Is print advertising still effective?

Is print advertising still effective? – Today we all tend to think online should be our first port of call.  It may therefore surprise you that recent surveys continually show print ads still edge digital advertising in terms of reach, preference and recall.

One reason for this is the internet is a noisy place.  More and more pages are home to dozens of links, flashing banners, pop ups ads and chat-bots all vying for your attention.  

With a magazine or newspaper, the ads are static and tend to sit on their own.  You can flick past them or stop and read them.  And you can flick back to them.  

This provides people with more time to consider and decide whether they want to act.  This is not only a much more comfortable experience. It has been scientifically proven that as print ads activate a different neurological response to digital ads, they are actually better at creating longer brand recall. 

Is print advertising still effective? – Print ads also last longer and reach further.  

While digital ads are there while you’re on the page, they disappear just as quickly.  Print ads stay in place for as long as the magazine or newspaper is kept.  And if the publication is shared or put on a table within easy reach of a constant turnover of people (i.e.in a reception, a waiting room or even on a chair in a train carriage) the ‘pass on’ rate could be massive.

The way readers engage with the print ads during this longer shelf-life is also interesting.  

As the vast majority of those who buy or – better still – subscribe to magazines and newspapers choose their purchases based on their personal or professional interests, they take the content more seriously.  As they have paid to for the content (and probably gone out of their way to find the publications in the first place) they will also spend more time studying that content.  

This means they are more likely to react to that content and that includes the ads.

Admittedly all of these plusses are rooted in consumer psychology but there are hard numbers to support the theory.

According to MarketingProfs, 92% of 18- to 23-year-olds find it easier to read print over digital content.

The response rate for direct marketing (including offers made in print ads) is 37% higher than for e-marketing. 

34% of consumers say they trust print ads more than search engine ads.

The younger generations are still reading as much print as the older generations.  According to a newspaper industry survey Baby Boomers read 9.2 magazines per month, Gen Xers read 9.1, Millennials read 8.9 and even the average GenZs still spends an hour a week reading physical magazines.

However, while this is a compelling argument for print advertising, for us print definitely works much better for some industries and audiences than others.  These include:

1. Retail and hospitality

Print ads work better when the business doing the advertising comes into physical contact with the products they’re advertising.

2. Luxury brands  

Glossy magazines and major publications are still held in high esteem by those who buy luxury goods.  They want to be associated with and included in the lifestyles being reported and online still can’t achieve those same levels of buy-in.  Yes. Instagrammers and YouTubers hold some sway in the middle ground but not at the high end. 

3. C-Level clients 

If you’re trying to target a C-level executives, forget email or clickbait, explore advertising and advertorial packages in the magazines they take seriously.

4. Your market is ‘hyper-local’

If your market is centred on a specific geography or even just a series of postcodes, the local press is a hugely cost-effective way to reach your hyper-local market.  Your traditional customers still take their local sheets very seriously and the rise of the ‘Go Local’ movement will only add to that good feeling.

Is print advertising still effective?

But of course the impact of your print ads have will come down to how they look (and how they read) so if you’re thinking about a print campaign, please drop us a line and we can arrange a times to talk you through the key considerations.

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