Why Print Still Matters for Marketers

Ed Newman
5 min readJun 13, 2018

Whereas it’s true that magazine and newspaper publishing has taken a hit these past fifteen years, it would be wrongheaded to assume these forms of connecting with readers-–that is, consumers — would disappear altogether. In fact, a recent study indicates that print continues to be among the most effective media for reaching customers with your marketing messages.

A new study by the marketing analytics group Ebiquity, conducted in October 2017 and January 2018, has provided numerous insights to help businesses evaluate their marketing mix. One of the study’s aims was to not only determine the most effective marketing channels, but to discover how much the facts align with what agencies are telling (or selling to) their clients.

I don’t have space to tell you everything in this 34-page report except to say that when the facts are on the table, print is far from a dinosaur.

The researchers began by establishing criteria as regards what is important when it comes to advertising. Targetability and Return On Investment (ROI) were ranked one and two as regards what matters most. Also important: triggering a positive emotional response, increasing brand salience (top of mind), and maximizing reach.

Judged against these criteria, television and radio scored highest in effectiveness. Print media — magazines and newspapers — also scored high, but are massively underrated. In contrast, online video and paid social media are overrated, the Ebiquity research shows. This is not to say that social media and digital has no value.

Eight Reasons To Reconsider Print

Here are just a few of the reasons print continues to have value.

1. Print has evolved to be very dialed in to the specific and narrow interests of its readers. There are publications for every category and for very specific market niches.

2. The perceived value of print can be seen in the way magazine subscribers get an emotional lift when their favorite magazine shows up in their mailbox. Online eMags and eNewsletters may have value but seldom generate the same enthusiasm.

3. What continues to make print ads valuable is the (nearly) undivided attention that readers give to magazine and newspaper content, rather…

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Ed Newman

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj