The pros and cons to both and when to use them.

The battle is real, people. Advertisers are faced with this decision daily. Do we go with classic print advertisements or the latest digital advertisements that have been increasing in popularity over the years? Our belief is that you don’t have to choose between them, you just need to choose the appropriate avenues among the different options. 

As our moms always said when we were growing up, “There are two sides to every story,” there are positives and negatives to both advertising methods. It is up to you and your marketing team to decide how heavily those pros and cons weigh in the grand scheme of your strategy. 

Let’s break it down to help you get started. 




  • Print pieces have a long shelf life. Magazines can stay around on your coffee table or the dentist office waiting room forever. (Anyone else love catching up on the celebrity gossip from 9 months ago while they wait on the dentist?)
  • It is a great avenue to tell a story. Many readers are spending more time with the newspaper, magazine or newsletter than when they are surfing the web, so the chances of your ad catching their eye are pretty high. (Assuming you have some kick-ass creative, of course.)
  • Touch helps you remember. Studies show that we retain information better through a sensory experience, such as flipping through the pages of a magazine or holding onto a direct mailer. According to this article on Forbes, a 2009 study was conducted by Bangor University that concluded that physical materials are more real to the brain, therefore easier to remember. 


  • Everything is online these days, and most of the time, it’s free. So paying for printed news is slowly declining–especially in the age of millenials who have never known anything but technology. 
  • It’s expensive. To keep afloat, many publications need to create a cutting edge piece in order to stand out and to keep their staff employed. That means higher prices per ad.
  • How do you track it? While there are plenty of measures you can take to evaluate your ROI on your print run, it’s a lot harder to actually track and see direct results compared to other avenues. 



  • Analytics. The opportunity to obtain exact results of how people reacted and interacted with your messaging is gold to an advertiser. This information allows you to see the actions of consumers and optimize your content to better appeal to your audience. This provides the opportunity to adjust your message based on the results you wish to see. 
  • Digital can be super targeted. Need to reach males, ages 40-65 in a certain geographical region that are interested in fishing and have an average household income of over $75,000? You can do that. Want to run a mobile-only campaign? You can do that too. 
  • It can be social. Since social networks have entered the scene, brands are now able to interact with their consumers directly. You can start conversations and use tactics to influence the way consumers respond to your brand. 


  • Everyone’s doing it. Now that online advertising has become more of an expectation on every site you visit, consumers are constantly being inundated with ads at every turn. This is an added challenge for your creative to really cut through that online clutter. 
  • It can get pricey. Now brands are often using video and animated ads to stand out above the rest. This can jack up creative and placement costs, but it may be worth it to you. 
  • Space is limited–ad space that is. You only have a small space to really grab someone’s attention and entice them to take action with your brand. Ad dimensions are small so your message has to be powerful. 


So I’m sure you’re looking for an answer: Who is the victor of this battle? 
Would you be mad if we said they’re both winners? We can’t choose and neither should you.  You must choose the avenues that make the most sense for your campaign and messaging and you shouldn’t choose just one! Take the integrated marketing approach and embrace the pros and cons to all of it – playing to each of their strengths. 

Need help doing it? We specialize in creating strategic, integrated marketing plans so give us a call!