Marketing Departments Counter Digital Dismay With Print

I caught a very interesting article the other day on a website that celebrates print media over in the U.K. It talked about how marketers are re-evaluating the benefits of print, and shifting money from digital ads back in that direction. It contained nothing I didn’t already know (or at least suspect), but it included some numbers that really caught my attention.

One of the hot terms in the digital industry these days is “ad blocking.” Significant numbers of people are downloading software that prevents digital ads from appearing on their computer or smartphone screens. Combined with consumers’ ever-growing dexterity in deleting digital messages they don’t want to see, that has resulted in an amazing statistic. Ready for it?

Fifty-Six Percent of Ads Served Online are Never Seen by Consumers

To me, that fact -which is based on Google research – is startling. It’s difficult enough to get consumers to pay attention to, engage with, and act upon advertisements they do see. But it seems that on that trendy “digital is everything” playing field, more than half of the ads paid for never even get the chance! Consumers resent the intrusion, and either prevent them in advance, or get rid of them quickly when they do appear.

I’ve always felt that part of the problem with digital marketing is that it’s too easy to send out blizzards of material to everybody, with little sense of selectivity or personal interest. Naturally, that drags everyone down with it. This article seems to confirm that.

Only 10% of online users say they “welcome” ads, whereas 35% of consumers of print media look forward to advertisements. Only 20% of print magazine readers say they find advertising a distraction, whereas 40% of online users feel that way.

Online Ads Not Clicking

Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all is the “click-through rate” for online ads: 0.02%. That means that two people out of ten thousand actually click through. That’s like showing your ad to a packed house at a Saturday afternoon college football game; you’d see more referees than responses. And there’d be way more hot dog vendors.

Why Does Print Do Better?

Well, for one thing, print keeps better company. Instead of being one of thousands of interruptive digital ads – most with little credibility, relevance or interest to you—a print ad in a magazine is surrounded by excellent content on subjects you do care about. You chose the magazine, right?

Beyond that, the ad creative is probably much better, with the message crafted thoughtfully and carefully to the right target audience. There is no “ad blocking” mechanism in place to hide the ad before the reader can see it. And fortunately, there’s less need or desire for one, because remember—ads are more welcome in this environment.

Print Belongs in Your Marketing

Bottom line is that yes, we’re all looking at screens more these days. But that doesn’t mean we are willing to donate our eyeballs to any and every marketer too greedy to be selective. Your message just looks and feels better in print. A catalog, flyer, brochure or direct mail piece feels more like a thoughtful conversation with a friend.

Let’s think of some great ways you can use the advantages of print to benefit your business. There are plenty of new marketing technologies and tools we can use to make it cost-efficient, and help you reach the people you most need to reach. Get in touch with me or one of our talented sales reps as soon as possible. Trust me, a click on these links will get a response 100% of the time—and will almost certainly lead you to a big boost for your business.

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