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Annalese Sharrock

Annalese Sharrock Strategic Director

Annalese@strategycollective.co.nz
021 615 364
06 759 7044

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Is print advertising dead?

Marketing in the 21st century is all about online and social media, isn’t it? No need to clutter letterboxes with printed flyers anymore? Well, not quite. Here’s why it’s not time to abandon your local print shop.   

Our friends at Neilsen keep churning out valuable intel for us marketers and business owners. This time they compiled data from American FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) retail outlets, asking their customers what marketing touch points they were receiving.

The question Neilsen asked of customers in this August 2017 study was “Do you look at information about products and sales available at stores from the following sources?”

In a world where almost everything is going online the results were surprising:

  • Printed circular (via home) = 85%
  • Printed circular (in store) = 79%
  • Savings site (digital) = 52%
  • Store website = 77%
  • Store emails = 75%
  • Store app = 56%
  • Money-saving app = 52%
  • Social media = 52%
  • In-store kiosk = 40%
  • Store text message = 43%

So print is still leading the way, with a whopping 85% reach to current customers.

BUT CHANGE IS IN THE AIR

When you look at how these figures have changed since this study’s previous occurrence (in 2014), the picture isn’t quite so rosy for print.

  • Printed circular (via home) = 85% (change -3)
  • Printed circular (in store) = 79% (-4)
  • Savings site (digital) = 52% (+2)
  • Store website = 77% (+3)
  • Store emails = 75% (+4)
  • Store app = 56% (+23)
  • Money-saving app = 52% (+21)
  • Social media = 52% (+12)
  • In-store kiosk = 40% (+1)
  • Store text message = 43% (+17)

Print channels are the only advertising channels in the study to have decreased in effectiveness. Meanwhile apps, social media and text marketing have grown massively.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY BUSINESS?

Well, it depends.

It’s important to note that this study is based on supermarkets and other large retailers, so these findings may not apply to your business. As a general rule, I find that the more physical a business’ product or service is, then the more physical (non-digital) advertising they’ll need. For example, a corner store would want to focus on great signage, possibly a billboard or two, and flyer drops. Whereas, a law firm will want some signage but would also want to focus on direct marketing, a great website and online search.

So, if your business has a physical product or service, then print and other tangible advertising collateral should be a priority, and this Neilsen study supports this.

However, if you have an online retail store, it would be safe to assume that online advertising is still very much the key for you. Plus, it saves trees!

The other factor to think about is your target market. The study found that Millennials were far more likely to use digital channels than their older counterparts. So, flyers for retirement homes and will kits might do well in a letter box drop, less so an overseas adventure tour for under 30s.

Read the full study here.

Contact our marketing team.

 

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