The Benefits & Opportunities of Print Advertising
When searching for highly targetable and creative marketing opportunities, traditional print placements tend to be considered last or sometimes not even at all. The current interactive landscape of highly targeted placements that produce in-depth analytics leads advertisers and agencies to shy away from other media options that cannot report back exactly the same type of in-depth information. Print must also battle the preconceived notion that it only lends itself to a flat non-invasive images, as there are many creative opportunities that can be explored within print.
The ability to reach a very specific demographic segment is definitely an option in traditional print. First of all, there are many trade or interest specific magazines that are highly targeted with their content and therefore provide the ideal landscape to reach a designated target audience. For example, the ideal place to advertise high-end purses is in a high-end fashion magazine such as Vogue. Secondly, if a magazine or newspaper is a good fit for your target audience but covers a greater geographic area than you need, placing only in particular areas is an option. In regards to newspaper, you can run inserts in one county or zip code, but not another. Some national magazines allow advertisers to run an ad in one geographical area but not another.
Advertisers have tremendous creative opportunities within the print industry. The one consumer product that is extremely well known for taking advantage of the creative opportunities in print is perfume. No matter how well-executed a television spot is for perfume, you cannot try it on or actually smell it through the broadcast. Special print placements provide advertisers a way to deliver samples to their target audience. In a recent women’s fashion magazine, there were samples of everything from perfume to stick-on nail embellishments. The perfume sample was actually a small cardboard box, where you pulled a tab and a real spray sprout was revealed, then you actually pushed the bottle and received a spritz of the perfume.
One of my favorite fashion magazines has a recurring advertising placement that they refer to as “Beauty Marks.” This placement allows an advertiser to place a page of stickers of their product in the front of the magazine which the reader uses to tab stories or advertisements that they want to refer back to. There is no interactive element that allows the consumer to actually pick up the product and use it the way placing samples in print does.
Print placements may never be able to inform advertisers how long the consumer stayed on a page or if they stopped at a particular ad, but there are numbers and research that reassure advertisers they are reaching their target audience. There are agencies that audit both print magazines and newspapers to make sure they are reaching who they claim and aren’t just producing tons of copies that don’t go anywhere. BPA worldwide is one of the best known audit agencies that verify newspaper and print publications’ circulation. Some of their reports go in-depth enough to detail out how many pigs a reader owns or what industry they work in. The information they report on varies from publication to publication, but one can feel safe that they are reaching their target audience by utilizing the reports’ insights.
In conclusion, print can be a highly targetable medium that provides a creative and effective space to reach a campaign’s target audience. The print medium should not be viewed as a mass buy that may reach an unknown portion of a target audience, as there are agencies that report valuable data points that should be utilized when placing print advertisements.