Time to harvest hybrid advantage of print & digital

Are the values of printed newspapers and ads are going to end in the digital age? Are the young generation or millennial population ignoring what printed newspapers feel like? Questions pour in! Debates continue! But please don’t be too much on this! As marketing strategies keep unleashing in different aspects in the print and digital arenas, there is virtue in balance to leverage a mix of both mediums through diverse touch-points for readers of different profiles and age groups.

Either print or digital, each medium has a time and a place and unique advantage to amplify one another. Hybridisation of the two mediums always leads to multi-channel synergy. Here is a perfect example—digital giant Amazon adopts printed newspapers to publish its ads on toy catalogues. Of course, we see a tremendous growth of digital ad spending in the news media sector. Digital platforms like social media, e-mail advertising, mobile messages and many others offer unprecedented benefits for advertisers, including their ability to track results immediately and precisely, and relatively low cost of insertion.

Well, nowadays the digital platforms are where audiences are, and every one of us spends most of our hours in a day in front of a kind of digital screen or a device. Clearly, the digital advertising is vital for most ad programmes. It is efficient, measurable and easily reachable to audiences where they are. However, print is trustful, impactful, and increasingly distinctive. Together they (print & digital) are a powerful marketing partnership, in a hybrid form. Print messages normally resonate more if they reinforce online messages and vice versa.

For most of the ads appeared in the printed newspapers, advertisers want ‘call to action’ to be a digital experience though e-mail or URL to get consumers quickly to the ‘point of conversion’, whether that’s a purchase, a registration, a document submission, or other action. In this respect, digital integration in the print ads gives you more measurement power. With the right attribution tools and strategies, you can precisely measure the impact of your print campaigns based on the online conversions they generate.

But in some situations and environments, print remains the king. For example, the impression of full back-page ad of an SUV in a printed newspaper is something which the same impact cannot be delivered from a digital ad on your smart phone. Similarly, at a conference when you are interacting face-to-face with some of your existing or potential customers, a QR code will never offer the same impression as a print brochure or catalogue you put into the hands of your audience.

A market report titled ‘Global Print Advertising Market Report & Forecast 2019-2024’ suggests that while the market for print ads is declining in developed markets, it is experiencing a balanced growth in emerging markets. In India, when promoting your brand, it’s critical not to forget most effective marketing campaigns using a combination of print ad and digital advertising.

Sonal Khurana
sonal@smediagroup.in

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