Print is Dead? Don’t Shoot the Messenger.

I will not deny that interactive and social media are booming nor will I deny that they are the future of advertising. I am a huge supporter of social media and all of the goodness that the online world and technology bring with it. I will fight the first person who says that social media has no influence or positive RIO and have previously written about its greatness.

I will, however, argue another myth circulating and causing sadness among ad students today. The myth that print is dead.

Fact: Newspapers still have a 73% weekly reach
         Magazines have a 77% monthly reach with an average of 4.8 readers/issue*

: 69% of M-F 18+ adults read newspapers at least once a week

: Magazines are top media to trigger online search (44%, while TV is 38% and internet ads are 21%)

Admittedly newspapers circulation has gone down to 79 in 2009 from 100 in 2000 (100=$2000). Magazines, on the contrary, have gone up to 115. And yes there is comparatively tremendous growth in internet advertising (100 to 1782!) revenue but that does not mean that print is already in the past.

Fact: Magazines are #1in:

  • engagement
  • increasing brand favourability
  • increasing purchase intent

Magazines have longer shelf life and multiple exposure through pass-along rates. They are seen as a “useful service,” not an interruption, because consumers pick them up voluntarily.

The reality is simple – there is still that niche market that enjoys flipping through pages. We like buying them, looking through them with friends, and using them as reference tools for whatever purpose (make up tips, recipes, instructions on whatever…). There are even smaller niches within specialized magazines to which people do subscribe and hold on to for a long time and these offer precise targeting.

The verdict, off course, comes down to the target audience – if print is not applicable to them than the hell with it but if it is it could be and should be utilized in creative ways. I think (and this is just my opinion) that if combined with the rest of the applicable media print could better the entire campaign. Print could be interactive, if what we consider interactive is the consumer engagement with the medium.

 Fact: Print has evolved to being interactive, some publications better than others, but they all have been pushed beyond the traditional print boundaries.  Case in point is the recent push for QR and AR content which allows the 2D print experience to be amplified across the web. So let’s use it, abuse it, make it engaging and memorable, the rest will grow like soft dough under generous heat.

*All data was taken from Marketing Magazine’s Media Digest 10/11

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