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The Timeless Power of Print

With the onset of digital marketing, pundits have been saying for a while that “print is dead.” Although it has become a smaller part of the marketing mix, print is still very much alive and well — accounting for a whopping $45 billion in advertising spending.

Magazines on the Rise
Although many magazines and newspapers have evolved over the past decade, 33 percent of readers still consume magazines — either exclusively or in combination with digital media. In fact, the audience for magazines is on the upswing — reaching a healthy 228.7 million in 2019, according to the Association of Magazine Media (MPA).

As people “nested” throughout COVID-19, magazines became a terrific source of relaxation, insights, and inspiration. Why?  Trust is critically important to both consumers and businesses these days and MPA’s study revealed that print publications are the most trusted source of information. 


    • Magazine audiences still growing and considered most trustworthy
    • Print is dead? NO WAY!….. 139 new print mag brands launched with a frequency of quarterly or greater in 2019
    • Print has the highest ROAS, compared to digital and TV

An Omni-Channel Approach
Truly successful marketers have learned that reaching their target audience at every touch point is critical…and it’s now imperative to integrate print into omni-channel campaigns. The MPA study also highlights the close relationship between print and digital media. Readers of all ages are likely to consume both ink-on-paper and targeted digital media — often from the same publisher.

So, effective campaigns take full advantage of the combination of print and digital. Offline advertising is a powerful way to  build awareness and drive traffic to your online presence.

Magazine readers notice ads and take action. Action taken includes:

  • have a more favorable opinion about the advertiser
  • consider purchasing the advertised product or service
  • gather more information about the advertised product or service
  • recommend the product or service
  • visit the advertiser’s website
  • purchase the product or service
  • clip or save the ad
  • visit a social media site/app
  • watch a video on a website, social media site, or app

Print Becomes More Interactive and Sustainable
These clever ads compel the viewer to take action before they turn the page. Printing technologies have enabled advertisers to become super-creative with their concepts. Readers can now stick a page in the freezer or press a button to view a video. 

Not only do these techniques create a “wow” moment for consumers, the novelty factor often compels viewers to share the ad with friends.

What’s more, throughout the pandemic, digital media prompted readers (especially younger ones) to seek out print publications. The flow can go from print to digital or from digital to print, reinforcing the power of integrated campaigns. 

Those people who are concerned about the environment have many alternatives to minimize waste when buying print advertising. The cost of sustainable printing has gone down since its inception and novelties like plantable paper turn your message into something green and growing.

Incorporate Print into Your 2021 Marketing Plan
Working with professionals who are truly media-agnostic will ensure you’re spending your marketing dollars on the right combination of media. In other words, agencies and consultants who specialize in digital media or SEO will view those marketing tools as the “best” solution. Avoid heaving up with specific channels and test multi-channel strategies to engage and influence audiences.

If you are targeting a specific segment of the market (as most marketers do today), you need to understand how and where they get their insights  and information. You may be surprised to discover that your consumers — young and old, consumer and b-to-b — still have subscriptions to print publications, value coupons, or respond well to compelling mailers. 

Bottom line: Print is not yet ready to die. Make sure you add just the right amount of integrated “ink” into your 2021 marketing plans.

Interested in a free media consultation as you plan for 2021? Contact us.