Why Print Media?
There’s no doubt that the world today is defined by information. Whether it’s news, opinions, interviews or advertising, written, spoken or in filmed, it’s information (and marketing content) that provides the direction and structure to our lives. Media determine our lives and we have become media ourselves. And magazines, newspapers, television, online, mobile and social media are all now vital components of any advertising campaign.
We distinguish between six different types of print media for brands: advertising in newspapers and magazines, use of direct mail, customer magazines, door drop and catalogues. These are the most important print channels to support brands.
With such a range of technology and (print) channels at a brand’s disposal, how can marketing, media and advertising professionals ensure that they're getting maximum reach, exposure, ROI, connections and engagement for their marketing spend?
In short: what’s the most effective advertising media mix for product and services brands?
Print = the sensory media experience
Perhaps the most important benefit of print media is tangibility. Among the reasons why many people prefer print is to do with the feel of the paper, having it in their hands means that the content is real, it exists. Print media is unique in its capability to trigger a number of senses; of course the feeling of paper, the smell of the ink or of an added scent, paper can be eaten or even listened to (when a chip is added). Paper can change colour when heated or put in front of a light, an ad can feel rough as sand or smooth as silk, all adding to the sensory experience of the advertising. Triggering multiple senses will add to the effectiveness of print advertising. Martin Lindstrom, writer of Brand sense, says that when brands appeal to more than three senses, advertising effectiveness will increase with 70 per cent.
Whatever print channel, add print, add power
In many ways, print is the ideal marketing medium: it’s available in both large and small numbers, can be accessed easily, and is engaging, versatile and creative.
Each of the six types of print media has their own unique quality and role in their readers’ lives.
For newspapers, they become part of their readers’ day as they educate and inform with credibility and trust, while consumer and customer magazines create engagement through entertaining content.
Direct mail uses its ability to gain access to people’s homes and lives to deliver a targeted sales message, while door drop have an enviable reach and ROI. Finally, catalogues provide inspiration for customers before leading them online to make the purchase. On their own, each channel fulfills a vital marketing role. When combined with other media, they are a highly effective force for any campaign, for any brand.
The key to successful marketing is engagement, drawing your customer in through attention-grabbing content before rewarding them with a worthwhile offer or service. Print media are a trusted source for news and other information and consumers take time to read a door drop leaflet, magazine or customer magazine.
Print media offers a host of content areas: news, information, education, inspiration, special offers and entertainment, all of which generate engagement between the reader and the advertised brands. Indeed, advertisements are as much a part of the reading experience as the editorial content, with magazines and newspapers providing exactly the right context for a relevant brand campaign.
Digging deeper with print
Recent neurological research has identified differences in ways people process information presented in print and on screen. These studies have found that readers of print maintain their capacity to read longer articles since the reading situation doesn’t offer so many distractions. Readers have full attention for the content. This capacity – called deep reading – also cultivates deep thinking. The lack of distractions when reading print allows the reader to get to the moment when he is fully engrossed in a substantial article in a newspaper or magazine. Deep reading also has to do with the 'topology' of articles; readers use the structure of an article, pictures, headlines and subtitles to navigate through the content. This structure helps them to more easily return to certain parts and remember the content better.
Integrating paper and pixels
Consumers lives are increasingly online. Social media describe what they do, Google will help them to find whatever they need, YouTube to watch the newest videos and sites such as Amazon to buy the products on their wish list. Paper is now an ideal way to get readers online to, for example, the advertisers website or Facebook page. With QR codes, Augmented Reality, Near Field Communication or digital imprints, readers can have immediate access to the most appropriate online page. These technologies form a bridge between print media and a brand’s online presence, inviting consumer reaction, feedback and purchase, all via a smartphone, tablet or PC. Such technologies increase the effectiveness of print media, as well as enhancing the consumer experience.
Talking to one or many
Print media exists in many forms: from mass media (hundreds to millions of copies) to one-to-one (the personalised version). In between, there are formats such as the personalised newspaper or magazine – titles that have content tailored to the specific reader.
Modern digital presses offer marketers, media and advertising professionals the ability to print entire publications based on the profile and needs of their consumers. Or even to integrate digital content in a mass produced magazine or newspaper. This personalisation adds to the effectiveness of the print medium as consumers prefer a tailor-made approach to the generic. Such flexibility and adaptability allows the marketer and brand owner to choose exactly the right print media for their brand.