Which is Better: Digital or Print Advertising?

Sanctuary Labs Printing and Digital Marketing services

It can be easy to assume that print ads are no longer useful or relevant in our digital age. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Both have their place in the marketing mix.

Let’s compare the benefits of both types of advertising, and which might be best for you.

Print advertising benefits

  • Multiple outlet options – including printed flyers, brochures, posters, business cards, catalogues, and ads in industry publications, newspapers and magazines.
  • Specific targeting – with print advertising you have the ability to target very specific groups, such as people in a local geographic area or in a particular location at a particular time. Examples of this include trades ads in local papers, or glossy brochures in hotel rooms for holiday-makers.
  • Higher reader focus – when people take the trouble to purchase and read a physical publication, they are likely to be more focused on what they are reading than when browsing the web or watching TV. This can make it easier to grab their attention.
  • Tangible appeal – the ‘physical’ nature of printed material activates a higher number of senses than digital ads, which can increase engagement.
  • Credibility – it takes a lot more time and effort to produce printed material, as well as greater editing to make sure it’s all correct before printing. This can lend a certain credibility to printed advertising.
  • Appeal to non-internet users – some people simply prefer to consume information in printed form rather than online.

Benefits of digital ads

  • High number of outlet choices – including search pages, social media, videos, email, digital newsletters and publications and more.
  • Can reach wide audiences – since people spend a lot of time online these days, digital advertising just makes a lot of sense in terms of reach. At the same time it can be highly targeted to reach specific groups in terms of interests and purchasing habits.
  • Lower cost – digital advertising can be done at a low cost compared to print media. It can also be more flexible in that you can adjust or scale ads to match your budget.
  • Great for testing campaigns – with printed material, once it’s done, it’s too late to change it. However, with digital ads you can test out different options to see what works best in terms of engagement, leads and ROI.
  • Speed – digital ads can be produced much more quickly than the printed variety.
  • Editable – digital ads are much easier to edit and redo than printed ones.

So which is best?

To determine which is best for your business you need to consider the demographics, needs and preferences of your target audiences, your marketing budget, and the needs of the occasion as well. In the end, neither is ‘better’ than the other – it just depends on the situation!

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