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  • Hugh Malone

Care for a little Print with your Digital? Yes, Please!

With the rise of the Internet, there has been a great revolution in consumer behavior and the way that people interact with brands. There has also been a dramatic shift in the way businesses operate, with most organizations now having their dominant presence on the web.

More people now use the web every day than the telephone and spend more time online than they do watching TV.  

Today's consumers have been trained to be "media dependent." When they want something they look for it online and if they can't find it there, they'll look on their phone or tablet. In fact, with Facebook and Instagram, you can have people waiting for your ad before they even start viewing your site.

We are living in an age where consumers have come to expect to be able to access any content they want at any time from any device. This shift has fundamentally changed the way we view and use content and media. The digital age has had an enormous impact on traditional media in the wider world. 

Social networks continue to revolutionize marketing. In the case of Google, it was launched in 2011 with only 50 million members worldwide. Now, according to the latest update from the company, it boasts over 1 billion users. Meanwhile, Facebook boasts 2.2 billion monthly active users and growing.

This led to some pundits, back in 2015, gloomily predicting that there would be no newspapers at all by 2020. That was grossly exaggerated, but over the past two decades, the print circulation of newspapers and magazines has taken a big hit, in some cases halving in number.

Some critics even today will say that people don't have time to read long-winded copy anymore. They just scroll by it on their phone and keep scrolling. As a result, the average attention span for a long-winded piece of copy is about five seconds. And because of this, print ads are quickly becoming outdated. They're becoming obsolete.  And their fate has been decided.

Not so fast, I say.

In the last ten years, like most agencies, we've transitioned from print focused to digital diverse, but we certainly haven't forgotten where we came from.  Hardly.  Like many firms, we believe the best media plan is a diverse one that has many fixin's in the stew, so to speak.  And believe me, print is still an important and essential ingredient.  In fact, for a medium that has supposedly had the Grim Reaper lurking over its shoulder for years now, we currently have robust client campaigns running in both magazines and newspapers that are delivering ROI neck and neck with digital and in many cases significantly outperforming digital.  And yes, this includes newspapers, even with their short shelf life.

Given all the negative press and pseudo-eulogies about print, here are a couple of observations why it still might make sense for your clients - 


Yes, magazines and newspapers have lowered circulation and sometimes cut frequency because of deteriorating ad revenue and the results are thinner editions across the board.  Sure, it's easy to go the fashionable route and dismiss print altogether. But thinner editions means less clutter, less saturation, and ultimately less competition and more share of voice for your clients.  This represents an opportunity to stand out.


One of the best ways to impress your client is by adding more eyeballs to the campaign without increasing the budget. At the moment, with print, that's eminently doable.  Digital has taken a bite out of the print industry's bottom line so you'll find most individual magazines and newspapers more apt to haggle.  Time to make hay while the sun shines.


Several studies have revealed that the credibility of newspapers, magazines, and TV ads are ranked as more credible and trustworthy than other types of advertising, namely digital. Launching a new product or service with a stunning print ad in a newspaper or magazine sets a tone of trust that a digital campaign simply can’t duplicate.


In this case, I'm referring to the Apple iOS privacy changes and the potential lifeline it's given the print industry (the tree).  Companies of all sizes are experiencing diminished returns because of these rigid restrictions, especially those that rely almost entirely on social media for their leads. This is a clarion call for diversifying any and all campaigns and should be an opportunity to embrace print as a welcome partner.


In this digital age we live in, we need to be smart about how we use technology to reach out to potential customers who may not already be familiar with a particular brand. Digital campaigns check the boxes for efficiency and measurability, but print media can be and still is a great source of brand awareness, engagement, and trust.  Marry the two and you might just have a client for life.

Since 2000, the hallmark of Luxe Communications has been to deliver exceptional value and unparalleled return on investment for our clients' marketing needs. For more information, visit: Or email me at

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