Success with Print Media vs. Digital in 2016

Paper Is Still Alive and Kicking

It has been an ongoing battle among marketers whether print media or digital is preferable. Nowadays, mainstream media has made most of the population believe that if you’re not connected digitally, you’re being left behind. So what some newer companies do is to put all their eggs in one digital basket—with all of their content published via the internet. Although admittedly, putting focus on digital media is substantially beneficial, these businesses are missing out on an outlet that will never die— print.

There are two very different opinions concerning print vs. digital but let us just focus on the positive side of using print media—which is how to enhance and make your content marketing productive, as well as increase conversion rates extensively.

Using Direct Mail in the Digital Age

Indeed, it is undeniable that people of all ages are now turning to the internet for information on products and services that they need the most. Basically, no one is unreachable nowadays. Everything is searchable on the web.

A lot of people, especially the middle-aged and seniors, are still considering the old ways to market and advertise and you need to take advantage of that fact to grow your business effectively. You could also consider adding discount codes, website links, and promos in your flyers, brochures, newsletters, or what not in order to entice consumers to visit your online website and check out your products and services. This enables you to connect with an audience who probably hasn’t heard of your business yet and will probably not be able to if you just depend on digital media. With direct mail advertising, you can accomplish that goal.

Shifting Digital Marketing Dollars to Print Media

If you take print advertising into consideration, you might need to adjust your marketing budget though. The better way to do it is to use both traditional and digital marketing, which makes a good mix when planned out well. Doing research about the industry or niche you are in will give you a clear picture of the personas you should be targeting.

A study conducted for the U.S. Post Office showed people’s high response to print ads. It may be true that digital marketing is processed very quickly and has broader reach, however, subjects gave greater interest and memory for physical media. Moreover, print media induced more brain activity that is associated with value and desire.

All this information that you are learning adds up to the reasons why you shouldn’t ignore using paper in advertising and how you should divide your expenses in both channels. Furthermore, customers were found to have no preference in the medium of marketing used but it is with print media that they could be more compelling for them into buying more of what you’re selling.

Allocating Your Marketing Budget

Clearly, from a business standpoint, print media should never be overlooked nor disregarded even if your company is based exclusively online. Everything you do to promote the growth of your business will impact your customers’ decisions, for which you should always strive for the better.

However, therein lies the issue with printed marketing materials which you should also consider—it takes much longer to see calculable results, while digital marketing allows you to monitor success and failure across numerous metrics in quick real-time. And with this dilemma, allocating your marketing budget can get really tricky. Determining how to divide your budget adequately for both print and digital depends on how well you know your prospective audience. There is no right or concrete way to divide the two.

The Science Behind Physical Media

While it seems that digital media greatly influences everything from how people interact to purchasing a new car to availing a monthly subscription of a web app, you can’t turn your back on print media just yet. Take booklovers for example. Although ebooks are now rampant and are easily accessible, it still feels good to be able to hold on to a physical material and feel it in your hands. The point is, people still like the physical experience of printed materials and there is science to explain why.

Looking deeper into how the brain reacts to print media, neuroscience tells us that tactile and visual go together to a lasting impression.According to Roger Dooley, contributor to Forbes magazine and claimant to, “make marketing better with brain & behavior research.”

“Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media (5.15 vs. 6.37), suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable. Post-exposure memory tests validated what the cognitive load test revealed about direct mail’s memory encoding capabilities.”

The bottom line here is that 70% of people exposed to direct mail recalled the brand name, as opposed to 44% who were exposed to digital. Chances are, what they see on digital media does not last a longer imprint within their minds.

Both print and digital media have advantages that should not be overlooked by entrepreneurs who are hoping to grow and expand their company’s customer base. On the outside, it appears that most companies are leaning more heavily toward digital marketing which is great but still not enough.


For entrepreneurs who would want to make constant sales and expand their business, it’s definitely imperative to follow the trends, maintain a positive online presence, and engage customers on all levels. Yet, you also have to think about other channels you could use to maximize your company’s growth and reach a broader audience on a larger scale. As common as it sounds, you must cover all bases.Why would you settle for less when you can have it in a better way?

No matter how much this article discusses about print media and its advantages, it doesn’t mean that we are putting marketing in a way that you should entirely shift onto print media. It is, of course, without a doubt, costly, especially for those companies that are still starting out. The best way to use print media is to generate business cards, promotional flyers, monthly newsletters, quarterly special magazines, product catalogs—all of which are  dependent in your line of business, industry, or niche, as well as with your products and services.

Always remember to use mediums appropriately. Bask in the new, but don’t throw away the old. The best way would be to use print media hand-in-hand with digital marketing for a better customer experience.

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the Online Alliance

the Online Alliance is here to inspire growth and challenge the status quo by creating member resources, tools and training that is meaningful, evergreen, affordable and effective, that is designed to support Independent business owners to achieve their higher goals.


  • Very interesting article , I think that as we are moving more and more in the digital economy that it will be a wile before paper is phased out . Take a book for example, there is something about a physical book that you can just pick up when ever you want Vs an Ebook, kindle and so on . Both have their pros and cons . Its funny that you even look at new papers online vs one you could by at a corner store or news agency , the question is that eventually there is more and more emphasis on a digital products, and our gadgets are also digitally geared this was as well. This is one great benefit of an online and digital business is that everything can be done on a cloud based , of from a lap top and its certainly greener for the environment as well. I also see that the next generation of youth is certainly more digital savy and will be interning to see the changes in the future as well.

  • The paperless office has been a catch cry for years. We are certainly moving towards it and more individuals and companies are utilising all the online information resources via mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop and other means. The retention rate of ‘call back’ to brand was at 70% for physical print versus 44% for digital (in the article). Our personal perception is that the higher end, higher quality or, at least, perceived higher quality brands are geared more to print – with top quality production; along with having a high-end digital presence. Maybe the take out from this is Printed Medium equals quality.

  • In businesses that I started and managed for over 30 years the OLD style media was king. TV, Radio, papers and magazines reigned supreme yet they could never give any REAL guarantee of measurable results. In the digital world of advertising it is measurable and economic decisions can be made based upon evidence. Its a mix of getting yourself out there that matters.

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