Print is not Dead
Print Is Not Dead
Everyone knows digital media has exploded and print circulation is in decline, but marketers who buy into the mistaken notion that print is dead and buried are doing themselves a disservice and missing out on a very real and, ironically, novel way to connect with their target audience.
By Jackie Lisk
Print hasn’t disappered, but its role sure has changed. Newspapers, for example, are no longer the cornerstone of marketing. Heck, neither is TV! People have more news and entertainment choices than ever before and myriad ways to consume them. Advertisers have to embrace an integrated content marketing approach. What’s funny is that print, once the old-fashioned content marketing staple, can now actually feel unique—a way to break thought the digital advertising clutter.
Global spending on paid media is estimated to hit $542.55 billion by year-end, according to eMarketer, and digital marketing is soaring. This year, U.S. marketers spent more on digital advertising than on TV for the first time. Meanwhile, global print advertising is expected to decline 8.7 percent to $52.6 billion, according to estimates by Group M.
But “billions” is quite a ways from “zero.” Advertisers still believe in the value of print, just as consumers do. In fact, in the U.S., 90% of adults still read print magazines.
Publishers are reevaluating the role print will play in their portfolios, with some choosing to print less frequently, or in cases like The Independent, which has morphed into a digital-only news company, not at all. In October, The Media Briefing, a news platform for global media professionals, took an in-depth look at the state of print. Chris Sutcliffe, its news editor, proposes that a “pop-up publication” called The New European could represent the future of print news. Print could serve “as an artifact for expounding on topics and delivering analysis that requires time to digest,” he writes. In earlier commentary, Sutcliffe notes that “a print product doesn’t necessarily have to have a lengthy run in order to be successful.” There are merits in niche publications produced to serve a clear communication need.
Mediaplanet takes a cross-platform approach to raising awareness, producing niche print magazines in partnership with the world’s leading newspapers along with corresponding digital content. As digital’s dominance increases, our print offering becomes even more unique – a way to rise above the white noise. Here’s when and why brands are opting for the power of print.
Standing out amongst the ever-growing volume of digital content can be challenging. Advertisers use print as a way to make a lasting impression with an audience. Last year, The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) predicted a surge in print magazines from brands, many of which view print as a less competitive medium. The content marketing company Contently won the Best Brand Publication award at the 2016 Digiday Content Marketing Awards for its print magazine, Contently Quarterly. Its editor-in-chief, Joe Lazauskas, calls it one of the most important things that they do.
There is something human and substantial about a print publication. Sales teams can leave printed materials with clients and prospects. Executives can use print collateral as tools at conferences and tradeshows. Mediaplanet produces many of its niche campaigns in partnership with such events, a strategy that makes it possible for clients to distribute copies in-person, in addition to reaching readers via newspaper distribution and on our digital platforms.
Lincoln Electric, a global manufacturer of welding products, launched its new print magazine last year to help fill a need for its audience and its sales team. Its marketing communication manager, Craig Coffe, tells CMI that the magazine is bolstered by its digital presence and also serves as a way to drive online traffic. This feels like a good time to mention that Mediaplanet takes an integrated approach to its content by promoting multimedia elements like bonus digital content and interactive social media features in our print pieces. Just sayin’.
You can’t put a website on your coffee table. If you want to show-off design, print is your medium. There is a reason why catalogs are still popular, even for businesses that do the bulk of their sales online. Print is also absolute. It is what it is. Your work can’t be altered and shared in bits and pieces or endlessly revised.
The Columbia Journalism Review calls print “the new ‘new media.’” It describes its resurgence, and notes publishers that have recently launched new print projects, including Tablet, Politico, California Sunday Magazine, Dogster, and CNET. The article explains that, in some ways, launching a print presence is simpler since digital’s emergence because you can more easily find and connect with audiences and measure their response to topics, which makes it easier to create a print publication that truly meets their needs.
It is easier to cut through the clutter
Print is tangible
It is a component of a diverse, cross-platform strategy
Print is beautiful
Print is novel
What’s old is new again, and in this case, new and old can work together in innovative and powerful ways.