Print vs Digital

By Stephanie Casimiro
Published on: May 24, 2019

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Last week, I shared some basic social media metrics that are used to demonstrate the ROI of social media marketing. This week, I want to talk about where we stand regarding print advertising/marketing and digital advertising/marketing. My goal is to present a high-level overview of where we’ve come from versus where we are headed – and where the two forms of marketing complement each other. For most retailers, a combination of print and digital is probably the right way to spend your marketing budget. For other types of companies, like service providers, the world is tilting toward digital. And, moving forward, up and coming generations raised on digital platforms are really only going to be approachable via digital means, especially video.

The Power of Print

It’s easy to reach a local audience. Radio or mailbox flyers are designed to reach households in a select number of suburbs.

Hard copies can be kept by households and browsed through periodically (think restaurant menus, coupon bundles, etc.)

People are used to this kind of advertising and understand exactly what it is you are selling.

The Weakness of Print

There is little interaction between the medium and the customer. It’s just a one dimensional ad.

Print and radio ad campaigns can be costly. You need to compose, print, script, deploy, etc. That adds up very quickly.

It’s really difficult to measure your results.

The Power of Digital

You can target a local audience, as well as a regional, country-wide or international audience.

You can tailor your message to a specific demographic, such as gender, location, age, or interest.

Your audience can choose how they want to receive your content. Remember, people learn one of three ways – reading, listening, hands on experience. The same goes for ‘learning’ about your company. Your audience can choose to either read a blog, listen or watch a YouTube presentation, or get an e-vite to come experience the latest and greatest in person.

Interaction is now possible with the use of social media networks. In fact, interaction is encouraged!

Digital marketing is cost-effective. Way cheaper than traditional print campaigns.

Analytics allow you to check in real time how your campaign is going, and allows you to make any adjustments mid-campaign based on real time reporting. And that’s amazingly powerful.

Digital levels the playing field. Any company, no matter the size, can compete head-to-head in the digital arena.

Brand development is much easier. From your website to targeted campaigns to feedback on social media channels, you are able to consistently evolve, define and explain your brand proposition.

Digital goes viral. How many times do you pass ad flyers you find in your mailbox to your neighbors? With digital, people can easily share with their friends and neighbors. The better the content (great blog stories or short, informative videos), the more your message gets shared.


So what kind of marketing campaign would I recommend? Well, in some cases, both. And here’s why.

Traditional marketing methods are used to support newer, more advanced digital efforts. The two do not exist in exclusion of each other. But I would advise that hard copy marketing materials should primarily strengthen a relationship with a potential customer – I would advise using digital to get your primary message out to the widest audience possible, then begin more targeted messaging that might include print, depending on your business and your product/service. A multi-channel approach that leverages the benefits of paper with the convenience and ubiquity of digital will perform best.

Stephanie Casimiro

Stephanie Casimiro

Stephanie is the founder of Designer Marketing Solutions, a specialist in online marketing services and brand management. She is a recognized leader in social media and analytical reporting data pertaining to online brand presence and recognition. Visit her at

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