Print and Digital Marketing: Closing the Circle

Paul Moran explores the benefits to your business of a considered approach to combining the best of print and digital advertising

In a world where businesses are continuously searching for the next digital marketing trend or jumping on the latest social media tool, it is easy to overlook the proven traditional
means of print marketing and advertising. Certainly, digital marketing has changed the marketing game, offering many ways for businesses to reach their audience. However, a more nuanced approach focusing on combining the best of both print and digital formats could yield the greatest results for businesses today. I will discuss how print campaigns can fill the gaps and how combining both can complete the circle in your marketing strategy.

Building Credibility 

When we read print we assume that the material we are reading was researched, drafted, examined and cross-checked before publication. Generally, this assumption is correct,
publications normally have technical writing and subject knowledge expertise built up over years. This brings credibility to advertisers who can leverage this knowledge and associate
their brand with the relevant expertise. Print offers a different and complementary means to simply promoting adverts or supporting newspieces without research or reference across
digital platforms. When a digital source is linked to a print publication, this credibility and technical expertise can resonate with the product and service you are offering and can build a bond between you and your customers.

Tangible Connections 

The experience of consuming print and consuming digital content is quite different. The consumption of material in printed form leads to a tangible connection between the material and the reader through touch. Publications, journals or newspapers can be put
down, picked back up again, shared and read several times. They are focal points at tradeshows, checkouts and shops. The consumer interaction with digital advertising lacks this sensory and tangible connection because the consumer is clicking and scrolling through
content quickly. The advertiser’s message can become blurred into the background and consumers tend to take more time with print adverts, rather than pop-ups that interrupt their reading on a screen. The next time you read a book or newspaper, feel how your experience of that information is different to what you read or consume online. I’m sure you’ll be surprised just how different the experiences are. Perhaps, the complementary use of print and digital advertising delivering quality formats to support the brand and the deepest audience reach can be most appropriate.

Niche Audience 

Print media continues to have strong and engaged audiences built up over many years. A business seeking connection with this audience, is advised to consider print media as a means to engage and promote. It can simply be more effective than social marketing. For example, it is common for marketers to continue to drain budgets targeting audiences who liked Facebook pages a year or two ago but whose interests have now changed. All at once, a business could be targeting an out of date segment. However, a print journal, with a committed audience built over years, is distributed and read only by those people who are genuinely interested in that industry. This assures marketers and businesses that their budget is well targeted and spent on reaching the intended audience and also attracting new readers who are developing their interests and starting their commitment to a publication.

Multitasking – A Digital Distraction

Computers, tablets and phones can be distracting devices and we can all probably attest to times when reading material on social and digital media we are led away on a different track and to something completely different to our original intention. People tend to consume material and pursue searches while also checking emails, watching videos or listening to podcasts or music. Multitasking habits are embedded in our digital worlds. Unfortunately for advertisers, this can mean a missed opportunity to really engage with and influence your target audience. Conversely, we know that when consumers engage with print concentration levels remain higher and people become actively engaged in the content they are reading. Not only is this a better experience for the reader, it also allows advertisers to deliver their message to their audience without the worry of audience distraction and advert saturation.

Benefits of Digital Marketing Over Print

Having highlighted the benefits of print campaigns it is, of course, useful to consider some areas where digital marketing has advantages over print. Digital advertising shares several
benefits with print based advertising, however, digital advertising offers most in the areas of measurement, cost and speed.


The area of measurement is perhaps the most significant advantage of digital advertising; digital campaigns allow advertisers to monitor and track performance and implement
changes quickly, if necessary. Measurement gives businesses a clear picture of what is working and what is not. Businesses use key performance indicators (KPIs) such as click-through rate (how many times somebody has clicked into the ad), impression count (how many times somebody has seen the ad) and segmentation (who exactly is looking at your ad) to track campaigns. Furthermore, detailed data and reports can be generated to
assess if marketing objects are being met.

Cost Effectiveness and Speed

Digital marketing campaigns can be particularly cost effective. In other words, advertisers can get good ‘bang for their buck’. Speedy decisions on increasing or reducing spend can be based on near, real-time data on campaign performance, market conditions and feedback. Thus, budgets can be scaled for busier periods of the day or week when your audience are online and scaled back for when they are offline. For instance, spend can be diverted to an advert which is performing particularly well at a certain time to a certain audience.

The Best of Both

The key to successful marketing campaigns is to use the correct mix of print with quantitative digital media to deliver your marketing objectives. It is necessary to understand your audience and connect with them in a meaningful way. Ultimately, the goal is to make your advert and content visible and engaging to people in your industry. Using a credible platform which is well connected and respected in the industry, with clear audience information, readership figures, strong reporting tools and distribution channels is critical. A platform which combines print media with a digital offering can deliver on all objectives and guarantee your advertising campaigns are successful and deliver value.

Paul MoranPaul Moran is a Business Development Executive for Horticulture Connected. Paul has worked in Digital Sales & Marketing with high profile tech companies across Ireland previously and holds a Msc in Strategic Management & Planning from UCD Michael Smurfit Business School. When he is not buried in marketing, he loves to garden and grow his own food. He can be contacted at;