The Value of Print Advertising
We almost always include print advertising in our clients’ marketing and media plans. Sometimes we get the reaction “Print? Really? We hear that print is dead.” There is no doubt many print vehicles have died and many more are on their way, especially general interest and news publications. But that doesn’t apply to all print media. There is compelling evidence that specialty or “niche” titles are doing just fine and continue to be important for niche brands.
According to MediaLife.com:
“…niche publications that cater to a narrow audience, whether it’s hobbyists or Hispanics, have actually seen some big gains.”
Unlike [magazines] which target a broad swath of people with general news and advice that’s widely available online, these niche titles offer information that’s not commonly found elsewhere. They also tend to enjoy stronger reader loyalties.
Niche titles account for almost all of the circulation gainers in recent years. Close to home in the CE industry, specialty niche titles Stereophile and The Absolute Sound continue to deliver nice fat magazines (a good indicator of ad revenue). While Sound & Vision and Home Theater magazines have taken their lumps since their heydays, the new consolidated Sound & Vision now has 135,000 subscribers and had a spectacular gain in ad pages in Q1 2014 as did many other niche publications.
Circulation and ad page numbers are not the only things to consider when evaluating print. If a publication only had 100 readers but they were the perfect audience for a brand, we would advertise in that publication. OK, that’s an exaggeration but you get the point. It’s not only the quantity of a medium’s audience that’s important; you need to focus on the quality of the audience and whether or not they have an interest in your type of product as well.
Those who continue to subscribe to a given niche magazine have high interest in the category, are loyal to it, are prime candidates to buy and are powerful influencers in their social circles.
Print ads are more powerful visually compared to most Internet banner ads and there is evidence that suggests that print ads are more potent sales tools as illustrated by this article in Gardner Business Media.
“A study, conducted in 2012 by Dynamic Logic on behalf of the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), measured the total increase in purchase consideration/intent for a variety of products. The results? Television [ads] accounted for a 30% increase, online [ads] tallied 13% in increase, but, dramatically, magazines represented a 56% increase. In other words, magazines blew the other two media away in driving positive shifts in intention to buy.”
Furthermore, print seems to be especially effective with luxury buyers. In a 2013 study showed that magazines ranked second among all ad channels for reach and effectiveness with household incomes of $250K and up. Add to that its long shelf life, pass-along circulation and high credibility and you can see why we believe carefully selected print media can be a good value for niche brands.
Before Internet publishers jump down our throats, we believe digital advertising is also an important component of a comprehensive media plan. For some brands, digital may be the only way to go, particularly if the target audience is under 30 years old. We simply mean to point out that print is still an important marketing channel and the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.
In a later blog we will explore some important techniques to keep in mind when designing print advertising. Stay tuned.
About CE-Marketing Pros
We’re a full service marketing/advertising agency specializing in helping consumer electronics brands and retailers compete more effectively. Former marketing executives with two of the most successful CE brands, Al Ballard and Paul DiComo help brands STAND OUT in a crowded and confusing CE marketplace.
WE KNOW CE.