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Six Reasons Print Ads Belong in Your Media Mix

By Jenna Bruce on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 @ 11:43 AM |


Okay, sure, advertisers have been flocking to digital marketing solutions like email, social media and mobile apps for years now, but that doesn’t mean these channels bring the biggest return on investment (ROI). For many consumers, these marketing tactics come across as digital noise: their email inboxes are full of SPAM, their Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of blatant yet disguised brand messaging, and banner ads pop up in whatever corner of the Internet they surf.

Though traditional outlets like newspaper and magazine ads have not gotten the same love they used to, that doesn’t mean they are no longer effective. In fact, there is a tremendous opportunity for marketers who include print in their media mix because the print landscape is not cluttered like the digital landscape. Ads placed in newspapers and magazines tend to stand out to consumers.

Those marketers who don’t put all of their proverbial eggs in one basket and include print media in their marketing mix will be rewarded. A study by ATG found that nearly 80% of consumers use more than one channel when making a buying decision, and 25% used three or more channels for product research.

If you haven’t included print in your media mix, here are six reasons why you should:

It Cuts Through the ClutterPrint Advertising cuts through the media clutter

Think about how many emails you receive on a daily basis. How many of them do you actually open and read? Now think about how many pieces of snail mail you receive on a typical day. Only a handful of pieces, right? This is why many marketers are suddenly seeing the value of direct mail marketing. Your message has a chance to cut through the clutter and noise and make a real impact.

Print Makes an Emotional Connection

Print is a far more personal medium. Because it’s tactile and you can hold it in your hands and smell the ink on the pages, print is lauded for its ability to make an emotional connection with the reader. Digital advertising is impersonal. Though you can hold your mobile device, you can’t turn or dog-ear a page or clip a coupon the old-fashioned way like you can with a newspaper or magazine.

You Can Use Narrative to Build Brand Awareness

Print is the medium for storytelling, which means you can use it to weave a narrative throughout your advertising, allowing prospects to imagine themselves in a particular situation. This creates purchasing intent and that, simply, means more sales for you. Narrative is much more difficult to accomplish in a banner ad or HTML email.

Easily Integrated with Online tacticsPrint and digital advertising work well together

Many marketers assume you have to choose between print OR digital tactics, but this is not the case. Print media is a great vehicle to drive traffic to any of your digital assets, whether it’s a commerce site or one of your social media pages. You can even use a print ad to alert consumers to a deal you’re offering on a mobile app like Foursquare.

It Breathes New Life into Old Customer Relationships

Not only can print be used for the acquisition of new customers, it can also re-engage lapsed customers. Zappos has been really successful with this tactic. The company uses a magalog to re-energize it its relationship with customers who have been receiving emails for years but haven’t made a purchase.

It Gives Consumers the Power

Print ads in newspapers and magazines aren’t disruptive like SMS blasts and banner ads. With print, consumers choose when they read your ad. This puts them in a much more receptive mood. Today’s consumers are tired of being constantly bombarded with messaging. Put the power in their hands and let them choose when they hear from you and they’ll reward you.

With new advertising channels continually emerging, it’s time to think about whether or not you want – and can afford – to sink more advertising dollars into digital tactics that have not proven themselves yet. Traditional media like print has proven its effectiveness for decades. If you’re not using this channel, isn’t it time you considered adding it to your media mix?

Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

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