Is Print Still A Vital Part Of The Advertising Mix?

Newspapers stacked on a table

A lot has changed in the world of marketing in the past few years. The number of print publications has dramatically decreased, with many others turning to digital in order to stay afloat. Yet despite the growth of digital media, statistics indicate that many people are still picking up the paper.

Figures published by the Pew Research Center in 2016 revealed that print circulation still makes up 78% of weekday circulation and 86% of all Sunday circulation in the US, showing that print media still plays a very significant role in today’s world. With these statistics in mind, many experts have advised marketers to stick with print. Research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) suggests that two thirds of marketers have excluded print from their marketing strategies; however, this might be prove to be a move in the wrong direction.

So why include print at all in the modern age if so many content providers are adopting digital-only strategies? There are several benefits to print marketing, including:

Tangibility – many people still enjoy picking up a book rather than reading from a screen, and those same people would still choose newspaper over mobile phone. The tangibility of print means that readers have a heightened sensory experience, something which is not easily given up.

Endurability – It is long lasting and doesn’t simply disappear into cyberspace. Readers are often quick to dismiss online advertisements as they are often seen as an inconvenient distraction. Print, on the other hand, has a stronger impact on readers and the advertisements featured are more likely to stay with them for longer.

Credibility – Print is still seen as a far more trusted source that digital. Anyone can create a news website online, and likewise, anyone can advertise on said site. When it comes to print, popular publications have built up a reputation over a longer period of time, and this reputation is reflected in the advertisements and brands featured.

Interestingly, the rise of “fake news” following the recent election saw an increase in subscriptions (both in print and digital) of trusted publications. The New York Times saw an increase of roughly 132,000 paid subscriptions in November 2016 alone.

It is clear to see that print shouldn’t be underestimated, and certainly shouldn’t be dismissed just yet. Today’s adept marketer sees print as another channel which works concurrently with the others, complementing activity rather than excluding. Marketing Tech agrees, sharing impressive figures around the effectiveness of print including the statistic that 79% of consumers responding to direct mail immediately, compared to the 45% who say they deal with email in the same timeframe.

Here at Amnet, we believe a multi-channel approach works best, with each platform providing its own benefits, ROI and engagement insights. While it is certainly true that the times have changed, to exclude offline communications from a marketing program would be to miss out on a chance to excite and engage a customer on a very deep level.

Amnet’s print and packaging team is on hand to advise further on best practices for print marketing; contact them here.