Digital Advertising vs Print Advertising: What should you adopt for 2016?

The on-going debate of digital vs print advertising has continued into 2016. Should businesses go entirely digital? Is there a place for print or is it too old fashioned? Let’s investigate…

There is no doubt about the fact that digital advertising is growing in popularity. Last year, in the US, a whopping $187bn was spent on advertising with 28% of it being on digital advertising ($52.8bn). TV is still dominating with expenditure at $79bn, although that was down 0.6% from the previous year. Print finished third most popular, $28bn spent.

Looking ahead, online advertising is expected to grow annually at 11.15%. There are obvious reasons behind this.

Digital connects…

Using social media, an organisation is able to connect with their customers, become friends with them, relate to and show respect towards their changing values and react to changing trends in the market. Furthermore, you’re able to speak with them and have a dialogue, rather than throwing generic marketing messages. This method breeds long term customers and brand advocates that form the fulcrum of your organisations success.

Overall, digital advertising lets you target a mass amount of the same and specific type of customers.  For example, you may easily target all 21-25 year males, who own a dog for your new dog food product. Also, with targeted promotion and ad campaigns available on social media websites, you can guarantee that your ad will reach your target audience.

Moreover, running digital campaigns are much cheaper. A same size advert on a print newspaper will be much more expensive than running the same advert on the online version of the same paper. Additionally, on social media, you set your own budget. You decide how much you want to spend and how often, rather than a list price. Digital adverts are also much more interactive, just look to the example of Instagram.

Overall, you cannot miss out on digital ads. The ability to customise your budget and choose who exactly sees your ad’s means a greater return on investment and interaction with your ads. In layman’s terms, those who are not interested in your ad, won’t see it, thus you cut out unwanted noise. It’s also easier to measure the success of the campaign and develop bespoke campaigns owing to information available about consumer online trends through Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.

Print is not dead…

You’d think that with the vast scope and the specific and targeted customer reach digital presents along with value for money, print would be long gone. It appears that people still like holding things, rather than touching or clicking screens. One example is that of kindles and e-books. Even though a single kindle can hold your entire book collection, people still take pride in owning the physical book, kept on a bookshelf, to show off to everyone, like a memento.

There is definitely value in print advertising. Although we are digital, we are also travellers. Throughout our daily lives, we come across billboards, newspapers, magazines and posters. A well thought out strategy can lead to success via print.

The rate of dissemination of print advertising determines its success. The more people it passes through, the more readers you have and thus the more chance of interaction. The obvious downside is that the material is not targeted, it may fall on the eyes of many people to whom it is not relevant to before reaching intended audiences. Print being costly does not help either. So where exactly can it be useful?

The best chances of your success in print is to be as specific as possible i.e. advertise in local papers and magazines, as opposed to nationwide publications. That’ll also work out cheaper and be localised to the relevant people. This works great for advertising local events or if you’re a family business located in the surrounding area.

It’s also important to remember that not everybody is tech savvy. Not to be stereotypical, but the older generation may have a lesser handle on digital than their younger counterparts, so if they’re your audience, it best to focus on print.

Digital wins…

Across the broader spectrum, digital clearly wins, especially for SME’s who are limited on budget. Social media, blogging and targeted advertising is clearly the way forward and presents a great return on investment and the potential to develop long term and personal relationships with customers. Unsure about the way forward? Book your free marketing consultation with us.

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