There are pros and cons to print and digital marketing and deciding where to target efforts can be a tricky business.
Print marketing is the more traditional choice. It involves seeking to get your brand mentioned in print publications, such as newspapers and magazines. This can be via adverts or attempts to gain positive mentions within articles via PR efforts. It may also include leaflets and posters.
Digital marketing is ever-growing. It includes anything that gains exposure for your brand or business online. This can be via social media channels or the online output of media brands such as a magazine website.
Here we consider the benefits and drawbacks of print and digital marketing.
When comparing the best way for advertisers to spend money in modern times, the phrase ‘spoilt for choice’ springs to mind.
Another phrase – ‘print is dead’, is actually quite far off the mark. Although newspaper sales are still sliding, magazines are doing well. Especially when it comes to niche cultures.
Of course, digital marketing is still growing rapidly. Whether it is via social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, or Google Adsense, you don’t even need a huge budget to spread the word.
So, which is better print or digital marketing? By looking at the pros and cons of each medium, you can decide for yourself.
Print Marketing Pros
Choice: Marketing in print usually means buying space for an advert. There are lots of sizes and options depending on your budget. There’s lots of sizes and options to choose from depending on your budget. You could keep it small and take up an eighth of a page or. Or aim high with a full-page or double page advert.
Reaching specific audiences: Target magazines that focus on your industry and you already have will be tapping into a captive, receptive audience of interested people.
Staying power: One great thing about magazines is that they stick around for a while. When readers are done, they will often pass a magazine or on to friends or family. The magazine could even end up in a waiting room or café and get picked up over and over.
Great platform for brands: Advertising in a magazine or newspaper can be is a high-quality environment for raising brand awareness. This may particularly be the case if it is a well-respected magazine or newspaper. It can convey a sense of trustworthiness. When appearing in a magazine, it is printed on high-quality glossy paper and in color can give an air of prestige to a brand. It shows you are professional.
Digital Marketing Pros
Cost: Digital marketing is available in a very broad range of budgets. Some digital marketing can be achieved for free such as via your own website or social media channels. Although the price is rising, it’s still much lower than print. This is down to limits in size options and the less expensive production process.
Constant exposure and immediate engagement with customers: Why wait for an ad to go to print? Online it is possible to set marketing up to capture immediate clicks and sales. Online, digital ads are always there (if you want them to be) and can be clicked 24/7.
Adaptable: Not getting the response you want? It’s a quick and simple process to make changes to get potentially better results via targeting a different audience. Once an ad is in print, you’re stuck with it.
Tracking: Thanks to sites like Google Analytics, you can get fascinating and useful analysis from digital ads a. And in real-time. You can find out what’s working and what isn’t. Targeted marketing makes use of algorithms to ensure adverts are seen by people who have an interest in them. SEO sites like Moz specialize in SEO, which lets you know the current online trends in searches.
Print Marketing Cons
Lack of interaction: Print is a great way of giving information to consumers, but you are leaving it up to them to go and find the product and engage with it.
Expensive: Print advertising may work out more expensive than online options. Printing your own marketing materials and keeping costs down with a site like Even if you are printing yourself and using sites like TonerGiant reduces costs. However, that does mean having a plan for distribution to make printing cheaper, it’s likely going to cost more than an online advert. You then have to think about paying for distribution, too.
Digital Marketing Cons
Less audience connection: Some print publications have very specific audiences and appearing in them may be the best way to engage with those people. Print is more effective at building a relationship with potential customers. A series of ads in print is an excellent way of building brand loyalty in a way that online advertising cannot compete with.
Disposable can annoy readers: Well-designed posters or flyers stick in the minds of consumers much more effectively. Depending on its positioning on-screen, digital advertising can prove an annoyance. Some people will deliberately avoid reading it, skim it, or even use ad-blocking software.
Which is Best?
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this. It depends on each company or person’s budget and product. As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to both print and digital. In which case, a mix of both, if possible, would likely gain the best results.