Why B2Bs Can’t Afford Not to Print

snap-logoConsumer trends are clear: more people prefer to read magazines in print format than in digital. And that is no less true for association members, according to Joe Stella in Association Media & Publishing.

Stella, VP at content marketing firm GLC, takes a pragmatic approach to the issue: “Here’s what you know: People are exposed to more digital content than ever before. About 92,000 new articles are published online every day, according to publishing analytics-software provider Chartbeat.”

He continues: “Here’s what you think you know: As a result, print is dying. But this simply isn’t true. In reality, print remains critical when it comes to marketing your association — perhaps even more so because of the rise of electronic media.”

Why? He gives us a few facts that make the case:

For starters, nine in 10 B2B readers consume magazines in print, Stella notes, with more than half of senior level execs choosing print for trade journals.

Print also conveys a higher level of trust, Stella says, citing a Finnish study that found 63% of people trust print ads, compared to just 25% who trust digital.

And if you feel your younger readers must have digital, don’t be fooled, as he notes that “according to the Association of Magazine Media (MPA), adults under 35 read more magazines per month than their older counterparts.”

Certainly these are good reasons for any organization to choose print, but specifically for associations print is vital.

“For an association, that print piece is a really important physical touchpoint. When people have time to sit down and read, they’re not searching for an email newsletter. They’re picking up what’s in front of them on the coffee table. Print has staying power,” notes Julie Shoop of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Stella says the average reader will spend about 40 minutes with a print magazine (per MPA research), giving print the definite edge in engagement.

The entire article is loaded with stats and figures that make a clear-cut case for using print as part of your association marketing, underscoring once again the importance of a strategic understanding of the value of print in any marketing strategy.

Stella sums it up beautifully: “Ultimately, every association must assess its marketing programs to determine what works best. Here’s a tip: Ignoring customer preferences never works.”