Traditional Versus Digital Advertising: Everything Marketers Need to Know

Traditional Versus Digital Advertising: Everything Marketers Need to Know

There's been a heated debate throughout the marketing world for years:

Which is more effective: traditional or digital advertising?

Which type of media is more profitable? Which offers the largest return on investment (ROI)?

In a world where almost 74% of consumers think there are too many ads — and when this number grows to 78% for adults over 35 — it's important to be selective about where you're placing ads to receive the most value. It's a less-is-more approach that will ensure whenever you are investing in marketing, you're doing so without getting lost in the noise of too many ads.

So, which media strategy is right for your organization? Is it more important to invest in print advertising or digital advertising? Here's what you need to know about this ongoing debate.

Print Matters

Even in a remarkably digital age, we still consume quite a bit of traditional content — and that includes printed media. The fact is, we trust information more if we see it in print. Today's consumers see ads everywhere they look; in their inbox, on social media, at the tops and sides of every website they visit, on television, on billboards and in their mailboxes.

While many of these forms are effective, consumers consistently rate print advertisements as among the most trustworthy. In one study, a total of 82% of consumers report that they trust print ads. Print is a constant in our lives, and as a result, we trust it more.

Printed ads are also easier to read and retain. 92% of young adults ages 18-23 find it easier to read printed content over digital content. In a study conducted by researchers at Temple University, it was discovered that readers spend more time looking at print ads, recall more of the information from the advertisement and experience a stronger emotional reaction compared to digital ads.

As consumers, we like print ads. In 2020, 67% of Americans said they still preferred printed materials over digital ones. Paper ads like those found in magazines and other publications help us connect emotionally because we're holding it in our hands.

Readers also spend more time engaging with print media. A visitor to a digital news site will browse and read for around 5 minutes or less. In comparison, readers spend 20 minutes or more with a printed publication. They read more stories and engage with more content. Print readers are also more likely to linger on the advertising they encounter in a publication.

Plus, print ads are a great way to reach a very large, powerful buying demographic: Millennials, who spend around $600 billion in the U.S. alone. 51% of millennials report that they pay attention to magazine ads, and 54% say the same about catalogs. While some modern marketers may be hesitant to invest in traditional advertising methods, print ads are the opposite of obsolete when it comes to reaching younger audiences.

The Digital Dilemma

Because we are exposed to so much content online, it's becoming increasingly easy to ignore information that's presented to us in a digital format; we become immune to it. When it comes to digital advertising, your message gets lost. It can drown in a sea of other digital ads — and that's why traditional advertising can pack such a powerful punch.

While digital advertising may be an inexpensive way to be seen, the potency of these ads is definitely put in question. Here's what you should be aware of when it comes to digital advertising:

  • 70% of users do not like mobile ads.

  • 81% of consumers have closed browser windows or exited a page because of pop-up ads.

  • 91% of users say that online ads are pushier today than in years past.

  • 51% of consumers like brands less if they autoplay video ads

There's a lot of noise surrounding digital ads. Every day, 14.5 billion spam emails are sent to consumers. We encounter social media advertising, spam emails and pop-up ads. It feels like there's no end in sight.

Digital ads are prevalent for a reason: They're clickable, making it easy to connect to consumers directly with your website. But that doesn't mean that your print ads can't help you draw consumers to your online resources.

Using Print to Connect Consumers to Your Website

The best thing about marketing and advertising is that you don't have to choose between online and print. Print advertising can be an impactful way to enhance what you are already doing online. Digital marketing is efficient, but if there's any question about selecting digital ads versus traditional print ads, chances are you're not maximizing your marketing strategies by merging your online and offline efforts.

Traditional print advertising is a great way to make the most of your efforts and cater to different groups within your audience base. How can you use print advertising to optimize your advertising strategies?

  • Use offline print advertising with an online call-to-action

  • Advertise online giveaways to draw traffic to your website

  • Use UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes to help monitor the effectiveness of your print campaigns

Merging your offline efforts with your online efforts is a strong way to gather data about the efficacy of your campaigns, drive traffic to your website and inform the way you reach consumers through digital and print ads.

At Mediafiche, we understand the importance of traditional print advertisements and the impact they can have on your organization. When it comes to buying print media, we're here to make it easy for you.

With our laser-focused, targeted search filters, you can pinpoint the perfect publications to reach your target audiences and optimize your efforts. The media planning and buying processes are simple and easy. There's also no question about how your ad performs. With our click-and-buy process, you choose the magazine titles that are right for you, make an offer and pay. Then we send you a proof-of-performance in the form of printed copies only 10 to 12 days after publication.

Ready to see the difference print ads can make? Sign up for a free demo to learn more!

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