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Does Print Advertising Still Matter?
29 Aug 2016

Does Print Advertising Still Matter?

8064768694_e6d9790028_mWe’ve had a lot of conversation over the last couple of years especially about whether print advertising is still “worth it.” The biggest push back we get on print advertising is ROI. However, ROI seems to be a stumbling block for almost any marketing tactic these days, so setting that aside, are there benefits to still investing in a strong print advertising program?

Well, we came up with a few.

1. Many print publications are still audited by organizations like BPA. This means that you can have a very good idea about who is going to see your ad.

2. Print ads do not disappear when you turn the page, unlike online banner ads which tend to rotate every time you refresh a page or visit a different page on the same website. Once your ad is published, it’s there for reference till at the very least the end of time.

3. Print ads often are no longer JUST print ads. Publishers now also offer a digital edition, where ads can offer links back to your website or even enhancements like video.

4. A February 2016 survey revealed people still find print ads more trustworthy than digital ads.

Adweek ran a three-part series in February 2016 extolling more virtues of print. Among those were:

5. People take their time with print publications, so they’re more likely to see your ad and digest it

6. The tactile aspect of a print ad, plus some glossy paper and good looking photography, can make products seem more desirable

7. Print can increase sentiments like brand favorability and purchase intent, which are closely tied to purchasing behavior.

8. Mixing print with other marketing tactics can increase recall of all marketing messages across the board

9. Print ads aren’t disruptive. If you want to skip the ad, you can, and if you want to look at it closer, you can. Compare that to a pop-up ad or a road block ad that covers up the entire website you’re trying to read.

We could go on (and on) but you probably get the point.

About that ROI issue…

Are you still insisting that measuring the ROI of print is your big problem? There is a fix for that, although we can’t promise it’s perfect. What we have done for clients is create a landing page on their website that is accessible only via typing in or clicking on a URL in an ad. You cannot find this landing page in the website’s visible navigation. Make sure you have an analytics tool that is being applied to the page so you can measure traffic.

The second key is to have some methodology available on the page that will help you convert interested visitors into paying customers. We have done this in a lot of different ways. The easiest is to provide a short (!!) RFQ form that a visitor can fill out to receive more information. Finding a way to tie that data into your CRM system, if you have one, makes tracking ROI all the easier.

You will not get tons and tons of forms in your inbox, at least not at first. This tactic is definitely a quality versus quantity effort.

Another way to monitor the success of your print ads is to tie the landing page to an upcoming trade show. Ask people to download a ticket or a picture or something else from the page and bring it to your booth. You will not only have a built-in traffic booster but you will also be able to see, tangibly, how effective you were in your campaign. Booth traffic does not tie into sales, of course, but you can also keep track of the downloaded items and see how many of those people evolve into paying customers over time.

We’ll be back on Wednesday with more advertising FAQ answers. If you have any questions for us, let us know!

Image Credit: via Creative Commons



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