A report in 2015 from eMarketer stated that the global ad market for the next four years would be comprised mainly of mobile advertising. Despite a 2014 study showing that print advertising has the highest ROI, many more people are turning to digital and mobile formats when promoting their business or product. It is no surprise that together with a steady increase in mobile usage in the past few years there is also growth in advertising through that medium.
Nowadays we see a lot of these ads on social media with almost every business taking advantage of such platforms where hundreds of millions of users are registered. It’s become much easier for people to release an ad campaign online, where the distribution of materials is more streamlined than go through the logistics of actually distributing materials. We get to choose the regions where the ads will show and with just a few tweaks on the settings, thousands to millions of people automatically see these ads, particularly now when almost all of us are plugged online 24/7 through our mobiles.
When we open Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and even Snapchat, we find campaigns on our feed and the side of pages. There is also a significant amount of sponsored tweets, some images that celebrities and brand pages post are ads as well as the clips shown before those YT videos start, and more recently, the Snapchats themselves have become ads too. Digital advertising has expanded its reach worldwide while becoming even more dynamic as social media continues to progress over time. So why is there still a need for print?
Studies have shown that there is an expected decline in growth when mobile ads are projected to reach saturation in 2018. It’s quite clear that there’s too much advertising going on, and competition is steep on social media and other digital platforms. Hence, what any advertiser would want is to get one’s brand or product through all the traffic and to bring their message successfully across. So, there is a need to exhaust all channels for advertising, including what we previously know as traditional media, which is print. Now, this isn’t about pitting digital and print campaigns against each other to make advertisers or business owners choose one over the other; although when faced with limited resources, one form of campaign often does become the only option. But then, print campaigns still deliver something that digital can’t and here’s why it’s smart to take advantage of this.
They Complement not Compete
Digital advertising has its perks, and we’ve discussed some of these earlier. Print advertising, on the other hand, can be as engaging and creative without having as much potential for interruptions as their digital counterparts. Despite having the largest share of the global ad market, people have still found ways to keep a blind eye on these ads.
Together with the rise in digital advertising is a higher demand for software and applications to block these ads. Some users get distracted with too many ads popping on their screens that they’d be happy to use blockers anytime. Aside from these blocks, notifications from email, games, and other online accounts can interrupt the already short period of attention users have on our ads. As advertisers and business owners, our goal is to get people to see and remember the products and services we’re offering so we can have higher sales. So when people are blocking a large number of ads online, print is something we should also consider doing.
There’s a Different Experience with Print
Aside from filling in the gaps when users turn off digital ads, print advertising also provides something tangible for people to grasp while experiencing a different way of receiving information. Some would argue that consumers become more engaged when reading print compared to going through digital materials. Numerous print ads have become even more creative and interactive just so people’s experiences rise to a different level. When people feel more connected to an ad, this connection can translate into better business relationships between owners and clients.
They Come in all Shapes and Sizes
People often think of print ads as flyers or ads published in magazines, newspapers, and other flat sheets. However, prints can also be promotional items and these come in many shapes and sizes. Promotional merchandise can make ads even more creative and interactive. Examples are yogis back bending on flexible parts of straws. Y+ Yoga Center based in Shanghai had these straws distributed in health cafes to invite people to attend their classes. Another print that made a point is an ad for an organization called Alzheimer’s New Zealand, which spreads awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. They did so by distributing flash drives with functional erasers as cases; printed on these were “Alzheimer’s Erasers. Your Memories. Save them.”
These promotional merchandises are another form of print that accurately and creatively relays business messages. The two organizations have captured the attention of their local target market, and this works well with small business owners whose primary customers are the people nearby who may or may not necessarily belong to a particular niche. So even with a limited budget, small businesses can have a stronger access to the market by having direct connections with their customers through printed promotional items.