Is Print Advertising Still Effective in 2022?

Print Advertising Effectiveness

Advertising strategies and mediums have changed tremendously over the past twenty-five years. As you can imagine, every medium has experienced a tremendous evolution.   Television stations are selling more than sponsorships and airtime, radio companies’ competitors are broader than other radio stations in the market.  Print, newspapers and magazines, advertising as well as readership, has been dramatically changed by the digital revolution. We all agree that digital marketing has taken a huge share of print media budgets, however, the web world is a cluttered world. Our attention spans on web-based ads are short. Sometimes online ads are viewed as a distraction or barrier to performing tasks (pop-ups and banners) or completely ignored (static banners, video ads, email marketing). Copp Media Services believes there are benefits to most methods of advertising within campaigns. In this article, we will offer our thoughts about the effectiveness of print in 2022

What is Print Advertising?

Print advertising could be anything from brochures, magazines, newspapers – and some people would believe that outdoor poster billboards would also fit into this category. In this blog article, we are primarily going to address the more traditional print products of newspaper and magazines advertising.

Benefits of using Print Advertising?

One of the greatest benefits of newspaper twenty-five years ago was the “catalog” value. By this, we mean that it was a place that the consumer (reader) went to find information – grocery ads, help wanted ads, tires on sale, all sorts of information in addition to the local news.

Newspaper print readership declined and so did the intent from the consumer to utilize this medium as a source of information on products. The digital version of the newspaper did not continue to offer this important “catalog” benefit, therefore was not as critical to the advertising and marketing strategy as it once was. Other benefits of newspaper include the ability to include inserts into the publication (less expensive that paying for a direct mail piece) and other targeting strategies that could not be incorporated into the digital news product.

Magazines, while you didn’t typically place ads based on a catalog value, you were able to place advertising that was more likely to be relevant to the reader in a print version. Using inserts that were more three dimensional, where the audience would interact with the message, made the recall of advertising much greater.

There have been several research studies that talk about the benefit of a print medium for brand recall. There is an emotional connection between the reader and the use of multiple senses while seeing a print ad versus a digital ad.   Even the smell of the paper can enhance the connection to the ad. There is data that shows that print ads elicit a stronger emotional response. Another benefit to print as an advertising medium is the ability to have a complicated content message and the space and length of the consumers attention to allow a detailed message.

What Determines Print Advertising Effectiveness?

There are many factors that can enhance the effectiveness of the print advertising campaign, below are just a few.

  • Creative – this would include both the images and the words within the ad. Is your ad creative interactive? Examples could include a video, smell, anything that would activate the senses of the reader.  There are some finishing options that increase engagement which include Spot UV, which is a process where certain parts of the printed pieces are sealed with a shiny coating that make that area stand out and complement the design by creating a contrast. Other strategies could include embossing, debossing, and laminating.  Just google creative print ad ideas, and you will find tons of different and unusual creative ideas that stand out. One example is
  • Positioning – Where is your ad content placed – front cover? inside front cover? Adjacent to a page that is featured context to the content page? Is your ad positioned within relevant content to what you are selling?
  • Readership – Is your ad message relevant to the reader of the publication? Does the publication have the right demographics for your product and/or services?
  • Size of the Ad – Does your ad get lost within the publication? Is it a full page, double page spread? Does your ad contain color?

How has Print Changed Over Time

Readership has been the largest change over the last 20 years. Consumers do not rely primarily on print for their news and information. We continue to see fewer marketing dollars spent on this strategy, even though there are instances where print added to a campaign could increase overall effectiveness. Trends that we think you will see in 2022 include:

Enhanced and personalized print marketing. Included would be Variable Data Printing that can print each piece uniquely using data specific to the recipient. This could include, name, address, a custom URL, an image or even something more creative. The benefit of using this customization is that response rates increase dramatically. VDP could be an insert in newspapers, with different creative offered with geographic regions.

QR Codes have had a resurgence since Covid, and we continue to see this technology continue to grow in 2022.

Another trend is the focus on “going green” and being more environmentally friendly.

We continue to see the overall spend in print decrease, and the forecast over the next five years is a continued decline.  As marketers, we must find unique and diverse ways to utilize this medium to be benefit of our clients.

How to Purchase Print Advertising

Different print mediums sell their advertising space based on either a cost per thousand of persons reached or a cost per ad space. Either one, it comes down to the number of people exposed to your message and the value the audience has for your company. A publication that is most relevant to your business – those that are 100% interested in your products and services – might have a higher cost per thousand than publications that are delivering a broad audience that is not product specific. Either one will need a dive into the audience delivered and how important that audience is to the success of your campaign. There are audits (BPA and ABC) that measure audience demographics as well industry and geographic distribution of the overall circulation.

How Much Does Print Advertising Cost?

The cost of print advertising depends on the number of people reached, the value it has to an industry and the competitiveness of the industry.

Should I Hire an Advertising Agency for Print?

As we have said repeatedly, anyone can buy advertising space/time. It makes sense to reach out to a company that has more than thirty years helping clients – both local and international – analyze and negotiate their print media placement. Give us a call at 316-425-7065 today if you have questions about using print in your overall marketing strategy.