Digitization and Print Media

It is commonly thought that the increased popularity of digitalised media is decreasing the popularity of print. As new digital methods continue to expand and grow, some believe this could be the end of traditional media as we know it. In the debate, one side claims that digital is king, while the other insists that traditional media still holds appeal. Both arguments have merit, but the idea that print is dead is mistaken.

Print is still considered as an efficient and reliable media source for many. Consider too that 80% of people never click on an online banner ad. If this is the case, then is contending with online competition and using your marketing budget for online strategies worth it for that small 20% of the population who will actually click on your ad? Print media offers the receivers something to grasp in their hands, something real.


Digital Versus Print

Despite the attraction to checking the news online, magazines and newspapers remain popular. In the UK, 63% of adults reading physical copies and only one in ten adults read online versions. With monthly magazines from big names such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Elle; the best way to get your advertisement noticed is through monthly magazines.

Print media is great for advertorial purposes too. Considered as a trusted source for news and other information, print media continues to generate engagement from versatile and creative publications.

It has been said that print media has more scope for differentiation and creativity. From leaflet distribution to magazine advertisements and local newspapers, your campaign becomes tangible for the reader. Giving your audience something physical to hold in their hands and read brings your campaign to life and into reality. For audiences, what they are holding is something real to engage with. A digital advertisement can disappear in seconds into cyber space, but a magazine, newspaper of leaflet can stay in houses or offices for months.

Online advertising is more competitive than ever and it can be easy for your advert to get lost amongst others.


Economic Implications

When looking at the economy, it’s clear to see that print media is still having positive effects. Local newspapers are one of the biggest contributors. Direct Letterbox Marketing, providers of leaflet distribution, takes a look at different newspapers in the UK and views their performance here.

The results from one study showed that in Q3 and Q4 of 2014, the London Evening Standard paper circulated 824,515 copies — an increase of 21.9% from the previous six months. Although smaller publications, such as the Sunderland Echo (18,876) and the Birmingham Mail (30,597), were among the worst-performing titles, they still circulated in the thousands during this six-month period. There is clearly still a market for regional papers despite the rise of online news platforms. The local, paid-for newspaper publications help to put money back into the region.

Some industries rely on print media more than others. Takeaways, for example, use print for leaflet distribution and advertisement. As new businesses open around the region, leaflet distribution is one of the best ways to spread the word. Whilst some people consider direct mail to be a bit of nuisance, it makes people aware that you exist and there is a reason which the method is still being used — it is a trusted and traditional form of marketing. For new businesses, it draws locals towards your brand. Food and dinner trends have evolved too, meaning more and more people are choosing to eat out or order takeaways instead of having a traditional homecooked meal.

Evidence like this shows that consumer trends are having an effect on print media too. The appeal of eating from takeaways and in restaurants has become more affordable — something that local takeaways are capitalising on when using print media to advertise their services. And, of course, this leads to a return in money invested by the business, improving successful economic development in the local area.