Where’s the Print in Your Funnel?

We’ve known for a while now that campaigns are more effective when print is part of the mix. Now, new research from Millward Brown shows that print has the power to continue to engage long after other channels have fallen off.

Guy Consterdine in FIPP notes, “TV and online advertising showed diminishing returns after four exposures, but print continued to improve ad awareness and persuasion at higher levels of exposure.”

In other words, when your audience tunes out to screens, your print ad can still continue to reach them and move them through the funnel. This fact is leading marketers to take a fresh look at how print can boost engagement at nearly all points on the customer journey.

Consterdine cites a conversation he had with an unidentified “agency man” about the growing role of print in the journey to purchase.

“The first thing publishers should care about is broadly how you want to position your brands in the purchase funnel or consumer journey,” the man noted. “This positioning job is important in determining how clients talk about print media at a top-line level. For example, I’ve been in rooms with clients where print has been pigeonholed purely for one stage of the funnel, and the case has had to be made by the agency for a role elsewhere in the funnel too.”

Think about your own purchase funnel. As Consterdine explains, your customer moves through several stages:

  • Discovery and awareness
  • Research
  • Forming opinions, influencing others
  • Purchase consideration and intent
  • Post-purchase evaluation
  • Bonding and ambassadorship

The Millward Brown study notes some important findings:

  1. Print advertising achieved greater effect than online or TV advertising in the brand favorability and intent stages.
  2. Print continued to improve awareness long after TV and digital has petered out.
  3. When print is added to the mix, the overall campaign is more effective.

This kind of real data is invaluable to brands in the new media landscape. Whether you are a publisher looking to add value to your ad partners, or working in brand marketing, the fact is that print has a vital role throughout the customer journey. Going digital only can leave a huge gap in the funnel. Understanding exactly where and how to insert print helps you leverage every inch of your print spend.