Print advertising isn't dead
An idea I hatched of publishing local magazines to showcase the fantastic independent businesses in Muswell Hill & Highgate turned into a reality in June 2005. I had no marketing background to pull on, just a passion about shopping local and a need to contribute to the household income.
Like any business it’s not been an easy gig.
When I first started out I was repeatedly told that the idea would never get off the ground.
When I started to get some traction with building up my client base I was repeatedly told the magazines wouldn’t last.
When digital communications took hold in the late 2000’s I was repeatedly told that printed material would become obsolete.
But 10 years on, these advertising led publications continue to thrive and now there are 7 magazines covering different postcodes across North London.
And here’s the reason: most advertisers get a return on money that’s at least equivalent to, if not greater than the cost of their advertising. I say “most” as there are some businesses that don’t do well through printed adverts (I’ve learned which business types they are and am honest with them about it); and there are others that run screaming for the hills if the first advert doesn’t bring home the bacon (even though I remind people about being consistent with their advertising).
So if print advertising was dead then the magazines would be resting alongside and that’s why I can confidently say it’s alive and kicking (cue your Simple Minds ear worm).
In fact in comparison to digital marketing it offers some undeniable advantages:
Print is relatively easy to target
If you need to tackle a particular demographic – whether by postcode or for a niche topic – there are publications out there that will help you achieve it. Obviously I’m not a specialist magazine so would advise you if I thought your advert was better placed in Goat News; for everyone else I can offer 7 postcodes to target.
Customers trust the printed page
Readers trust magazine content including adverts (studies show readers often enjoy ads as much as articles) and tend to develop loyalty to publications that provide the information they want. The topical content in my magazines was assembled with help from the readership so I know the heaps of editorial including updates about the community and tips for homes, gardens, fashion and beauty will be enjoyed.
Ask yourself this: how many issues of your most informative publications are lying around your home or office? I’m guessing the answer, at worst, is “a few.” That longevity and the pass-along factor mean more people see your advertising more often. The same is true of the magazines as people tell me they hold onto them until the next one arrives (or call me for a number if they’ve accidentally recycled it!). That means they are repeatedly exposed to the advertising and that increases the likelihood of those businesses being used.
OVER TO YOU
I’m hoping that if there has ever been any doubt about whether print advertising works the above will dispel it and that you’ll join me as the magazines party on into their 2nd decade.