Print vs. Digital: Where to Invest Your Ad Dollars

By June 14, 2019Advertising
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Where will you get the most bang for your buck as an advertiser? The answer to this question depends on what commercial message you are trying to put out. In order to spend your ad dollars wisely, you’ll have to consider your product and/or service, your target demographic, image and so on.  In addition to this you will have to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the two, which are quite substantial due to one of them being physical, and the other being digital. Print media comes with a certain set of advantages. For instance, a lot of elderly people may be more receptacle to commercial messages in printed form than to digital ads. Print media comes with the
advantage of having a more enduring message than commercial messages in digital form, since we are nowadays bombarded on the internet with commercial messages, so we tend to mentally filter them out in real time. Meanwhile while reading a printed ad, people are usually much more receptible to its commercial messages. Print media also enables reader flexibility. For instance, one may bring a magazine into the bathroom, and if interrupted, one may temporarily put down the magazine and then resume reading later. Meanwhile with digital media, once interrupted, it is unlikely that the reader would resume reading the commercial message. According to Association Media and Publishing, the sensory experience of touching the ad while looking at a compelling message improves the impact as well. In other words, a printed commercial message may have a more lasting impact on the viewer than a digital ad, especially regarding luxury items. Print media comes with some disadvantages compared to digital advertisement. In general, younger demographics tend to be easier to reach online than with a printed ad. While printing an ad in a magazine, there are related expenses, such as printing costs, delivery of the publication itself and so on. All these expenses are paid by the advertiser. Meanwhile digital ads do not come with any additional costs than the costs of the exposure that you and the publication has agreed upon. Let’s say that
something amazing just happened that deeply affects your customers need for your product or service! If you are relying entirely on printed ads, you will most likely miss opportunity. Having a graphic designer put together the ad, send it to the publisher, wait for it to be printed and distributed will probably mean that whatever time sensitive message you were trying to push, will be seen too late. Digital ads mean that you can capture the opportunity immediately. One of the strongest advantages of online
advertising is how you can see the results of your investment. Using for instance Google Analytics, you can see exactly how many people came into your website through your advertiser, how many purchased your products and so on. This comes with the benefit of one being able to directly see whether the advertisement investment was worth it. Printed media does not come with any technological tools as such, and therefore leaves you to simply hope and assume that you will get your money’s worth. When
someone shares anything on a social media platform, it has the potential to go viral; to quickly spread through likes, shares, comments and any other kind of engagement from social media users. Printed ads have a much harder time becoming viral due to their physical nature, thus, that is an opportunity cost of using printed ads. In sum, younger people are more receptable to digital ads than printed. Digital ads can be quickly put together and one may capture time-sensitive trends in a way that printed media does not
allow one to do. However, digital advertisement comes with the disadvantages of being easily mentally blocked out by the reader and lacks the sensatory benefit of a printed ad. Printed ads do not have the potential of giving viral, however, older demographics tend to be more receptacle to printed commercial messages than digital ads.

Works Cited

Kokemuller, Neil. “What Is the Advantage & Disadvantage of Print vs. Electronic Media?”
Bizfluent, 11 Feb. 2019, http://www.bizfluent.com/info-8681731-advantage-disadvantage-

Author Peter Nilsson

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