At a time when digital communication is second nature, why is the world suddenly so caught up in the world of print?
A survey conducted by Phil Riebel, the president of Two Sides North America, concluded that:
In our previous blog, we discussed some of the benefits of print advertising, including brand recall, consumer trust and increased engagement. Another, less discussed area, where printed products come into their own is their ability to evoke an emotional response.
Print & Nostalgia
All of us can remember a certain book from our childhood. If you think about yours now, you can probably picture the cover perfectly in your mind. You can remember the weight of the book, the size of the font, the colours of the images, and perhaps even the scent. Perhaps you even remember the excitement of receiving the book and adding it to your collection.
Printed products have a special place in many people’s hearts. They can be strong triggers of nostalgia, evoking moments of security and safety which is perhaps why 82% of consumers report trusting printed advertising for purchasing decisions.
Readers report spending over 20 minutes on average reading publications, with many reporting the physical object of a magazine or a newspaper as being a big draw.
In fact, holding a printed product in your hand and experiencing the textures of different papers is an emotional process that circumvents the thinking part of our brain entirely. Textures we feel stimulate nerves in our fingers and hands which directly communicate with our central nervous system, creating a soothing sensation. Scientists are still investigating the causes for this interesting physical reaction, but it’s safe to say that the tactile benefits of the printed product are evident.
Print & Relaxation
Many people find pleasure in curling up with something to read, in a kind of mentally active relaxation that is hard to replicate with other mediums. Reading fully engages the mind and any activity that possesses meditative qualities in which the brain is fully focused on a single task is proven to reduce stress and enhance relaxation.
A study conducted by neuroscientists at the University of Sussex*, found that individuals who had read for merely six minutes exhibited slower heart rates, less muscle tension, and reduced stress levels. As the world becomes more digital, print has become a valid escape from screens and, certainly, a calm, relaxed audience is a more receptive audience.
From Emotion to Action
The emotional response to printed products makes them both experiential and enjoyable, but the benefits don’t stop there. Strong emotional responses often encourage further action. When people view print, they may:
- Save it for later
- Tell other people
- Pass it on
- Visit a website
- Read reviews
- Make a purchase
- Make a donation
- Plan a large purchase
- Use a voucher or a code
- Visit a shop, attraction, place or restaurant
- Order a catalogue or brochure
So, which emotional responses come up for you when you read a printed product? The long bank holiday weekend coming up might be the perfect moment to dedicate some time to the pleasure of reading!
*Lewis, D. (2009), Galaxy Stress Research. Mindlab International, Sussex University, UK
Despite the dip in 2020, digital advertising spend is booming once more with projections total worldwide spend of up to half a billion dollars by 2024. However, businesses have also shown they’re not ready to relinquish print. So, what does the road ahead look like? We decided to take a closer look!
In 2022, the benefits of digital advertising are clear:
- Digital ads allow market segmentation and demographic targeting with minute precision
- With an effective strategy, advertisers can keep costs low and return on investment (ROI) high.
- The ease of managing and adjusting campaigns means marketers can hone their messaging in near real-time
- And we have more data analytics, measurements, and insights to be drawn than ever before.
However, if you look at the metrics it becomes clear that print ads are still holding their own in the contemporary market mix. In their Global Print2025 report, Quocirca surveyed hundreds of businesses across the US, France, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK, and found that 64% of businesses expect print will still be important for the foreseeable future, and with good reason:
- Newsworks’ 2020 report demonstrates that advertising in print drives higher levels of brand recall vs digital – at 77% compared to 46%.
- According to a 2017 Burstein report, 82% of consumers trust print ads the most when making a purchase decision
- Print readers usually spend 20 minutes or more with their publication in hand
- Nearly 80% of consumers act on direct printed mail advertisements
- Print and direct mail marketing bring a 9% customer response rate.
It’s clear that digital marketing is here to stay but new mediums don’t always mean wholesale change. In 2020, there was a surge in the growth of print book sales and a decline in eBooks. Vinyl stores are on the rise, and direct mail is getting a new time to shine as a result of overflowing email inboxes!
So, what’s the right way to use print and digital together in 2022?
Can advertisers have their cake and eat it too?
The answer is an emphatic YES!
Print & Digital Join Forces: Welcome to the Omnichannel
The recent shift in the retail world demonstrates a solid blueprint for the future of digital and print advertising. Rather than viewing e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores as siloed channels in a multi-channel strategy, businesses are favouring a seamless, convenient omnichannel approach with consumers at its heart.
Newsworks 2020 report noted the effectiveness of integrating print and digital:
- Consumers who see print ads go on visit the advertiser’s website—up 27% in 2020 from 12% in 2009
- Purchase intent of consumers who notice print ads increased to 22% in 2020 from 7% in 2009
So, what are the best practices and strategies for coherently combining print and digital advertising? Here are a few top tips:
One message, multiple touchpoints
A single video ad or flyer might pique your prospective customers’ interest but converting brand awareness into intent or action requires your message to be received multiple times. The contemporary customer journey is extremely complex and diverse, spanning offline and online phases, and in order to capture and hold attention, brands need to expand their tactics to hit as many touchpoints as possible.
An omnichannel print-digital campaign allows your campaign to be omnipresent! Through the use of multiple touchpoints across different mediums, your messaging can be regularly reinforced. Not only will this boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, taking a horizontal omnichannel approach is likely to reduce ad spend.
The key is to ensure that the primary message stays consistent through all channels employed. By using the same language and design elements across print and digital campaigns, advertisers can ensure they are recognisable and ever-present.
Work each medium to connect your campaigns
While campaigns should be designed to function in multiple channels, advertisers should keep the clear strengths of each medium in mind.
- Print is better at holding attention, creating a lasting impression and giving credibility
- Digital is instantaneous and interactive, combining audio and visual mediums and often allowing more detailed information to be shared
Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and the surge in QR code use, linking print and digital campaigns has never been easier! A simple QR link on a print campaign can have multiple roles, including:
- Scan-to-buy print ads for one-click convenience
- Links to digital coupons to use in-store or online
- Allowing your customers to download full catalogues of products from a single product flyer
Plus, QR codes that link to unique landing pages can be used to track the ROI of print marketing campaigns, allowing a clear view of just how well they’re performing.
So What Does “Good” Look Like
Here are just a few examples of creative print-digital campaigns that take the omnichannel approach to the next level!
- Reporters Without Borders – QR Codes
Freedom of the press has never been more important, but there are plenty of places around the world where this right is not protected. Reporters Without Borders created this incredible interactive print ad to draw attention to the issue, focusing on controversial leaders.
By scanning a QR code at the bottom of the ad, readers were taken to a video to learn more about this pressing issue!
- NIVEA – Phone Charging Print Ad
Aside from forgetting your swimsuit, getting sunburnt and running out of battery are the two biggest concerns of a day at a beach. Nivea had a spark of inspiration and solved both issues with their phone charging print ad! Featuring a solar panel right in the magazine, readers were able to plugin and stay charged!
- Lexus – iPad activated ad
Lexus transmitted their strong brand identity as a technology innovator by using tablets to enhance their magazine ads. When an iPad was placed underneath the page, readers were treated to a moving light show that makes this print ad really jump off the page!
At Reach, the possibilities are endless! Get in touch with our team today to start exploring how you can use print to enhance your marketing materials with an omnichannel approach!
“Picking up a newspaper in the newsagents is easy, but knowing how that paper is sourced and produced from tree to print is how we earn your trust” , says Reach Scotland Regionals Publishing Editor George Johnston.
“We are a trusted news brand and the trust of our audience is something we take very seriously in our business.”
At Reach we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and climate impact, making practical changes to ensure that our activities do not damage the environment as well as encouraging readers and those in power to support climate-friendly initiatives through our editorial coverage.
Reach Scotland Regionals publishes 17 newspapers and these are printed at our Saltire print site in Glasgow. Opened in 1994, the purpose-built print centre was established on environmentally reclaimed land of a former landfill site. By the way, it was officially opened by none other than Tony Blair to mark the centenary celebrations of the Daily Record! Here we hold both the PEFC and FSC Chain of Custody certification and we continue to retain ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management certification.
But what do these mean?
- The Programme of Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is a global non-profit organisation committed to the certification of forests to credible, independently verified standards of responsible forest management, with a focus on conserving the natural habitats of plants and animals, and respecting the rights of forestry workers and local communities.
PEFC operates this robust chain of custody scheme to track wood and wood fibre through every step of the supply chain, from the forest to the end user.
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody certification verifies that FSC-certified material has been identified and separated from non-certified and non-controlled material as it makes its way along the supply chain, from the forest to the market.
- The ISO 14001:2015 is awarded to organisations who ‘manage their environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability’.
At Reach Printing Services, our environmental policies cover:
- Paper sourcing
- Energy consumption
- Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions
- Waste management and recycling
It would be disingenuous of us at Reach to be reporting on topics such as global warming, carbon footprint, recycling, plastics, pollution and waste without answering the case as to how we, as a business, are demonstrably eco-friendly.
We feel strongly that we have an editorial responsibility too – hundreds of thousands of people across the regions of Scotland still rely on their local paper for news and information – and we are absolutely going to use that to tell the truth about the environmental issues affecting our future.
There is so much coverage, data and stats on climate change being reported but also so much misinformation and many myths. We can assure you being a reader of a Reach newspaper does not in any way contribute to deforestation.
New study on consumer perceptions towards paper and print
Two Sides’ latest 2021 study ‘Paper’s Place in a Post-Pandemic World’ showed that, whilst paper retains its place as a vital communication and packaging materials, there remain misconceptions about the environmental impact of the paper industry.
The global study of 8,800 consumers found that consumers still believe forests are decreasing in size, with 59% of UK consumers believing that European forests are shrinking.
In reality, between 2005 and 2020, European forests grew by an impressive 58,390km2 – an area equivalent to 1,500 football pitches of forest growth every day!
Statistics like this one should reassure readers of printed products.
“We know the environment is very much front of mind these days — from schools to businesses – everyone accepts how important an issue it is. To be able to offer our readers industry-leading environmental stamps is just another fantastic acknowledgment that shows our newspaper titles do care about the issues that are important.”
Reach Scotland Regionals Publishing Editor George Johnston.
Our Reach printing site in Glasgow is here:
110 Fifty Pitches Place, Cardonald Park, Glasgow, G51 4EA
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