media mix, ROI

Putting the media mix together

There’s no doubt that the world today is defined by information. Whether it’s news, opinions, interviews or advertising, it’s information (and marketing content) that provides the direction and structure to our lives. Magazines, newspapers, television, online, mobile and social media are all now vital components of any advertising campaign.
With such a range of technology and (print) channels at a brand’s disposal, how can you ensure that you’re getting maximum reach, exposure, ROI and connections for your marketing spend? In short: what’s the world’s most effective media mix?



Feel the difference

There are as many benefits to print as pages in a magazine. Perhaps the most important is tangibility. With all good publications there’s a feeling of substance, of stimulating the senses, that the thing in their hands has been crafted by experts in their fields. 
Then there are the practical advantages such as accessibility and portability.
Among the reasons why many people prefer print is to do with the feel of the paper, the way they can fold a leaflet, or cut out and keep vouchers for easy use. The quality of the paper and the high image resolution also play their part, as well as the ability to be put down and picked up again easily. Just pick up a copy of Wallpaper* or Monocle magazine to feel how luxurious a magazine can be.
Reading print demands the full attention of the reader and provides the means to escape today’s ‘always-on’ culture. The lack of distractions when reading print allows the reader to focus fully on the editorial and advertising content, the ultimate print moment coming when the reader is fully engrossed in a substantial article in a newspaper or magazine.

Add print, add power

In many ways, print is the ideal marketing medium: it’s available in both large and small numbers, can be accessed easily, and is engaging, versatile and creative. 
Each of the six types of print media has their own unique quality and role in their readers’ lives.
For newspapers, they become part of their readers’ day as they educate and inform with credibility and trust, while consumer and customer magazines create engagement through entertaining content.
Direct mail uses its ability to gain access to people’s homes and lives to deliver a targeted sales message, while door drops have an enviable reach and ROI. Finally, catalogues provide inspiration for customers before leading them online to make the purchase.
On their own, each channel fulfils a vital marketing role. When combined with other media, they are a highly effective force for any campaign, for any brand.

Making the connection

The key to successful marketing is engagement, drawing your customer in through attention-grabbing content before rewarding them with a worthwhile offer or service. 
Print media works because it understands the needs of the customer. By picking up the print medium, they’re investing time and attention, actively seeking entertainment and information rather than allowing it to wash over them.
Print media offers a host of content areas: news, information, education, inspiration, special offers and entertainment, all of which generate engagement between the reader and the advertised brands. Indeed, advertisements are as much a part of the reading experience as the editorial content, with magazines and newspapers providing exactly the right context for a relevant brand campaign.
Whether it’s a retailer in a door-drop leaflet, an art auction in a catalogue, spring fashion in a consumer magazine, a car advertisement in a newspaper, or an article about energy savings in a customer magazine, all branded content is print-appropriate and gives a boost to any campaign.

The concentration gap

Recent neurological research has identified differences in ways people process information presented in print and on screen. These studies have found that readers of print maintain their capacity to read longer articles since the reading situation doesn’t offer so many distractions. This capacity – called deep reading – also cultivates deep thinking. On the digital side, it’s also argued that people who read a lot of online material become used to bite-sized pieces of information and are distracted easily, losing the capacity to focus for a long period on a single subject.

Building the relationship

Print media has a close relationship with its readers. Indeed, print is often called the ‘me-medium’, as it can become an integral part of its reader’s world. But this relationship extends beyond the initial read-through. Because print is easily put down and picked up, it sticks around in the household or workplace, read again and again by others that come across it. 
People also have certain reading rituals, so they will return to a publication a number of times to take in all the information it has, information that’s both authoritative and reliable. Whether lean-back or lean-forward, print has the capability to build a relationship with the reader because of its content. This content is planned and created by experienced editors, who provide information and features that are both relevant and interesting for readers.

Mass and one-to-one contact

Print media exists in many forms: from mass media (hundreds to millions of copies) to one-to-one (the personalised version). In between, there are formats such as the personalised newspaper or magazine – titles that have content tailored to the specific reader.
Modern digital presses offer marketers, media and advertising professionals the ability to print entire publications based on the profile and needs of their consumers. This personalisation adds to the effectiveness of the print medium as consumers prefer a tailor-made approach to the generic. Such flexibility and adaptability allows the marketer and brand owner to choose exactly the right print media for their brand.

Media-mix integration

An effective marketing campaign works best when print is used with other media as one element of an integrated solution. Adding magazines to a mix of TV and internet increases brand favourability by 44% and purchase intention by 15%. (Dynamic Logic, 2009). The combination of online and newspapers also increases effectiveness, with brand engagement 26% higher than using just print or online (FT, 2011).
Print media can now offer quick and simple ways to access digital content using ‘bridging technologies’ such as QR codes, Augmented Reality and near-field communication.
These innovations form a bridge between print media and a brand’s online space, inviting consumer reaction, feedback and purchase, all via a smartphone. Such innovations increase the effectiveness of print media, as well as enhancing the consumer experience.

Newspapers are still the number one medium for shaping public opinion. Their credibility, knowledge, values and information-gathering skills remain a formidable force on the high street, and with titles now separated into sections with more lifestyle content, their potential for brands has increased further – online and offline. Add Print, Add Power, has never been so apt.
But the success of newspapers largely boils down to a single truth: they are effective in shaping opinion. They possess a large amount of power when it comes to public perception. Used well, that power can completely transform your brand. Why? Here are seven very good reasons.


Contributors: WAN-IFRA, ZMG

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