Suburban Shopper

The Death of Print Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Say it with me: Print is dead. Now let us both go wash our mouths out with soap at uttering such vulgarity and outright untruthfulness. Will meet you back here once mouth has been thoroughly scrubbed…

The Death of Print Has Been Greatly Exaggerated Okay, now that that’s out of the way, don’t ever talk about the death of print again. But it’s funny (not really) how “those in the know” are still making this bold statement when it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it is because of the emergence of so many digital channels that print is experiencing a rebirth. Instead of killing print, the Internet, through QR codes and promo codes, is giving print advertisers other avenues in which to engage their audience.

According to FedEx Office’s Fourth Annual Signs of the Times Small Business Survey, though many small business owners reach customers and prospects via online channels such as social media, more than half surveyed (53 percent) said they planned on using more traditional channels such as newsletters and direct mail.

Also, research conducted by RP Data revealed property professionals who used a combination of print and digital channels were able to move their inventory for a higher price and with less time on the market.
Benefits of Combining Print and Digital Channels
Connect with Consumers on Their Terms

Consumers will no longer come to you; you’ve got to go to them, wherever they may be. By using a combination of traditional and digital channels, you can be sure to reach your audience at just the right time and in just the right place.
Easier ConversionsThe Death of Print Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

In some ways consumers are like squirrels; they scare easy and need to be patiently wooed before they’ll take that nut out of your hand. Print campaigns are a great way to begin wooing your audience, especially since print is still the most trusted form of advertising. From your print ads you can then send readers to your online assets where they can truly engage and interact with you.
More Metrics at Your Disposal

When you use an integrated marketing approach, you have more metrics at your disposal that can help you determine what’s working and what isn’t.
Extend Your Reach

Some consumers, like Millennials, tend to spend more time online while others, like Baby Boomers, still prefer to get their information from printed sources like newspapers. By using a combination of channels, you have a much better chance at reaching a larger audience.
The Death of Print Has Been Greatly ExaggeratedThings to Consider When Mixing Print with Digital

A recent study by Nielsen research revealed consumers are interacting with brands through more touchpoints than ever before. Yet more proof that combining print and digital is an effective way at engaging consumers where they already are. But how do you develop the right mix of media that will reach your overall campaign objectives? Through some good ol’ fashioned research and planning that will uncover data you may use to develop your strategy. Look at things like:
Your Ideal Customer’s Online Habits

How long do visitors generally stay on your website? Where does most of your traffic come from? Which of your site’s pages get the most attention? Where else do consumers hang out online the most?
Spending Habits

Is your product or service a repeat necessity or a one-time purchase? Does your audience compare prices before buying? Are they on a budget?
What Is Their Emotional Life?

What are your customers’ needs, wants, likes, dislikes, desires, problems, worries, etc.? What makes them tick? What scares them?
What’s the Easiest Way to Reach Them?

Are your customers an older crowd that would rather have a conversation start in an ad in their favorite magazine before that conversation moves online to your Facebook page? How often do they check their email? Are they active on social media? Once you understand your audience better you’ll have a firmer grasp on what combination of channels to use and where your advertising dollars need to go.

As you can see, the death of print has been greatly exaggerated. Small businesses have a habit of looking at print advertising and digital advertising as separate entities, but the truth is they work best when combined in an integrated, holistic marketing strategy.

Here’s a Little Secret: Traditional Advertising Channels Still Work

As many companies abandon traditional marketing methods in a mad dash to embrace social media and online tactics, those advertisers in the know stick with what has always worked. While traditional channels may not suit every brand story or budget, many are still a great way to extend reach, engage consumers and increase the bottom line.
Consumers Prefer Traditional Advertising

Why is it that digital ad budgets get bigger and bigger and news of the decline of print ad revenues continues to make the rounds, yet many studies reveal that consumers are still far more likely to interact with and trust traditional channels?

According to an Adobe survey consumers continue to rely on word of mouth from family and friends (51%) as well as consumer forums (35%) to gain credible information on products and brands. These channels were closely followed by traditional media such as print ads and television with 28% of respondents referring to them, only 17% trusting websites, and a mere 8% looking to social media to gain brand awareness.

The same survey scored traditional media as the most effective (47%) and company websites as somewhat effective (18%).

Here’s a Little Secret: Traditional Advertising Channels Still Work Another study by the Shullman Research Center found that traditional advertising channels such as print and television were the best bet for reaching affluent audiences. In fact, the survey clearly indicates that four out of the top five advertising channels for reaching millionaires (you know, those consumers who have money to burn) were traditional, with print ads receiving the highest level of interest (74%) from survey participants.
Which Traditional Advertising Channels Are Right for You?

Not all channels work with all offers and messages so it’s important to know your business as well as your target audience inside and out.
Newspapers and Magazines

Obviously the goal of any advertising campaign is to reach your target audience and you can easily determine what channels they prefer (in this case print vs. digital content) by studying print readership demographics and examining purchasing data.

You may find despite the many claims that print is dead, your particular audience still very much engages with newspapers. As we mentioned previously, this is especially true if your audience happens to be affluent, in which case it makes loads of sense to drop a good chunk of your ad budget into newspapers.

Magazines also have their advantages like offering advertising that has the ability to reach a highly targeted audience. This means you’ll be able to reach only those consumers who are likely to spend their dollars with you. If your product or service is highly specialized, then advertising in specialty magazines that cater to a very particular audience will likely increase your ROI.

Some things to remember when advertising in newspapers or magazines:Here’s a Little Secret: Traditional Advertising Channels Still Work

Before purchasing any print ads, be sure to request a copy of the publication’s media kit so you can examine their current circulation numbers and readership demographics.
Choose an ad size that makes sense for your budget. Contrary to what you may think, full page ads aren’t the only ones that make big impacts. Well-designed smaller ads can also be highly effective at sharing your message.
You’ll want to study the publication’s schedule to place your ad effectively. By knowing your demographic and the publication schedule you can ensure your ad gets the highest traffic for your market.
Many newspaper and magazine readers interact with both the print and online versions of the publication, so consider buying a robust advertising package that will place your ad both in the online and physical publications.

Television and Radio

Not all businesses have the budget to handle radio and TV campaigns, but if you do, these channels can perform beautifully and reach your local audience. Placing TV and radio ads calls for some real strategy and the ability to study demographics in order to choose TV shows and radio stations that already reach your market.

Some things to remember when advertising in radio or television:

TV and radio ads have to be unique and creative in order to grab the viewer’s/listener’s attention in 30 seconds or less. Spend time really considering what your unique message is and how you can relay it in an engaging way.
Mixing and matching air times can be a great way to stretch your ad spend. Sure prime time seems the logical choice to reach as many prospects as you can, but it also will cost a pretty penny. Better to mix and match high dollar and cheaper slots to gain the most reach for the best price.


Billboards still have their place in a marketing mix and can communicate a brand’s message clearly and loudly. Billboard advertising works best for those messages that are simple and compelling and that need to reach a larger market in a specific geographical area.

Some things to remember when advertising with billboards:

Bargains don’t always pay off. Yes, well-placed billboards may cost four times as much as ones placed in crappy locations, but they will get your message in front of your audience, whereas the cheaper placement may only get your message in front of pigeons and a garbage dump.
Do you have something everyone needs? It’s hard to target drivers, which is why billboards work best when your offer is something everyone needs, like car insurance, a better night’s sleep, or good ol’ gasoline.
On average most drivers will see your billboard for only two to three seconds, so this means your message has to get to the point. Make sure your design is clean and your images are engaging. You must have a big call to action. Also, your URLs or 800 numbers should be easy to memorize as drivers won’t be able to write them down.

The key to great advertising has always been and will always be identifying and understanding your particular market. Traditional channels can be highly effective at reaching certain demographics. The thing to remember is, it doesn’t have to be a one or the other situation. The best advertising strategies are robust and mix traditional channels with digital channels to ensure the greatest reach.


5 Reasons Print Media Should Be Part of Your Marketing Mix

Unless you’ve been living under a giant pixel lately, you no doubt know the entire world has become increasingly digital in the way we interact and do business. We communicate via text, email, and Skype, read our books on electronic readers, and create ad campaigns that can be accessed through mobile technology. Oh, and we also insist on sharing all the morbidly boring details of our family vacations (including uploading embarrassing photos) through our social media pages.

And yet, despite this obsession with digital technology, print marketing is more alive than ever before.

Here are five reasons why print should be part of your marketing mix:

1. Print Material Triggers Multiple Senses 5 Reasons Print Media Should Be Part of Your Marketing Mix

Admit it: doesn’t much of your world seem plastic? We spend all day touching our mobile phones, computer keyboards, and TV remote controls. It’s nice every once in a while to touch a printed newspaper or magazine. The feel of the paper and glossy pages, the smell of the ink – these sensory experiences are a big part of being human.

Triggering multiple senses adds to the effectiveness of print advertising. Martin Lindstrom, writer of “Brand Sense,” believes brands that appeal to more than three senses will be more successful with their advertising efforts than brands that don’t.

2. Print Creates True Engagement

Much of the content that lives online doesn’t truly engage (this blog post being an obvious exception!). Well, it’s not that it doesn’t engage, it’s that humans don’t engage with it. For many of us, we become impatient when shopping or surfing the web. We feel we don’t have time to stop and read a whole article or blog post, so we merely skim and move on to the next, and we skim that one and move on to the next, etc.

The real key to successful marketing though is to engage your prospect, to entice them and gain their full attention with great content before you present them with your valuable offer. Print is so effective in this regard because people slow down when they have a magazine or newspaper in their hands and actually read, not only the news, but the ads as well. That’s right, in the printed world the ads are as much a part of the reading experience as the editorial content.

3. Your Brain on Paper vs. Your Brain on Screen

5 Reasons Print Media Should Be Part of Your Marketing MixRecent neurological research has shown the human brain processes information differently depending on whether that information is presented in print or on a screen. The studies have uncovered a fact that all marketers should know: readers of print have a longer attention span because print doesn’t offer so many distractions. This is called deep reading – and the act of deep reading creates deep thinking, which means readers can become fully engrossed in the content. And when they then see relevant advertising next to that content they actually think about it as well.

4. Print Drives Users Online

A survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association found that over 47% of consumers are most likely to start an online search after viewing a magazine ad. That is big news because all ads have one goal – to get people to take action and interact more with your brand.

5. Adding Print to the Mix Increases ROI

An effective marketing campaign works best when print is integrated with other digital solutions. In fact, research has shown print’s ability to increase ROI by as much as 240%. A BrandScience analysis of over 500 European campaigns consistently showed an increase in a campaign’s overall success when print was combined with other channels.

If you haven’t been incorporating print into your marketing mix, it’s most likely because you had no idea of its effectiveness. So now that you do, what are you going to do?

6 Advantages of Print Advertising

We are a society of technologically-obsessed people who aren’t comfortable unless we are constantly connected via some sort of digital device. And, because the entire world has moved online, some in the advertising industry would have you believe print advertising is dead and buried.

But this simply isn’t true.

Print is still very much alive. In fact, advertisers who make print a part of their marketing mix have the potential to significantly increase their response rates. Here are just six advantages of print advertising.

1. Leveraged Credibility6 Advantages of Print Advertising

Print publications that consistently offer readers high-quality, reliable content develop credibility, and advertisers can easily leverage this credibility. Known as the “halo effect,” brands who place ads in respected print publications receive the same positive feelings from readers that are associated with the publication itself. This means your ads can be seen as completely trustworthy, which makes generating leads and sales much easier.

2. “Influential s” Are Swayed by Print

An MRI Survey of the American Consumer found that “influential s,” those consumers who have the ability to sway other consumers, are influenced by print ads, with 51% being influenced by magazines and 53% influenced by newspapers.

3. Print Readers Have Bigger Attention Spans

The digital age has pretty much killed the human attention span. We surf the web with six different tabs open while someone is instant messaging us, another is texting us, and “The Walking Dead” is on the TV in the background. We’re simply not as receptive to all of the digital advertising happening around us.

Print readers, on the other hand, don’t typically multitask when they read a magazine or newspaper, making them far more receptive to the ads within the publication.

4. Unplugging Is In

We touched upon the fact that we are tech-obsessed creatures, but we are tech-obsessed creatures who have begun to understand the value of “unplugging” every now and then. When we do unplug from the digital world, we tend to turn to print media as a form of entertainment and engagement.

5. Print Ads Offer More Flexibility and Options

Print ads allow you to target your audience. You can choose exactly which section of the newspaper or magazine your audience is most likely to read. You can choose to run ads in specialty magazines or only in papers that deliver to specific geographic locations in your area. You can choose to have your ads run in Wednesday’s paper or Sunday’s paper.

Beyond these options, print allows you to tailor your campaigns to fit your budget by offering quarter-page, half-page and full-page ads. And finally, advertising in print publications mean you’ll actually work with a human being when buying your ad space as opposed to relying on an online algorithm to decide where your ads should live.

6. Print Ads Drive Action

The Nielson Global Trust reported that 65% of print readers typically take some form of action after viewing a newspaper ad. For example, people who viewed an advertisement from a national grocery chain were six times more likely to buy the product than the retail average.

As we mentioned at the beginning, when print and digital advertising work synergistically, results can be dramatic. The use of QR codes and other interactive features within print ads has helped to create a bridge between the print-digital divide. Ads that include free download offers or social media URLs encourage prospects to engage with brands online and inevitably help to drive more traffic and create awareness.

Successful ad campaigns reach targeted markets, effectively communicate a message, and drive action. By embracing the many advantages of print advertising and adding it to their marketing mix, advertisers can leverage the power of both print and digital to create the most awareness and revenue possible.