With the ability to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and increase profits, through additional sales obtained with online marketing, many have questioned whether print can withstand technology. More to the point, does print still belong, and is it feasible for marketing purposes? By evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of print advertising alongside online advertising, it becomes quite clear that print can provide a marketing edge, beyond what is obtainable through online advertising.
Take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of online and print advertisements.
Increasing Brand Awareness
The online platform has done wonders for many companies, especially young companies in increasing brand awareness. Utilising the web, allows companies to share branding material through social media, photo sharing sites and the occasional banner ads. However, print adverts can be quite effective in increasing brand awareness. Print is consistently around for consumers to notice, print also gets shared through work, student, dining and home environments.
Obtaining Credibility as a Trusted Source
Advertising online can be difficult when attempting to gain credibility. For starters, there’s an increasingly growing amount of competition with web-based businesses. Additionally, past scams have led to a decrease in consumer trust.
Where print advertising stands out in obtaining credibility amongst consumers, is that several risks are removed. Consumers are able to read print advertisements without having to worry about being taken to an illegitimate website. This removes the fear of scammers, malware, and ad tracking software, thereby increasing credibility.
Between social media, niche specific forums and general blog commenting, there’s no doubt that an online environment can increase consumer engagement. However, print adverts can also lead to consumer engagement. Consumers tend to actively read print. Whereas online advertisements are quickly glanced at, print advertising is actually read.
Text based stories also have a higher read-through rate of percentage, in print, than they do online. A common problem within online articles is, that people tend to skim through the article. In contrast, print articles are read in their entirety. This allows, marketers to place story based ads in magazines and circulars, with the certainty of knowing that the story will be read.
Life of Advertisement Lifespan
Both online and print advertisements have advantages and disadvantages in terms of total lifespan. On one hand, any material, whether it be an article, sales page or an advertisement will remain online forever. With print ads, the material, whether in a magazine, local paper or a mailed brochure, will eventually be tossed and sent to a landfill, where it will over time deteriorate.
In consideration of advertisement lifespan, there’s one question that must be examined. Does forever matter, if it’s lost within mere days, and often mere hours? With the increase of multiple companies creating online ads, your advertisements can quickly get lost and web pages can be buried. Even though print advertising is short-lived, it can remain in plain sight, far longer than online advertising can.
Extending Company Reach
The simple truth, online advertising can vastly extend the reach of any company; nationally and globally. The available outlets for advertisements allow companies to reach countless consumers, that would have otherwise never heard of the company or products being offered. The problem with the extended online reach is that the reach is often generic. To simplify, an extended online reach is less targeted than the reach achieved through print ads.
Through direct mailings, print advertising is able to reach the exact consumer demographic that would have an interest within a specific company. Regardless of company niche, there’s households that print advertisements can be mailed to. Beyond simple advertisements, many companies have mailed out catalogues, with all available products included. Many consumers have bought a certain product, simply through seeing it as they were randomly browsing through a catalog. Additionally, print ads can be placed within niche based magazines, thereby increasing the likelihood that the correct audience sees a printed ad.
Customer and Client Retainment
One of the greatest advantages that print adverts shines in comparison to, online advertising, is the ability to retain customers and/or clients. Print allows consistent contact through direct mail. Of course, online contact can also be established through follow-up emails, however, there is a few differences between emailing a client and posting them through standard mail.
With print advertisements, through direct mail, materials are more likely to reach the intended recipient. A result of people physically bringing mail into the house, in contrast, most email messages get delivered and tossed without ever being opened. The true difference provided through print ads is that thank you cards and friendly reminders can be sent out in an effort to build relationships with clients and customers.
Increasing Lead Generation
The online platform, dramatically increases lead generation capabilities, primarily through an extended reach. There’s a seemingly endless variety provided to gain additional leads through online advertising. Though print advertising doesn’t have the mass reach available through online portals, it can provide leads of a higher quality. This in many ways, improves the leads obtained, and reduces the amount of time that can be wasted on attempting to close with uninterested, or vaguely interested consumers.
Combining Online and Print Advertising to Maximise Marketing Efforts
For an effective marketing campaign that can produce a desired outcome, print ads should be combined with online advertising. Combining both forms of advertising will ensure that your marketing campaign is gaining the greatest advantages of each type of advertising. This will ensure that your advertising efforts are maximised for success.
There isn’t a perfect formula for every company, as certain criteria most be considered, such as type of industry, local vs global markets and specifics within a target audience. Therefore, to ensure the perfect balance of online and print advertising, marketing campaigns should be designed following a complete company and target market based analysis.