Print is not dead.
Great, now that we’ve got your attention, let’s set the scene quick. Print marketing is the classic choice – tried and tested over the years, it still holds the loyalty of many marketers. Digital marketing, meanwhile, is (relatively) new and shiny, luring more and more people to its ranks. That’s how the ultimate question arises – print or digital?
When it comes to deciding which one is better, there’s no definitive answer. In fact, we would advise using a mix of digital and print media in your campaigns to optimise the effectiveness of your marketing. After all, it’s not so much a duel as it is a partnership.
Whether you choose to focus more on print or digital depends largely on the type of campaign you’re running, what your product is and the audiences you’re targeting.
Why you should choose print
• It’s varied. Depending on your budget, you can experiment with different sizes, orientations and materials for your print marketing campaign. If you want to delve deep into all the options print has to offer, check out our blog aptly titled Long Live Print.
• It allows you to go niche. Nowadays a lot of print magazines are focus on very specific interests – whether that’s a particular industry, hobby or genre of pop culture. If your offering happens to fall within the same topic cluster, investing in prints ads which will be published in said niche publication is money well spent.
• It’s great for real-life people. Print advertising materials are great leave-behind for industry events, dedicated retail stores and virtually any other setting which your customer base is likely to visit in person. There’s a certain appeal in holding something tangible – a physical object is more likely to keep people’s attention compared to a digital ad that can get lost in the noise.
• It holds weight for certain demographics. Most marketers can put two and two together and realise that direct mail is their best chance to reach senior citizens (who don’t often surf the web). But they are not the only demographic drawn in by print. Affluent consumers are often drawn to tangible platforms as well, so luxury lifestyle and design brands have a good chance of reaching their audiences on paper.
• It looks professional. Another factor which adds to the appeal of print is the air of quality it adds to your brand. Investing in luxurious paper, vibrant colours and considerable print area size paints your brand in professional tones. Plus, quality printed materials are still regarded as more trustworthy, thanks to the tangible aspect we mentioned above.
• It lasts longer. But wait, there’s more! The charm of print stretches beyond the emotional connection audiences form with materials they can physically hold in their hands. When done properly, print can entice customers to keep their copy and revisit it, thus ensuring longevity which no digital marketing campaign can match.
• It’s spot-on for local biz. At the opposite end of the spectrum from big corporations with large print marketing budgets you have the independent local businesses which are highly focused on building brand awareness in their area. Reaching locals who frequent similar establishments in the vicinity or even passers-by is most effectively done through printed media such as leaflets and eye-catching signs.
• It gets on with digital like a house on fire. We said it earlier, we’ll say it again – the best marketing campaigns span over multiple media types. Creating print ads which complement a wider digital campaign is a great way to get more people engaged with your brand, and a clever strategy to drive offline customers towards your online platforms.
Why you should choose digital
• It’s cost-effective. You know it, we know it – digital is great value for money. Due to the wide-reaching nature of the medium, you can reach audiences across the globe with just a few ads through social media and pay per click (PPC) ads.
• It’s highly customisable. With digital you don’t have to choose between reach and accuracy either – most platforms have built-in algorithms which help you target the right demographic, so you can tailor your campaigns accordingly.
• It’s data-driven. Whether you’re using Google’s platform to set up digital ads, or focusing your efforts on social media, you’d find that each of these channels has an analytics options designed to help you track the results of your online activity and adjust your marketing campaigns accordingly.
• It’s real-time. Digital is especially handy if you want to access performance data at different stages of your campaign instead of waiting until the end of its run. This way you can evaluate what’s working, make tweaks in real time and optimise your return on your investment (ROI).
• It allows you to go niche. Yes, we know, we said this about print as well. The beauty of geotargeting lies in the fact that it enables businesses to really hone in their ads to customers in particular locations. This is particularly handy for small businesses who want to get the word out with local customers and raise brand awareness without blowing an inordinate amounts of cash advertising to people miles away from their establishment.
Should you choose print or digital marketing?
Unless you’ve opened this article and scrolled straight to this section, you already know what we’re going to say. Your best option is using a mix of digital and print. Which one you invest more heavily in depends on the goals of your marketing campaign and the nature of your offering.
Print has an edge when it comes to building up your brand profile and forming relationships with high-value customers. Digital, meanwhile, has immediacy on its side, which makes it perfect for promoting offers and ease of customer experience.
Whichever route you chose, our advice is to combine digital marketing with print marketing. By allowing them to work together, you can harness the power of two strong platforms within one campaign and achieve greater results than anything you’d accomplish if you limit yourself to just one form of marketing.