The Power of Traditional Print Advertising

Over the past several years, the use of traditional advertising,  including print advertising, has declined sharply as digital marketing has taken off. This has been even more true during the pandemic as many traditional brick and mortar businesses were literally forced to adopt a digital business model or close their doors.

But does traditional print advertising still hold value for marketers?

Declining print ad buys

In 2019, before the pandemic, eMarketer had already predicted that by the end of that year companies would be spending “nearly $130 billion on digital ads, compared with about $110 billion on traditional advertisements,” according to The Washington Post. In 2022, SalesFuel is predicting that: “Industry advertising revenues for newspapers will drop from $15.8B to $12.6B.” They predict digital ads will continue to grow, representing about 45% of industry revenue.  Interesting, with magazine advertising they’re predicting a drop in traditional print advertising, and are also “expecting a slowing growth rate for digital magazine advertising.”

But is traditional print advertising really past its prime, or are marketers missing out on new opportunities?

Missed opportunities?

Trends ebb and flow in the marketing world just as they do in the world at large. Downtowns are vibrant for a while and then people move to the suburbs and malls become the shopping meccas. After spending time in the suburbs they come back to revitalize downtown areas and malls sit vacant.

Traditional advertising is much the same. As marketers look for less crowded media to share their messaging, traditional print advertising can have some appeal.  For instance:

  • It has the opportunity to capture the attention of a unique, narrow audience that has already indicated interest in some topic/issue. Massage Magazine, for instance, will draw subscribers who are in the industry and, therefore, already interested in the topic. The same is true of such publications as Credit Union Management, Cigar Aficionado, or any of a number of highly targeted publications in both the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) spaces.
  • There is far less clutter. The digital environment is very cluttered and it can be difficult for marketers to break through that clutter to get their messages in front of their target audiences. The print environment is far less cluttered, making it more likely that your ad will be seen and paid attention to–and that it will have an impact.
  • Print has staying power. Unlike the digital environment where messages are fleeting–here for a few seconds and then gone never to be viewed again–a print publication will stay on a recipient’s countertop, desk, or nightstand for days, weeks, even months. That gives marketers the opportunity for far greater exposure for your ad.
Could you be leveraging traditional print advertising to more effectively reach your audience? Despite all of the focus on digital, it just might be worth testing out in 2022.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

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