Digital Advertising vs. Print Advertising

Advertising is critical to any business. In order for any business to be profitable, consumers must know the business exists. Whether it be an eye-catching logo, a billboard relating to their company, or digital advertisements put out, every business utilizes advertising to gain business revenue.  

There are two main types of advertising; digital and print, with multiple subcategories. Digital and print advertising have advantages and disadvantages specifically associated with each subcategory.

Digital advertising is any advertising that uses the internet or technology to influence the branding of a business. Digital advertising includes online, mobile, broadcast, and guerilla advertising.

Online advertising is the most common form of digital advertising. It relates to any advertising you see online. These are pop-up banners, website advertisements, social media advertisements, or sponsored content. Online advertisements reach a big audience the fastest but are harder to target and get overlooked by web users.

Mobile advertising is any online advertising directly targeting mobile apps. This type is mostly found on social media and can leave a bad image of the brand in the mind of the consumer. It is critical that this type of advertising is done right. When disrupting the app use of your potential customer, you must not irritate or distract them, because that is how they will remember your business. If done right, the ads will create traction and business while that potential customer is scrolling through their Facebook feed.

Broadcast advertising is a great way to reach a big audience locally or globally, depending on the way it is used. This type of advertising incorporates commercials featured on radio and television.

“A mass-market form of communication including television and radio, broadcast advertising has, until recently, been the most dominant way to reach a large number of consumers.” – Paul Suggett on

Although this type of advertising can reach a big audience, it is easy for it to be overlooked. With the advance in DVR and ad-skipping technology, most commercials are skipped. Similarly, radio advertisements are skipped when the listener switches to another channel while waiting for the commercials to go off the air.

Guerrilla advertising is any advertising that is obscure or out of the ordinary. These ad campaigns are typically low budget and invite the consumer to participate. This can be an event, a hashtag, or any other way the consumer becomes a part of the advertising. This form of advertising is good at reaching a big audience while fitting in a low budget advertising plan. The inclusion of the consumers is how the advertising campaign spreads quickly without costing more for it to spread.

Print advertising is any advertising that uses present printed collateral to reach a target audience. Print advertising includes periodicals, brochures, direct mail, outdoor advertising, and public service advertising.

Periodicals are any advertisements that are sent out regularly over a given period of time. Most common of this type are magazines, newsletters, and newspapers. These ads are seen by numerous people all over and have a range of being anywhere from a small feature in a local newspaper to a two page spread in a top magazine. These ads are seen by a wide range of people but are not as effective as digital because they aren’t easily interacted with.

Brochures are loose leaf flyers containing more information than a periodical. These sit on a counter at the store, are placed around the local community or placed loosely inside of a magazine. These print advertisements are more interactive than periodicals because they are small, loose and can easily be taken with the potential customer.

Outdoor advertising is any advertising that reaches the customer when they are outside of their home. This is the advertising you’ll find on billboards, taxis and busses, and flyers posted to local community boards. These advertisements are seen quickly, like while a car is driving by, and must be engaging enough to capture the potential customer’s attention in a split second.

Public service advertising is any advertisements used to inform or raise awareness. One example is advertisements warning against skin cancer, encouraging potential customers to buy sunscreen through an informative advertisement warning against the damage of the sun. Typically potential customers seeing public service ads are not buying because they want the product, but because the information provided informs them to do something better for themselves.

There are big differences in the benefits of digital and print advertising. Digital advertising is more interactive and trackable, it also spans the range of a bigger target audience. Print advertising is more localized and is tangible for the potential customers to interact with.

Here at Tablio, we focus on digital advertising because we are able to track how efficient our marketing plans are working for our clients. We use Google Analytics to provide quarterly reports on the traffic our marketing plans create for each individualized business. We also offer different marketing plans tailored to each client to fit their specific needs and ensure that our services are a beneficial part of any advertising plan.

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