We try our best these days to be medium agnostic, but having worked in newspapers for over 20 years now my blood is actually 99% ink (the other 1% is single malt, thank you Scotland). So please indulge me if I take a few minutes to explain why I think print still has a place in your marketing mix.
And I promise, no nostalgia.
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.
Aside from brewing a pot of coffee, not that much multitasking goes on during newspaper or magazine reading. So far, so obvious.
If you’re browsing the web with six tabs open and the television on in the background, you may not be that receptive to all the advertising going on around you. But if you’re reading a newspaper or magazine, you’re generally focused on just that. Folio Magazine reports that a Ball State University study showed that when magazines are used by consumers, they are the primary or exclusive medium 85% of the time. In other words, most of the time someone is reading a magazine, they’re not multitasking.
Please, no-one start singing 'GO COMPARE'.
It's a fundamental principle of advertising, more frequency = more effective.
Web audiences are vast, so unless you’re targeting very specifically or you're buying a massive amount of impressions, it’s unlikely your ad will appear repeatedly in front of the same people.
Smaller, loyal and, in the case of regional print, geographically defined, audiences mean your message will get reinforced time and time again with the right people.
The most important point of all in my opinion.
'20% off' doesn't take long to say, does it, but what if you're fed up wit giving away margin to get more clicks? What if you want to talk about your brand values, your USP or, heaven forbid, attract long-term, repeat and loyal customers that like your products and services even when they're not in a sale.
Consistent brand re-enforcement takes space. When was the last time you saw Ferrari or Rolex chasing clicks with an ad on MSN?
That's not to say that there isn't a place for call-to-action ads online or in print, but what's more effective: 20% off at a pound shop or 20% at John Lewis?
Print is still the most effective medium for brand advertising and, whether we realise it or not, we're all a brand.