Print or Click: Which is most effective for advertising?

Print or Click: Which is most effective for advertising?

Advertising is one of the trickiest aspects of publicity to get right. In this day and age when there are multiple platforms to work with, it can be hard for any company, state organisation or community group to decide which is best. In the majority of cases, they will go for two mediums – print and online. The latter has grown significantly in the past 15 years, but which is the most popular?

Until recently, print was the most dominant form of media for advertising, particularly for small businesses and companies looking to recruit new employees. However, it has been supplanted to some degree by the rise of the internet, leaving many with a difficult dilemma. It’s not just straightforward adverts which are being shown online either.

Print bosses fight their corner

Increasingly, publicity material such as catalogues, brochures, flyers, newsletters and even magazines are being made for online reading. The proliferation of e-readers such as Kindles as well as the growth in popularity of smartphones and tablets has aided growth further. However, some people involved in the media industry believe that print is here to stay.

Jane Bruton, the editor-in-chief of Grazia magazine, said that there will always be a place for glossy magazines. As long as they’re managing to remain interesting and unique, they will continue to thrive in the face of fierce competition from online publications. If that’s the case, then the decision on which way to publish something will become even harder to make.

Online rise killing off print?

However successful print media may be, the fact is that online media is becoming more popular by the day. Some print magazines, even those actually dedicated to technology, have fallen by the wayside due to declining sales, rising printing costs and, in some cases, because people prefer to get their information online as opposed to a print publication.

 While some magazines, newspapers and even newsletters have ceased to be, other forms of printed media continue to succeed, one of them being catalogs. Those that are among the most successful are managing to work both online and offline, mainly by being made available as PDFs or being rearranged into online shops.

Firms such as Truck Locator who started out as catalogue firms have expanded beyond that – while their online catalogue is still going strong, Managing Director Colin Medwynter speaks highly of the continuation of their print edition:

 "Our printed Truck and Plant Locator Weekly Magazine continues to generate great responses for advertisers - if it didn't work, there wouldn't be 128 advertising pages each week packed with trucks and plant for sale.

“We mail 10,000 copies a week to truck operators - when the magazine lands on a truck operator's desk and they are considering a new truck we know that they read it.”

“Truck and Plant Locator Magazine is now in its 17th year and has gone from strength to strength."

Having a mix of online and offline media can be very useful, as it means a company is less likely to neglect part of their potential target audience. The use of both is still pretty widespread, so anyone looking to push a product or service wouldn’t be wise to choose one over the other, even if there is a growing disparity in popularity between the two.

Will print media continue to complement online reading? Only time will tell.