Traditional Print Advertising Still Going Strong

17 10 2008

With social media, text messaging and online videos gaining in popularity as advertising formats, some are saying traditional print advertising is going by the wayside. I don’t think so.

Direct Mail
According to Print in the Mix, a clearinghouse of research on print media effectiveness, most respondents to a 2008 marketing survey said they gave direct mail a score of 3.9 (on a scale of 1-5) when it came to getting direct mail for ad purposes. Email closely followed with a score of 3.7, but it’s interesting to note that email did in fact come in second. Text messaging, social networking site ads and instant messaging all scored well below a 3. Also, of those surveyed, just under 66 percent said they had made a purchase because of a marketing message received in email. More than 75 percent said they had made a purchase because of a direct mail piece.

Newspapers
A 2007 NNN Newspaper Footprint Study conducted by Scarborough Research found that four out of five Web site newspaper readers also read the print edition. The readers mainly looked at the newspaper’s online edition for breaking news and to look up articles they had read before.

Also, newspaper ad spending is still strong: in 2007, $46,612 million was spent on newspaper ads.

Magazines
U.S. adults love magazines. A full 85 percent read magazines regularly according to the Magazine Publishers of America. A 2005 study compared the effectiveness of different ad media used for Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee advertisements. The study found that total sales growth increased as the budget for magazine ads increased. Spot TV was the least effective medium in the study.

Part of the reason why print ads are still workhorses for the advertising industry is because they’re so easy to take with you and you don’t need any kind of technology to view them.

A Mix Works Well
Instead of traditional print advertising being replaced by new media outlets, they are being integrated for best results. It’s like a recipe: add one part new media and one part traditional print ad and you yield higher sales! Okay, maybe it’s not that easy, but that’s where the trend is going.

Look at all the newspapers that have online editions: they’re reaching a younger audience online and an older audience offline. All those online readers are people who otherwise wouldn’t read the paper, so they’ve just increased readership by combining their offline and online ventures.

Many newspaper ads, TV ads, magazine ads, brochures, direct mail pieces, etc. – all the traditional outlets – are including a URL in their ad. That’s a great way for consumers to get more info on their own time, or to order from a company’s Web site. That’s good integration that benefits the customers by giving them multiple opportunities to make a purchase. And what kind of company wouldn’t want to give customers an easy way to part with their money?

So, from all the stats out there and the number of people responding to print ads, it’s clear that print ads are still going strong. So be sure to keep print ads in your marketing arsenal along with any new media to keep your marketing bucket full.

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