Does Print Media Have a Place in the Age of Online Advertising?

Does Print Media Have a Place in the Age of Online Advertising?

Digital marketing dominates the advertising landscape. Viral videos, interactivity, and user-generated content have all but usurped traditional advertising channels. But is there a place for print media in today’s fast-moving, low attention span world? It is true that the ubiquity of digital marketing has put print media and other traditional methods into a state of decline. And yet, printed material continues to be a part of many campaigns. Could it be that there is still a crucial role for print media to play? Let’s take a closer look. 

Changing places

Print media is declining, this is undeniable. But could it be that in spite of this, or even because of it, its role in a marketing campaign is developing? Printed advertising definitely appeals to older people, those not so au fait with the internet or mobile devices. It provides a reassuringly old school approach and therefore is more likely to engage its reader. It is also really effective for taking branding out of the digital domain and into the home or office. 

You may think it strange to associate fresh and futuristic technology with something as decidedly old school as print media. But the emergence of such cutting edge technologies as 3D printing means that advertisers can get creative with the way they work. 3D printing has revolutionized signage and models and is an extremely effective marking tool. Print finishing and embellishing has also been completely overhauled by such pioneers as Landa Nanotech, aiming to get great results from the processes in a more cost-effective and waste-reducing way.


With so much content arriving via email, social media and SMS, we are inundated by digital advertising. That makes it feel disposable, cheap, or simply an annoyance. A printed piece of advertising demands more attention – especially now that there aren’t as many flyers, leaflets and other material as there once were. It also feels more credible – a brochure or leaflet is something you hold in your hands, and take the time to read properly. That realness, so often lacking in the way we consume content today, makes print media a powerful tool for advertisers.

A personal touch 

One way that print media can still outperform its digital counterparts is the personal touch it affords.  Business cards, product brochures, and company literature can be presented in-person to potential customers at trade shows, promotional events or office visits. Having a business card placed in your hand is still a vital link between company and customer, and a way to get your brand’s presence felt. From that point on, any engagement with your company logo or advertising materials will evoke that personal touch.


Printed ads are still a great way to raise your brand’s identity in the market place. Using a consistent aesthetic, with colors, fonts, logos and pictures matching your online presence, seeing your ads out and about will give you added authenticity. This comes back to credibility – people are more likely to pay attention to a brand they saw advertised on a poster and online, rather than a purely digital brand.

Get creative

We mentioned 3D printing as an exciting way to use the engaging power of print media. But there are many other ways to do so – printing up a branded vehicle is one such way. Relatively low cost, and extremely effective in terms of reach – remember you can drive it around or park it in different neighborhoods, widening your sphere of engagement.

Quality control

Much of the time we’re viewing digital advertisements on screens that are either too small or too low quality to get a real impact. Printing posters or other materials means that you have control over the quality of the product, from design and manufacture to delivery. This also means you can go to town on the design – using beautiful, full-resolution photographs without losing any of the detail, or employing a devastatingly cool new font without having to worry about how it performs on a smartphone or tablet. 

People still value print media when it comes to advertising. It may not be the most cost-effective or far-reaching marketing technique, but as part of a wider strategy, and by thinking about using its qualities creatively, it certainly holds its own. Don’t expect it to die out anytime soon.

Tanya Mayer

Tanya Mayer is a writer and a mother of two youngsters. She enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, reading books and cooking. You can reach her at

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