Before the 1950s, print ads had little competition. Advertisers spent the lion’s share of their marketing budgets on newspaper and magazine ads. Television gradually increased its share of the advertising dollar, but the growth of the internet was the greatest challenge to print media since Gutenberg invented the printing press.
Is Print Media Dead?
Print media is a target-specific medium offering a wide range of opportunities to connect with your ideal customers. Print media is alive and well.
Sell a luxury product? A beautifully shot ad in a glossy magazine is a tangible representation of prestige and exclusivity. Want to appeal to seniors? They’ll take the time to read a long-copy mailer. Need to put something in people’s hands to let them know all about your product or service? Take a look at the work we did for Grand View Health, Stone Barn Floors or one of our other case studies.
The magazine industry is extremely competitive, but is certainly doing much better than many think. Statista reports:
- 2002: 5,340 magazines in the U.S
- 2017: 7,176 different U.S. magazines in circulation
- Although some magazines are online-only and many magazines have both print and digital versions, print accounts for 87% of circulation revenue
It’s undeniable that newspapers have suffered since the advent of the 24 hour news cycle. The woes of some of the nation’s largest papers are widely known. However, many newspapers adapted and survived, continuing to supply the local and national news their loyal readers expect.
People trust printed news more than digital. The instant aspect of digital news has too often led to false stories based on rumors. By contrast, a well-researched story in print is considered more reliable.
- 1970: 1,970 daily newspapers in the U.S.
- 2016: 1,286 daily newspapers in the U.S.
Direct Mail, Brochures, Catalogs and More
Direct mail can be very effective. Think about the difference between a mailed thank-you note and an email. Even if the words were exactly the same on both the note and email, the note has a physical presence and depth totally lacking in the email and makes a far bigger impact on the recipient.
When the subject interests them, people tend to keep brochures, catalogs and other printed materials for future reference. People like holding something and reading it, finding it relaxing.
Traditional Books vs. Ebooks
When ebooks were first gaining in popularity, the word on the street was that no one would want to buy a traditional printed book. After all, ebooks were less expensive or free and instantly available.
Ink and paper books didn’t die after all. Quite the opposite happened. Ebook sales actually declined to 19% in 2017, a drop from 21% in 2016. Instead of replacing printed books, ebooks have become simply another option for readers. Readers and the market embrace both.
The Benefits of Print
People connect with and trust print more than digital. When someone is holding and reading something printed, it holds their attention. They aren’t being distracted by competing ads on a screen. Print has a sense of permanence that digital lacks.
Your Marketing Budget and Print Media
Today, print is most often used in conjunction with digital marketing. Print can expand and extend the reach of your digital campaign.
Will print ads work well for your business? The trick is knowing when and how. Print can:
- Put something physical in the hands of consumers
- Reach target markets, such as local and/or high-end consumers, hobbyists and seniors
- Complement digital ads
- Reengage offline with online visitors
- Stand out from online chaos
What’s Next for Print Media?
Printers and publishers had to evolve and adapt to new demands and technologies in order to survive. They must use the right technology to deliver high quality content in a cost-effective manner. They must maintain the trust of consumers.
Technology makes small and mini print runs and customization available and cost-effective. Digitally printed clothing, photos and customized objects of many types are trending up. The time lag between order placement and delivery is dramatically shrinking. In many ways, the line between digital and print is blurring.
The BXP Creative team strongly believes in the power of both print and digital. Campaigns employing both are typically the most effective. Print and digital each have unique strengths and complement each other. As experienced marketers, our services include both print and digital design and direct mail and email marketing.
Are you slammed with work and impossible deadlines? We’ll collaborate with your people or handle the project as your creative team behind the scenes.
Tell us how we can help. Let’s connect today.