeting
People may see your ad while reading a newspaper or a magazine, but there is no way to engage their attention! The ad runs once or just a couple of times. It’s seen by a number of people that is at best equal to the circulation size of the publication. However, you’ll never know how many actually read it. How many magazines/media do you receive every month and are you reading all of them? And all pages?

Online marketing provides greater opportunity and flexibility! You have the opportunity to choose the audience you want your message to be delivered to and the activity is trackable and measurable! Measurability is a huge advantage of online media, because of the ability to understand why, when and where customers need a product or service. Thus, promotion through industry websites such as our own (https://argo-e.com/our-cyber-infrastructure/), offers unprecedented opportunities for marketing for CEE firms! Interaction with your audience is also possible with the use of social media platforms! For all the CEE websites we are handling, on average 40.3% of social media traffic is coming from Facebook, and about the same traffic, 37.3%, is coming from LinkedIn. 25.7% is coming from Twitter.


The increase in the use of mobile and tablet (argo-e.com/blog/) has contributed to a further increase in online advertising, when compared with traditional advertising, as the target audience can now be reached directly through their mobiles while performing their regular activities.

Another great benefit of online advertising is that you can deliver your content in many different ways. Your audience can choose how they want to receive your content. It may be through a blog post, or a video on Youtube or your monthly newsletter sent in their mailbox targeted. It’s no secret that content marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach new customers. Content fuels your online marketing channels and can sell better your product through stories!


Traditional Advertising

Online Advertising

  • Old, proven technique of advertising
  • Expensive technique
  • Little show up, exposure
  • Limited time an ad can run
  • Doesn’t engage attention
  • Limited reach



  • Cost Effective method
  • Attracts more potential leads
  • Remarkable audience reach
  • Can choose your target audience
  • Audience interaction
  • Measurable results
  • Can reach consumers directly at any place
  • Allows direct response from targeted audience


There is a reason why online marketing keeps increasing compared to offline marketing. For optimal effectiveness, online marketing/advertising provides the most flexibility for your reach and budget.However, diversity in advertising is important and traditional offline techniques, which remain strong in the CEE community, have their place in a company’s successful strategy.


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