Digital Signage vs Traditional Printed Media

Digital Signage vs Traditional Printed Media

Which one is better - digital signage or traditional signage? Learn our comparison and find out top reasons to choose digital signage over print signage.
November 3, 2022

In the modern world, information is constantly being changed, and it is crucial for audiences to get the most relevant and up-to-date messages. As a business owner, you’ve probably been facing the choice of which type of signage to invest in and which one is more effective. Here, we want to provide you with some insights into why Digital Signage is the new future, while printed media is quickly becoming a thing of the past. 

What Is Digital Signage?

Let's clear up what Digital Signage is exactly. Digital Signage is a technology that shares information on displays to attract viewers’ attention. 

What kind of displays? Any! LCD displays, LED screens, touchscreens, and even tablets. Thanks to special software, you can broadcast images, videos, animated messages, or even interactive content on all devices at the same time.

Digital Signage, like printed media, can be implemented in various business verticals: banks, retail stores, restaurants, hospitality, healthcare, etc. Still, Digital Signage outperforms Printed Signage in any parameter: digital screens can boost your audience engagement and create a more welcoming environment for your consumers. Let's see all the benefits you can get.

Digital Signage Perks

Less input, more income

Printed media may seem to be an inexpensive solution at first sight. It’s cheaper to order a paper banner rather than a digital display. But in the long term, Digital Signage is much more profitable and cost-efficient, and here is why. 

Changing billboards consumes lots of resources: you have to create the layout first, then send it to print, wait till the print is ready, and only then proceed with installing the banners. What’s more, every step of this process needs to be paid for. Keep in mind that with ever-changing information to advertise, signage has to be changed on a regular basis. 

To change the advertising message on a display, you just need to upload new content to a CMS in a few clicks. Check out how it works within our Displayforce platform

Digital Signage is not only much more adaptive in content broadcasting, but crucially, is also able to increase actual sales. In a survey of several fast food restaurants, 88.4% said that they had already recouped the cost of their digital signage investment in the first 24 months. 

Hyper-targeted content

As we’ve already mentioned above, print banners are an expensive solution, as they need to be changed manually. But it’s still not the main disadvantage. As printed media isn’t able to display real-time content, then there’s no way to interact efficiently with your target audience. 

Back in 2010, the company LG started researching Digital Signage and published the article Making Digital Signage Work in Shopping Malls. The issue was that mall visitors were of different demographic groups: adolescents, families with children, elderly people, etc. ​​This forced advertisers to simplify the portrait of their target audience, which reduced the effectiveness of advertising.

The solution was to adapt the content on digital screens based on the visiting time of the target audience. For example, in the morning, when elderly shoppers visited the mall, they were shown drugstore ads, while at noon, when families came, children asked their parents for a toy they saw on the screen. This method made it possible to cover the maximum number of client segments. That’s a goal that printed media is never going to reach. 

The future is already here: now, advertisers don’t have to do this task manually, as AI can do all the work for you. Our Displayforce Box beats all your expectations: the AI face detection impersonally analyzes your visitors, showing them an advertisement they're more likely to be interested in. 

Real-time offerings

Let’s say you own a cosmetics store and want to launch a 20% discount sale on a seasonal line of products. But wait, no way! Your competitors are offering 50% off all items. What are you to do if all the promotional materials have already been printed? Run a campaign without any hope of succeeding? 

Using Digital Signage, business owners are able to quickly respond to external changes and adapt to market requirements. If marketers come up with a creative idea, it takes 1-2 business days to implement it. Real-time offerings boost in-store traffic and increase customer loyalty. 


The only way to improve communication with your customers using printed media would be if they wrote directly on ad banners. But that’s insane. You could use paper questionnaires, but it’s less efficient and more time-consuming. When it comes to interactivity, Digital Signage is the only game in town. The best way Digital Signage can give full play to interactive communication is by deploying a touch screen. 

Touch displays are commonly used to let audiences browse information on a screen or interact with on-screen elements. Thus, for example, hotels can use them as digital concierges to create a welcoming environment for guests. Digital screens also can be useful for event visitors, displaying schedules of various speakers. It’s also profitable for retail, as customers can check the supply of products in stock, or even do a virtual clothes fitting. Check out how to make your store interactive and thus more profitable by improving relationships with your customers. 


Consumers no longer respond to print ads. Lots of brands and stores battle for customers' attention, and printed media is much more likely to be lost in the sea of sounds and visuals. Digital Signage shows up with a bright vibrant image and dynamic messages, creating a memorable experience for viewers. 

Show, don’t tell. In the digital-focused world, customers don’t have time to stop and read lots of text, it’s faster and easier to watch a short video and get useful information. Dynamic digital content evokes positive emotions, and thus triggers impulse buys. 

Long-lasting performance

Printed banners tend to wear out fast. When freshly installed, there’s no doubt print media looks juicy! But one rainy day can make a paper poster become unusable. 

Commercial-grade displays are built to work for you as long as possible. Some models are provided with additional protection: a hard case, durable glass, etc. If a digital screen gets dirty, it is enough to wipe it clean and admire the fresh and bright image again. 


The production of print advertising requires a huge amount of resources. Chemicals and other toxic substances damage the environment, especially if not properly disposed of. Besides, as we’ve discovered above, print media is not a long-lasting solution, so pollution goes along with every change of the paper. 

Digital Signage again wins on this point. Many companies nowadays prefer digital displays to reduce hazardous waste. You may say, “How come it’s more eco-friendly if screens use lots of energy?” It was for this reason that energy-efficient displays such as LED and projection signs were designed. These screens use less electricity and tend to have a longer lifespan, meaning they avoid landfill for considerably longer.

To sum up

It’s still no surprise to see paper banners on streets. But the digital world is developing without looking back, and so should you. Digital Signage opens up limitless opportunities for businesses, in particular through centralized and localized targeting. This allows you to control the flow of content and improve interaction with the target audience, while increasing sales. All the benefits are right in front of your own eyes, so go digital with us!

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