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The industry
perspective

author
Chandni Ghosh

Is it Print v/s Digital (or) Print + Digital?

This must be an often discussed point in meeting rooms these days. With highly fragmented and cluttered mediums, choice of media is becoming a tougher choice by the day. And one thing is becoming clear – no single media is sufficient to cater to all of a brand’s objectives and needs. While digital media is growing at a faster rate (on a lower base), Print and TV are projected to grow as well. The unique facts about print advertising is that every year, different categories grow at different rates – some lean on print a lot more and some less. It totally depends on the category and brand life cycle, the markets and the objective of the brand for that current year. We have seen so often that brands/categories which didn’t spend heavily in print for a certain year came back big the next year. And brands/categories which left print out of their media plan had a negative impact on sales or on brand metrics like trust and salience.


Print continues to retain its pride of place in creating impact, immediate recall, establishing credibility, high visibility and localisation. In a recent study by a leading research agency, it revealed that the efficacy of a digital campaign improved ~4x when it was supported with print.


Print media thrives on credibility

For years now, consumers view print as one of the most trusted sources of information. Anything that’s a part of print goes through a stringent process where facts are re-evaluated and sources are checked. Consumers find print information far more believable than what they get from digital counterparts.


Digital media is a ground for fake news

It’s tough to find the accurate source of information when it’s on digital media. Most consumers, by now, are well aware of the fact that the internet is a place for misleading advertising. This is why many unethical businesses often find their way to digital media. In fact, studies even suggest that 80% people have never even clicked on a banner ad—perhaps due to the fear of where it will lead them or the fact that they don’t trust the ad.


Print is attention grabbing

Print readers do not multitask—they pay attention to one thing at a time. So there’s a bigger chance of an ad connecting with the readers or potential consumers than over digital. Not only does it grab the reader’s attention but the fact that it has a physical connect with the readers also ensures that he/she remembers the brand or the ad for a longer period of time.


Too many distractions on digital

When you consume information online, you have multiple tabs open—you’re replying to mails, reading more material and are probably, scrolling through Instagram. The digital space is too intrusive and unlike the newspapers which enjoys uninterrupted attention, the digital medium is fragmented.


Print media is reliable

Publications don’t allow just about any advertiser to come on board to advertise with them. Instead, they follow strict rules of print advertising. So when you find an ad in a print medium, it immediately gains the trust of the consumer. Therefore, when it comes to brand trust and recognition, print reigns supreme.


Print helps in discovery

The behavior in digital is 'seeking out' — you know what you are looking for. Whereas print allows consumers to discover new brands, product and services.


Print media stimulates the senses

Print media is a touch and field product —when you read a magazine or newspaper, you’re able to feel the paper and even remember which page you saw a striking ad or a piece of information on. This helps consumers absorb information better.


Too much clutter in the digital space

With digital media, you just scroll through news or ads. Even if something struck a chord with you, chances are that you’d quickly move to something and forget about it because of the volume of information.


Digital ads don’t reach its consumers

An ad is lost in the digital space because the medium has multiple advertisements at the same time. So there’s little chance of an ad reaching its consumers in this cluttered space.

While digital seems to be the order of the day, with the points above it won’t be wrong to say that print will always be the most trusted and reliable source of advertising and information.

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