It isn’t true that we all love the smell of print that digital media can’t catch! We just enjoy visiting bookstores and flipping through new magazine pages, while cyberspace is still working on fragrances. Now there are challenges and comfort zones. However, it remains the fact that the digital world is the new Buzz giving print media a run for money.

In fact, a sacred ritual with x and y generations is slowly being taken over. Well, each media has unique advantages and customers.

Print Media vs Electronic Media

We spent some time trying to understand the pros and cons of print media vis-à-vis digital media and we come out with the observations below, this is not a complete list though.

One of the biggest advantages of print media is that it is real. We can actually touch and smell the smell that gives us comfort. In addition, studies show that our brains can retain more through physical contact than other forms of imagery.

So flipping pages, highlighting and writing notes adds to the strength of our gray matter retention vis-à-vis using the mouse pointer. Another advantage of print media is that once we buy a magazine or journal we have it for the rest of life.  Human desire for control and ownership kicks in, even in small doses.

Print media has a share of losses too. It failed to provide the fun we get from instant features, infographics and interactive videos. Another serious limitation is the inability to get instant feedback from viewers. In addition, the costs associated with material, printing, publishing and circulation costs are very large not to mention environmental concerns because of the paper and ink used.

Print vs. online coverage?

Digital media, on the other hand, is unique in being interactive; we, the viewers, can give our feedback immediately. It also gives us the opportunity to share socially with friends, family and like-minded individuals. Of course, reader involvement is at a much higher level.

It’s fast, easy and interactive with scope to optimize products and content. Tracking and Analytics tools such as Google Analytics provide valuable feedback such as which articles received the maximum number of views, geographical location, time spent on page, etc.

One must wonder that with many advantages what will be the limiting factor for digital? Well, one of the biggest disadvantages is online plagiarism. This is a serious offense but there is very little done to stop it.

Digital publishers must protect all of their publications, any content, articles, photos, videos and anything that can be copied or reproduced. Another limitation is failing to hold the viewer’s attention for a long period of time. Viewers are easily distracted and digital publishers have to work extra hard to attract their attention and keep their viewers on their site.

Which one is better?

Obviously, one fails where the other wins. So, it’s wiser to mix well in the right proportions to get the best from your readers. One need to choose the right media depends on one’s needs and requirements:

• Type of business: You can decide on your strategy depending on the type of business. For example, if you have a small and medium sized business catering to the local area, you can save big costs with a combination of low-cost digital media and local print distribution.

• Types of customers: You need to know your customer base. You have to find out where they spend more time?

• Opportunity costs: You need to find out the opportunity costs. This is an alternative cost that needs to be a conclusion to pursue certain actions.

In fact, in the long run it may not be print-only or digital-only market, your presence might be needed as a hybrid consumer or provider. Larger consumers will decide what will be the next iteration with the only constant change, as usual.