Why are we still talking about print advertising in 2017?
Certainly the musical instrument manufacturing industry has seen better days on the sales front. With marketing budgets getting leaner, maybe that beautiful new ad campaign you developed just got met with some bubble-bursting comment from the CFO like, “Why are we spending all of this money on print advertising? No one reads magazines anymore!”
Or maybe you’ve fallen under the spell of digital ad sales reps preaching about how digital is where it’s going to be now and forever? Either way, you’re likely in a position where you find yourself asking if print is still worth the investment.
I’m here to tell you it is and that print is as critical in 2017 as it was in years past. Lest we forget, let’s take a quick look at what makes print advertising so important to your media mix.
Why print media is still critical
While the pros and cons of print advertising have been covered at length for decades, the following evaluation factors are arguably the most important as we consider print’s place in the media landscape.
All you ever hear anyone talk about nowadays is how circulation numbers are dropping from year to year. That’s an absolute truth, and it’s fantastic. Why? This is a key indicator that much of the potential waste that was inherent in print has been whittled down to the most qualified audience—the readers who are still willing to pay for quality content. These are your buyers.
Time Well Spent
For those readers who are still willing to invest in content, print offers engagement opportunities beyond digital alternatives. While our digital experience is often fragmented by other activities (i.e., reading in between TV commercial breaks), reading a magazine is a commitment. Those gearheads who are going to take time to read a magazine are going to spend extended valuable time with it, whether checking out the newest products, mods or lessons. This type of engagement vastly increases the chances that a reader will spend time with a well-crafted ad.
Since the advent of marketing, print has been regarded as the most credible form of media. This appears to be no less true today than it was decades ago. Whether fear of malware, misuse of data or a general detestation for spam, audiences are less trusting of digital advertising and less likely to engage. Aligning your messaging with trusted player pubs helps to ensure readers will engage.
Young Audiences Still Read
Many claims have been made that Generation Z just doesn’t read print anymore. It’s simply not true. Certainly the digital experience makes up an enormous part of their consumption habits, but, when it counts, younger audiences take to the printed word. In fact, according to recent research from Pew Research Center, when it comes to reading for educational purposes and researching topics of interests, younger readers are more likely than older audiences to reach for print.
Top of the Funnel
Digital is fantastic when it comes to direct response, but, between cluttered ad environments and the distraction that comes from clicking, getting audiences to stop and think about your brand is incredibly difficult. While the digital experience plays a large part in the player’s information journey, print is one of the vehicles that still sits at the top of the funnel. It’s the vehicle that lets you establish your identity and communicate your brand’s value—a task that requires attention spans beyond eight seconds.
Each media type has a place in your marketing mix, and experimentation and versatility are recommended and encouraged. If you’re looking to build a brand, or if you’re an established brand looking to reach emerging players, don’t underestimate the value of print advertising as a keystone in your marketing strategy. The next time you’re challenged on your print media spend, rely on the factors mentioned here to validate your strategy.
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