3 Advantages of Print Advertising in the Digital Age

by Greg DePersio

2 min read

Conventional wisdom is that digital marketing killed off print advertising the way the automobile vanquished the horse and buggy. With internet advertising, you can get campaigns up and running quickly, track results instantaneously, and make adjustments on the fly using lean marketing methods. However, promoting your business in print, such as through magazine advertisements or direct mail campaigns, provides a few benefits of their own. For instance, you have less competition, as many of your competitors have switched exclusively to e-marketing. Print also offers more focused geographic targeting. Unlike web surfers, who often have multiple browsers and tabs open and are easily distracted, print readers tend to be more focused.

Less Competition

Before digital media was an option, nearly everyone advertised in print. A trip to the mailbox produced a thick stack of flyers, coupon books, and brochures. With so many companies moving their marketing efforts exclusively online, print ads have thinned out substantially. This creates a huge opening for your business, since, compared to decades ago, your print ads are more likely to be noticed. Moreover, in the face of declining demand, print ads have become more affordable. With fewer business clamoring to put their message in print, newspapers and magazines have less leverage to command high advertising fees.

Geographic Targeting

To be certain, digital marketing gives you leeway to customize who receives your ads. On Facebook, you can select your audience by age, gender, hobbies, and even specific fan pages they’ve liked. One thing you cannot do, however, is hone in on specific neighbourhoods or postal codes. For certain types of small businesses, it is beneficial to hyper-focus geographically. By sending out print ads through Canada Post direct mail, you can target your ads to certain communities within a city. Additionally, many neighbourhoods and small towns publish their own weekly or monthly newspapers, which can offer effective and affordable marketing opportunities.

Focused Readers

Few things have a shorter attention span and are more easily distracted than a person surfing the internet. It doesn’t matter if it is on a desktop or laptop computer, or via a smartphone or mobile device. The minute an incoming text arrives, a Facebook notification pops up, or someone swipes right on Tinder and generates a match, the web surfer forgets what they are doing and shifts their focus to whatever just grabbed their attention. Consequently, many of your digital ads get seen in passing, but they aren’t truly digested. Print readers, by contrast, tend to be more focused. Many people enjoy putting their devices down, picking up a magazine or newspaper, and reading without distractions. By positioning your ads where people are giving their undivided attention, they’re more likely to be noticed. Be careful when it comes to newspapers and magazines that are primarily ads. While many people do flip through these publications at doctors’ and dentists’ offices, the Canada Revenue Agency reduces how much of your marketing expense you can write off when you advertise in them.

References & Resources

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