In my book, It’s The Customer Stupid, I wrote: “The combination of the growth of online marketing and the decline of print media has some prognosticators predicting the demise of traditional marketing.” In refuting this prediction, I pointed out that outdoor advertising continues to grow; direct mail still works well in targeting specific audiences; and cable TV continues to increase revenues. As Mark Twain said of his premature obituary, reports of traditional media’s death are greatly exaggerated.
Lo and behold, now print media is making a comeback. A report by BurrellesLuce notes that circulation numbers among the top 25 newspaper outlets have increased 25 percent in the last five years. BurrellesLuce also reports that 54 percent of readers in 150 large markets read their local news only in print. Even magazine subscriptions, such as The Atlantic and The New Yorker, are up slightly, and Newsweek is resurrecting its print edition.
Studies show that consumers like the touch and feel of print media. Unlike digital media, the content doesn’t disappear with the click of a button. Print engages readers for longer than its digital counterparts. Research shows that readers read print slower and, therefore, absorb more of the content.
A recent study comparing newspaper and iPad reading found that just 70% of participants recall an article read on an iPad compared to 90% recall for newspapers.
So, print advertising and PR possibilities still remain a viable part of the marketing mix. It’s another reason that the marriage of new media and traditional media means more potent marketing.