Key Takeaways on the State of Print Ads

print_rolexThe American Marketing Association has a message for publishers: print remains a solid top-of-funnel channel, maybe even more so now that readership has declined in recent years.

“Print circulations are down, but in many cases that means that publications’ readership has been culled to only the most engaged, which is a desirable trait, from an advertising standpoint,” explains Molly Soat in the AMA’s Marketing News.

“What continues to make print ads valuable is the (nearly) undivided attention that readers give to magazine and newspaper content, rather than multitasking like they do when consuming digital content,” the article notes.

Industry experts agree, like Andy Blau of Time Inc. who says, “It’s really for establishing brand worthiness in the marketplace, for establishing the value of the brand, for communicating very broadly, with broad reach, to the right target audience.

“It’s really pure brand advertising. And digital tries to do some of that, but it’s still much more of a direct response. People still measure digital with click-throughs and conversion rates, and you can’t necessarily maintain marketing of a brand through digital alone,” Blau continues.

“Print advertising is a very efficient way of establishing a brand identity and for communicating that to the target market,” Blau notes.

One thing the article points out is the importance of context in making ads effective.

“If publishers start selling print ad space in the same way that digital ads are sold, they run the risk of marring what makes print ads so special: continuity of content,” warns Soat.

If undivided attention from a highly targeted audience sounds like a good thing for your brand, printed advertising seems like a no-brainer.