Print Media Marketing and Advertising in the Changing Media Landscape

Now is a time of changing media landscape. Publishers are offered a wide array of publishing and distribution options. In the same way, regular people are presented new means of taking their message across. Media consumption is changing in a very fast manner.  The Hansa Research for Media Research Users Council (MRUC) has recorded a 34.8% CADR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) growth on internet usage in their most recent survey. The coming of tablets and smartphones could have also contributed to this.


CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) Across Media Platforms (Image Source: MediaNama)

 In the 2010 advertising and marketing study conducted by Outsell through Chuck Richard, Vice President and Lead Analyst; and Sheila King, Director of Primary Research, by delving into the B2B advertising and marketing spending in the US, it was found out that marketers planned to spend more on digital and online campaigns than on print. In 2011, the spending on new media has even increased. But more recently, this supposed trend has abruptly altered. In the study conducted by the same body published June of the current year, marketers and advertisers suddenly greatly raised their budget on traditional media. This could be a result of the increased knowledge on traditional media (especially print) among businesses and marketers.

Many marketers are still buzzing about how the internet has become such a useful tool in relaying their messages across their markets. Many would claim that print media marketing is dead (or dying). However, this claim has no basis, no real statistics and pure opinions probably effects of the stir on the advent of new forms of media and frequently discussed virtual environment. So, to make it clear, print is neither dead nor dying. Although we are in an era of changing media landscape, print remains relevant and widely used.


Characteristics of Print Media

Let’s then take a look at the characteristics of print media that makes it an important and indispensable platform for the marketing and advertising campaigns of businesses. Forbes has mentioned 4 very important characteristics of print in a post: tangible, engaging, credible and targeted. Being something physical and real, print is tangible. Because of this, it can stay around audiences for a significantly longer span of time as compared to internet, TV and other ads. In addition to being tangible as a result of it being physical, it is as well engaging.

According to the article, “Consumers are more engaged when reading printed material, unlike websites, which are often skimmed in as little as a 15 second visit. A study shows that people read digital screen text 20% – 30% slower than printed paper. (Alshaali & Varshney, 2005)” Knowing that there are a lot of authorizing bodies that manage that which gets printed, the assurance of the credibility of printed materials is high in comparison to others. Lastly, print is more targeted. Many among the printed media are subscribed to. The online ads created by some programs and algorithms are just based on user activity which could not be trusted especially if the computer is shared among family members and other similar situations.

In addition to the above characteristics, what also that makes print is that the audience is more likely to respond to it. Response is very important since it’s the activity that drives in sales and increase brand awareness. It can be seen from the joint study project by the Print Media Academy of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG and the Faculty of Advertising and Marketing Communication of Stuttgart Media University in 2008, when they compared the print media advertisements of the automobile brand, BMW, with its advertisements on other platforms that print media creates more  interest around the brand. Houston Chronicle, in a recent article, further supports the above finding:

Researches at Penn State University conducted a test in 1998 to gauge whether online advertisements or print advertisements were more memorable. The researchers concluded that print ads stuck with readers far more than online ads.

Print media has also been a culture and will remain a culture. That is probably one of the strongest characteristic that print media has that makes it a very effective means of communication and platform for marketing and advertising. Once something is attached to culture or considered one, it acquires an intrinsic value of being strongly supported by those who are subject to it. Our ethnocentric nature proves us that.