There are two marketing strategies that provide consistent ROI for your business: print and digital. So, which one is the best choice for your business? Let’s dive in and discuss the pros and cons of each approach so you can make an informed decision.
Pros and Cons of Printed Materials
When you read “print is dead”, that is referring to newspapers—don’t confuse that with printed sales and branding materials. Print marketing is alive and well. Studies show that printed materials are one of the most effective ways to market your business with:
- 82% of consumers saying they trust print materials over digital.
- 76% claiming they believe direct mail advertising claims over digital.
- and 77% of consumers saying print drives higher levels of recall.
Advantages of Printed Materials
Other key advantages of print marketing include:
One of the most significant benefits of print marketing is that it’s affordable. You can reach a lot of people while still keeping your costs low, particularly if you purchase in bulk.
With digital ads, you pay every time someone clicks on a link, even when those clicks do not lead to conversions. This risky cost can add up quickly.
Longer Shelf Life
Digital marketing is here, and then it’s…gone. Printed materials often have a shelf life beyond the initial impression. Offers, mailers, coupons, flyers, and brochures often get saved for when a need arises. They are often seen by multiple people in a home or business as well.
Attract Future Customers
Digital marketing works best for one-time transactional sales. If you’re not interested in a product or service when a digital ad comes up, you ignore it. Print can help attract customers who are not shopping at the moment. Only 3% of your market is actively seeking out your services or product, so the value of reaching these so-called passive prospects–who make up over 30% of the total market–can be big.
Huge Selection of Printed Materials
You can choose from a wide variety of printed materials to showcase your brand, products, services, and offers, including:
- Brochures, flyers, catalogs
- Letterhead and envelopes
- Point of purchase displays
- Direct mail postcards
- Product packaging
- Signage, wall, and window graphics
These are just a few ways to showcase your brand identity and reach out to customers.
Disadvantages of Printed Materials
Some of the downsides of printed materials include:
More Difficult to Update
Once you create a printed piece, it’s done. Unlike digital marketing, it’s not as easy to update something or correct any mistakes.
The bigger and longer something is, the more expensive it is to print. You may be unable to fit everything as part of a particular marketing campaign onto a nominated piece and do it affordably.
Some consumers are highly sensitive to environmental concerns and can view printed materials as a waste of resources. You can combat this by using recyclable materials, including the recycling label, so people know.
Pros and Cons of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. Valued at nearly $321 billion in 2022, its forecasted growth is more than $670 billion by 2028.
With digital marketing, you can generate a significant amount of content quickly. If you need to make changes, updates, or additions, it’s usually a fairly quick process. You can also create automated marketing pipelines using digital content that helps drive buyers through the customer journey.
Advantages of Digital Marketing
Other key advantages include:
While you can target with direct mail, digital marketing allows for precise targeting by matching ads with online behavior.
You can embed codes in your digital marketing to track engagement, length of engagement, and what actions consumers took next throughout the customer journey. You can also review what had the biggest impact.
When someone clicks on a digital ad or content, they can go directly to your website, lead form, landing page, or product listing.
Most digital campaigns allow you to A/B test various combinations of titles, images, calls to action, and targeting to continually refine and improve performance.
Disadvantages of Digital Marketing
Some of the downsides to digital marketing include:
There’s a lot of clutter online these days, which is evident in the lengths some people go to avoid it. About 40% of internet users deploy ad blockers. The biggest reason they cite is to avoid annoying ads interrupting their viewing experience.
Trust and Privacy Issues
There are also serious trust issues when it comes to digital advertising. People are less likely to believe claims are true when online. Many fear that clicking on an ad can install malware or trigger other malicious activity. Others worry about privacy or tracking pixels.
Companies are all bidding on similar sets of keywords. This drives up the cost for everyone making online ads more expensive. You also pay every time someone clicks on your ad — regardless if they buy anything or not.
So, Which Is Right for Your Business?
Each medium has its merits, and they are extremely compatible. When print and digital are used together, the results can be especially powerful. Marketing campaigns that combine print and digital marketing strategies are as much as 400% more effective.
We can help!
The marketing experts at AlphaGraphics Seattle can help you figure out the right mix of print or digital marketing works that will work best for your business. We are an industry leader in print and marketing and can help you plan and execute a customized plan to market your business effectively.
Let’s talk—we’d love to help.