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The State of Print Advertising in 2019 | Know Before You Buy

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Print advertising is dead! Radio advertising is dead! TV advertising is dead! SEO, Google Ads, influencer marketing… they’ve all been proclaimed dead by various sources over the years. How’s everyone enjoying this new, advertising free utopia in which we live? Cutting through the noise of those with agendas, what does the data say about using print (including magazine advertising)?
To quote Mark Twain, one of the great print story tellers “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”

The facts about print advertising in 2019

In mid-2018, British Market Research Company Ebiquity undertook a comprehensive study on print and other traditional media in the new “digital advertising world order”. Despite the trends that marketing and ad agencies report to clients, print advertising continues to be a star performer. In fact, despite the digital hype, magazine advertising was rated a top performing channel for audience relevance, return on investment, brand salience and trust and for overall performance as an advertising medium. Here’s a few highlights:

  • Magazines ranked third most valuable for ROI, behind only TV and radio. This despite surveyed ad agencies claiming the medium to be poor for ROI.
  • Magazine advertising was the second most influential medium (behind the far more expensive TV option) for long term brand salience.
  • Magazines also tied for second for triggering positive emotional response (behind cinema advertising) despite most ad agency reps placing magazines way down in slot five for emotional pull.

But which magazine advertising?

Families Magazine Toowoomba Sliding Banner

Like all media, the success of the campaign ALWAYS comes down to the audience targeting. Right place, right time, right message. Magazines really shine when it comes to building trust and brand recognition. The broader print advertising industry faces exactly that challenge – it’s broader. In a metro location like Brisbane, where there are only one or two dailies, your audience is spread broad. The AB spender in Clayfield is reading the same newspaper as the part time employed student. While digital advertising can target users down to their IP address, “broad based print” is losing the battle with audience targeting.

Magazines however, allow for careful and specific targeting. But….. magazines can’t give brands the IP address of all their readers, can they? They can, if advertisers focus on integrated print and digital activity – or as we call it Pritegrated.

The rise and rise of Printegrated Media Campaigns

“For maximum impact around a product launch or announcement, build an integrated marketing campaign that brings the best of both print and digital together. Use KPIs that complement both channels instead of evaluating them in isolation.”
– Almitra Karnik, CleverTap

Printegration works on one simple principle – digital is noisy. Digital may have excellent reporting and data analysis opportunities, but it’s also cluttered with meaningless ads. Sales attribution, recency and frequency data in Google Analytics demonstrate just how hard it is to cut through the digital noise with up to ten touches being needed to convert a single sale. The issue is noise. Digital presents so many ad opportunities that cut through is nearly impossible to achieve. The trusted methods of cut through, high volume ads, click bait, cash for comment influencer outreach – these may get the impressions but they undermine trust in your brand.

Enter, printegration. When a user sees a brand, in print, in a trusted and credible magazine – a magazine they opted to pick up – the impact is far greater than seeing content in a never ending social media scroll. Print gives you the opportunity to “go big” to create something powerful that leaps off the page. Digital gives you the power to spread it fast. Traditional media and digital campaigns are more effective together and ROI ten touches

Which brands suit magazine advertising?

It always depends on the magazine! Looking at a publication like Families Magazine’s Brisbane issues the ideal advertising partner will target:
A/B spenders in the Greater Brisbane area, employed in professional positions with disposable income. These people have kids in private school and are passionate about their child’s education. The magazine is available when they’re in “their peak education mindset” via the schools themselves – lending greater credibility to the publication.

Magazine advertising is far from dead. Like all media in the middle of this digital revolution, it’s merely evolving. Provided the magazine has a strong, trusted digital presence, the opportunities for Printegrated campaigns, and return on investment, are limitless.

Special thanks to Kelly Thomas, Chief Strategist at Brisbane advertising agency, ADFX. Kelly contributed her industry knowledge to the preparation of this resource for magazine advertisers.

One response to “The State of Print Advertising in 2019 | Know Before You Buy”

  1. Ben Yola says:

    This article was so insightful, and gives readers a fresh look at where print advertising is currently in 2019. Thank you so much for sharing this, and for giving people like me who works for a firm that still caters to traditional advertising hope that traditional marketing methods aren’t all dead. They exist, and will continue to adapt so long as the marketer wants it to adapt. Great job!

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