Digital or Print Advertising: Which one’s right for me?

digital advertising

4 Minute Read

With numerous advertising and marketing techniques at your fingertips, it’s difficult to decide which one will work best for your business. Specifically, is it better for your business to be represented online, or showcased physically in a magazine?

Maybe you’re not sure how digital advertising works, or you’re afraid that nobody pays attention to print advertising.

Regardless, it’s important to be educated on the pros and cons of using both advertising mediums.

Familiarize yourself with your target customer and what they would be interested in, including what platforms they are using on a daily basis. Reviewing what has worked in the past for other businesses in your industry will also help you in selecting the correct placement for your ads.

CCG Pro Tip: Market your business with an eye-catching, easy-to-read, and effective ad design to create the most impact for your brand.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is, by no surprise, widely used in today’s world. In order to connect instantly with your customers and potential clients, it’s important to stay relevant online. Digital advertising is not only instant, but it is easily measurable and extremely interactive.

There are many digital tools you can use in order to track how your e-marketing is performing. One of our favorite tools for tracking e-marketing is Google Analytics, which allows you to easily customize your dashboard to track specific metrics from your digital advertising and oversee conversion success rates.

Consider the many different placements of digital advertising that can work for your business. Utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques and pay-per-click (PPC) ads on first-tier search engines, allows you to directly increase traffic to your website. You can also target a specific app to advertise within that may be frequently used by your target audience. If you have created a commercial, try advertising on YouTube, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and other Social Networks to quickly increase your reach. Investing as little as 6 hours of time per week into social media marketing will dramatically increase your website traffic1.

CCG Pro Tip: For quick and easy email marketing, try using MailChimp, which is the platform that we adopted to send our emails for the past 6 years!


Print Advertising

Despite the increase in online marketing, experts are saying that print advertising isn’t going anywhere. In reality, print actually out-performs digital marketing in many ways. Comparing overall effectiveness (called motivation-to-cognitive load ratio), a study shows that direct mail stands at an average 1.31 compared to 0.87 for all digital channels2. A number higher than 1.0 indicates extensive in-market success!

CCG Pro Tip: Set up a landing page that is linked to your direct mail campaigns to track the performance of your mailings.

Print is also very memorable. Only 44% of people could recall the brand directly after seeing a digital ad, whereas 75% could recall right after receiving direct mail3. Plus, 79% of consumers act on direct mail immediately, compared to only 45% who act on email. Print has a response rate of 4.4%, compared to email’s average of only 0.12%3. Since print ads are received physically and cannot be quickly deleted like emails, so they tend to make a longer lasting impression on customers. Plus, it’s a great way to build your brand’s credibility. A big reason for this is that it is more expensive to print and publish than digitally pay for ads. This means that there is a lot of risk in print ads, therefore there is more accountability on the source of which it’s printed.

So, if the ad is not true, the platform it’s on greatly risks their own credibility. Meanwhile, anything can be posted on the Internet without being authenticated, and can also easily be forgotten about.

It’s important to be aware of the many different types of print media that can help you target your ideal client. Use direct mail to strategically send a specific message to clients and prospects. Also, try displaying your ads on printed newspapers, magazines, billboards, and flyers in relevant locations to target your market.

So, what’s the answer?

More often than not, companies use both print and digital advertising to market their brand and convert prospects into paying customers. Although the digital world is growing, dedicating even a small investment to print could really make a difference. In the end, it’s all about keeping your business top of mind. So promote your business using a marketing mix of both forms of advertising to optimize your marketing strategy for ideal results.

In conclusion, it’s definitely not purely ‘black and white’ and often times, it depends on your company’s goals and objectives. It is also many times unknown if a certain type of advertising will work well with your brand’s purpose! So, test the waters, experiment, and market your business everywhere your customers are, within mediums they find engaging.

1. Bennett, Shea. “Facts, Figures And Statistics – The Marketing Benefits Of Social Media.” – Adweek, Adweek, 11 June 2013,
2. “Kissmetrics Blog.” The Power of Direct Mail in the Digital Age,
3.“Infographic: Direct Mail vs Email.” Digital Doughtnut,

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My team and I at Costello Creative Group have been helping businesses solve communication challenges since 2012. Prior to starting my firm, I spent eight years gaining powerful insights as an Art Director supporting global Marketing & Account teams for one of the largest Flavor & Fragrance organizations in the world. CCG’s focus in the F&F sector came naturally, but we continue to work cross-industry to maintain our diversity in both our thinking and creative approach. We partner long-term with clients to support them with everything from ad campaigns, digital marketing, branding and visual identity initiatives, to sales collateral, packaging, sales kits, and trade show materials.

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