Print vs Online

Many people are making the mistake of assuming web-based solutions are the modern answer to all advertising and marketing issues, even daring to utter that the print medium is dead; the simple response to this? It isn’t. You will ignore and disregard traditional methods of communication at your own peril. I’m being a little controversial today, find out why I’m declaring that Print advertising is the way forward!

The introduction and subsequent development of the Internet, mobile technology, apps and web-based solutions is of course very impressive and highly beneficial. However, integrated communications strategies are most definitely the future; blending traditional, new and ambient media in a complementary way to create the greatest effect and impact. Advertising is accumulative and it’s unlikely that using only one medium will enable you to effectively reach your target audience.

So, how can Print be more effective than on-line advertising?

New media and on-line advertising methods are constantly fragmenting, resulting in an increasing number of web options and offers. This is actually making some on-line promotional methods less effective due to saturation of the marketplace. Pop-up ads are now easily blocked and research shows consumers find them annoying. Banner ads are becoming less common, they can create unnecessary clutter of a webpage and when everyone is advertising with web banners, the audience start to ignore them: it’s simple common sense. The web has become packed with promotion and the world of print is now a little less cluttered. Businesses can create campaigns through print which are far more effective; be creative with your use of print, get your graphic design right and you’re on to a winner.

Print is more direct

As a consumer when you come across a web banner or other on-line advertisement, do you tend to switch off a little? We’re almost trained to ignore them. Print campaigns, on the other hand, are usually delivered directly to the consumer – either via direct mail and leaflet drops or by another means of distribution. By having your advertising printed on postcards, flyers, window stickers, balloons, clocks, mugs or other forms of print promotion, you’re delivering your sales message directly to your potential customer and sometimes in quite an unusual and attention-grabbing way. Even using a basic postcard almost guarantees that your message will be read. When you get something through your letterbox, or handed to you when out and about, you will usually instinctively look at and read it – and that’s something that web advertising can never claim. The effectiveness of your print advertising will rely quite heavily on the actual design: if it’s not done to a high standard, don’t be surprised when your ad campaign fails to meet your expectations.

Print is easier to distribute

You may think advertising on-line is a piece of cake, but it’s more difficult than it appears; it’s hard to know exactly who your advertising is reaching. With print you know exactly who you’re delivering to. Whether it’s by direct mail or through someone handing out flyers, you can always be sure exactly where your print promotion is going – and you can rely on it reaching its target audience. You also have more choice in how you distribute the promotional material; you can select specific geographical areas to target which is very beneficial for small and medium businesses, especially if you only trade locally, whereas advertising online for many small businesses results in wastage.

Print is better value for money

The internet is still relatively new and services offered vary greatly, you will find quotes and prices are all over the map. Print advertising is so well established that you will feel confident you’re getting the best price; your costs will be more predictable and your results more quantifiable. With on-line advertising, there’s a lot of trial and error. You have to spend money, see what works, then spend some more money. With print promotion, you’ll already be well equipped to know what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll know exactly how much it costs to reach ‘X’ number of people. It’s a more reliable and predictable form of promotion.

The money you invest in print promotion is easier to track: your printer can provide you with costs for raw materials, distribution, graphic design time etc…  With on-line advertising, overheads are very low and yet prices still remain high. It’s always a gamble when you choose to advertise solely through the web. But print is tried and tested. Throw in the fact that it’s been somewhat neglected recently and you’ve got the recipe for an unstoppable print campaign!

You can easily integrate your print and on-line campaigns by using a QR Code – for more information on what they are and how they can boost your advertising efforts check out – QR Codes – what are those funny little boxes?

*Originally written by Inspired Business Solutions for Image courtesy of

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