Labels vs Digital Media

Posted on January 25, 2018

Social media advertising has undeniably become one of the leading forms of digital advertising, and in terms of digital advertising as a whole, it now far outweighs the feather-weights such as print media. The marketing game has shifted from glossy pages to the online arena and the only competition it faces is that of packaging – or what we’re referring to exactly, is labelling. 

Over the last 5 years there has been a major shift in the preference and efficiency of advertising and marketing channels. However, it has become very clear that more and more marketers are making the budgetary migration from investing in print media to online media. The cost difference is also not a slight one! On average, you will get 1000% more coverage for your online advertising investment that what you would have got for a similar campaign in print media. The buck doesn’t stop there either, (forgive the pun) since your online advertising investment brings with it a far greater ability to trace returns and in many cases even pin-point the return on your investment. By this we refer to visible results, be it followers, engagement, new customers, statistics, sales figures, trends, etc. Print media has never been able to deliver more than just a hazy or useless indication of traceability. 


This does not mean that print media is no longer necessary. There are (and possibly will be for a little while longer) unique brand opportunities and benefits within the scope of print media, (not including labelling) however, the size of the difference gap between print and digital media has increased so dramatically that both should rather be recognised as having a specific designation for the job at hand. In other words, both forms of advertising are exactly that – channels of advertising, however the desired return on those two forms of advertising should be completely different, and once you have identified those unique purposes, only then should you decide what you’re prepared to spend on each.   

Theoretically speaking, labelling is a form of print media quite rightly, but it also deserves its own unique category so to speak. The reason we say this is because in practical terms you can no longer compare the efficiency of labels with that of other print media advertising. Labelling has a massive advantage not only because it gets more direct exposure to the consumer, but because it literally gets to go home with the buyer and further develop that relationship.


Labelling can never and will never be replaced by something else. (unless we have products that sprout holograms, but that’s not going to be any time soon) Almost every product you can think of is packaged or labelled in some way or form, and until we buy “blanks” or unlabelled products, consumers will continue to make their purchase decision based largely on the persuasive effects of the label. 

Is print media advertising dying a slow death? (again, we’re not referring to labelling.)

Possibly, yes. The global figures would certainly indicate that it is, or at very least that it’s in ICU, and the possibility of surviving is beginning to look rather slim.  It’s no secret that newspapers have seen a dramatic decline in their readerships over the last 5 years, which logically has had a knock-on effect on their declining circulation as well. What is worrying is the acceleration of this decline more recently, since 2017 was something tantamount to a skydive! 


Furthermore, advertising sales in print media have also dropped significantly, which have in some cases caused a decrease in print runs, smaller circulation volume, and in quite a few cases even meant the closure of small publications. However, this seems to have caused a reduction in the overall cost of print advertising, yet it is also clear that producers are investing less money in print advertising or shifting their budget from print allocation to digital allocation.  

On the flipside, there remains a fairly visible group within society that remain loyal to their preferences and/or individualism. This is the market that still prefers print media, the tangibility of paper, the enjoyment (or challenge) in the complex manoeuvring of a newspaper, or the luxury and comfort of a glossy magazine. Whichever it may be, there are people who will not (yet) replace their preferences with mobile devices or screens.  You need to decide if they’re within your target market or not. But, let’s be honest, this group too is getting smaller as mobile apps and the convenience of digital access to information becomes greater. (even waiting rooms don’t bother about magazines anymore, because everyone has a cell phone) 


Therefore, the signs are quite clear. Digital media is definitely trumping print media in terms of reach, circulation, lifespan and traceability. Bringing with it benefits such as cost effectiveness and greater frequency for your investment.  

So where does labelling fit in – does it serve in an advertising role or a packaging role? Definitely both, but perhaps its best to see labelling as a strong advertising exercise, but possibly a packaging expense. Either way, the importance is not where to put labelling in the budget, but rather the position it takes on the list of priorities! 

In closing, labelling remains your strongest connection with your consumer, it’s the face of your product and the representative of your brand. And even though it remains a “sticker on a bottle” – it’s that very same image that your potential consumer will see online!


Now you’re thinking, aren’t you?


How Veritas Labels can help you 

At Veritas Labels we make no secret of the fact that we’re not the biggest label printing supplier, or the most famous or the oldest – which recalls the saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” ... but never mind, we learn new tricks all the time!  Our “unfair advantage” is the collective experience, skill and leading abilities we have. We believe in progressing with the developments in technology and can proudly say that we offer not only state-of-the-art services but competitive pricing too.  We are also aware of the snags in this industry in relation to inferior label printing, poor service delivery, turn-around times, call-off times, price, quality, etc. and therefore we have made it our mission to avoid all of that and give you the service you didn’t think there was!  

For more information or to arrange a meeting, please call us at: 082 706 5599 or 021 818 4100 – we look forward to hearing from you. 

Cheers to fantastic labels – and cheers to soaring sales! 

Veritas Labels

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