With the changing landscape of print media and the accelerated adoption of digital solutions, how do you know if it’s time to scale back or even abandon your print advertising programs altogether? The answer lies in the data. Whether your key performance indicators for success are conversions, sales to conversion costs, hot zip codes or retention, they all provide a better understanding of how to achieve maximum potential with your consumers.

Changing print landscape: It’s no secret that the print newspaper landscape is at a Darwinism point, leaving only the survival of the fittest. Publications are losing circulation, trimming print days, and essentially doing anything they can to survive. This is forcing late adopters of digital to scramble as coverage areas are eliminated by publications ceasing operations.

Changing consumer preferences: The way consumers save, shop, and transact has been migrating steadily over the years. The pandemic kicked this migration into high gear forcing consumers to adopt new behaviors, many of which have moved from trial to habit. As we take a deeper look at the grocery industry according to Inmar Intelligence, digital coupon redemption increased 56.5 percent industry-wide in March of 2021 compared to the prior year. Digital load-to-card coupon redemption has outpaced paper coupon redemption for the first time.1

While these key changes in the print industry and shifts in consumer behavior should not be ignored, that does not mean you should fully abandon print. It is critical, rather, to evaluate performance and remember it can be effective to use more than just a stand-alone solution. There is still a consumer base across all age groups that rely on and respond to printed messaging.

Re-thinking your print program

Start with your data: Your data will always tell a story and that can take many forms. It is important you start with the end in mind; what does campaign success look like in order to identify the data that will be most meaningful in your campaign strategy?

Print can be targeted too: Digital is preferred due to its ability to reach consumers directly and in a targeted fashion. However, direct mail campaigns, such as new mover and win-back campaigns, are prime examples of how print can target consumers as well as increasing market penetration and reach. During his time with AAA Central Penn, our Vice President of Media Service and Research Andy Longenberger noted that he saw over double the response rate and a 291 percent more efficient cost per acquisition ratio in direct mail win-back campaigns versus acquisition campaigns.

Print is measurable: Print campaigns allow for linear influence, attribution to sales and retention, which allows for continued changes and optimizations to your campaigns.

Universal Media-Analytics saves clients millions of dollars through our print audit solution, which focuses on eliminating waste in your print circulation. UMI also provides a print optimization that uses a data-based approach to provide a more strategic marriage of print and digital to efficiently drive results. To learn more about our data-driven strategies or how to optimize your existing print programs, visit our Services page.


About the author : Shaun Baker