For my money, one of the funniest scenes in the classic movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail is when a medieval peasant brings out his old father to the undertaker, only to have the father reveal that he is "not quite dead." Despite vehement denials by the son, the father repeatedly protests, "I’m not dead!"
Tried-and-true print media is not dead, either, despite the dire predictions from prognosticators. I know it’s kind of odd to hear someone espouse the values of print using the same digital format that is killing the nation’s newspapers, but print media still serves a valuable place in our advertising and marketing plans. This is especially true in business-to-business publications. So, without further ado, here are the top six reasons why print advertising is not dead yet:
- Generating awareness. No medium in business-to-business achieves this goal more efficiently than print advertising. In a 2008 magazine publishers association study based on advertising impact per $1,000 spent, magazines proved almost twice as effective as both TV and online in number of consumers reached. Magazines indexed at 181 people reached per $1,000, versus 101 consumers for online and 100 for TV.
- Enhancing integrated marketing efforts. Print advertising also helps spur people to action and thus can serve as the linchpin for your other marketing efforts, driving readers to a website landing page, for example. In most cases, seeing the print advertisement is the first step in the purchasing cycle.
- Driving customers to action. Speaking of which, a study conducted by Jupiter Research documented offline sources that drive qualified traffic to websites. The study found that publication ads were number one; in fact, print ads scored seven percentage points higher than the second-ranked medium of television.
- Augmenting your sales force. Over the years, our agency has interviewed salespeople at dozens of companies. Many have told us that marketing’s number one contribution to their success is journal advertising.
- Building market prominence. When an advertiser in any industry scales back its campaigns and lowers its share of voice, it begins to lose its share of mind. Mind share is the degree to which a brand is associated with a particular product, service or industry. When it shrinks, customers will begin thinking about competitors first.
- Fact: Readers like ads. A 2007 Starcom; Dynamic Logic AdReaction study (PDF) asked readers to pull the 10 best pages from their favorite publications. On average, three of 10 pages were advertisements.
So there you have it: A print campaign can still play a crucial role in your marketing mix. People still read journals and print ads still drive people to action. So next time some pundit declares print media dead, just remember Mark Twain’s famous (and often misquoted) retort: "The report of my death was an exaggeration."
Brendon Basile is media manager for Seidler Bernstein and has been in the advertising business for nearly 10 years. A graduate of Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, Brendon develops media plans as well as analyzes, evaluates and recommends print and electronic media options for companies in medical devices, diagnostics and the life sciences. A diehard Boston sports fans, he’s also loyal to the Syracuse Orangemen.