After more than two years of being locked down under Covid-19 regulations, we’re emerging cautiously from a low-touch economy, all probably having reassessed the way we did things for so many years.
Do we still want to hold newspapers after turning to iPads, smartphones and laptops to order services, view the news and indulge in the many streaming options?
Many have foretold the imminent death of newspapers and magazines, and of course there were plenty in print media (as in many other industries) that didn’t survive the period of isolation.
A study by effectiveness consultancy Benchmarking for Newsworks claims that advertisers are making the wrong decision by cutting back on newspaper advertising. The study, which covered over 500 econometric models to produce valuable and accurate information, seems to prove that placing ads in newspapers increases overall ROI by three times.
The study’s results show that advertising with newspapers increases overall campaign effectiveness and even helps other media become more effective. Newspaper advertising made online display campaigns four times more effective and television campaigns twice as effective.
Newspaper ads affect various industries’ campaign effectiveness differently than other types of advertising:
- Finance is affected 5.7 times more
- Travel is affected 3 times more
- Retail is affected 2.8 times more
- Automotive is affected 1.7 times more
The study’s researchers suggest the optimal level of investment in newspaper advertising was 11.4%. In 2015, the average investment was only 7.6%.
Sixty-six percent of newspaper readers either always or regularly look at inserts. While having the digital version is nice, print copies carry all the hype. So why in the digital era would people from all over want the print version? Nostalgia. The print newspaper is memorabilia people can keep forever.
Your digital ad may get more views, but your print ads could get more attention, especially when something big is happening. Those who have a printed newspaper hold on to the paper longer, leave it somewhere for others to read, or keep the inserts relevant to them and their family so they can look through them to see if there is something they need or want on sale somewhere.
Advertising in newspapers is not a thing of the past. Those who want their brands to get attention and see a large return on investment should invest in an integrated marketing plan that includes both print and digital marketing. The race is on for a fully print-digital-social integrated newspaper. A seamless journey from the one to the other would be ideal for the new normal.
An integrated future
The need for integration is a business imperative not lost on us at Arena, home of the country’s leading media titles including the Sunday Times, Business Day, Financial Mail, Sowetan, Herald and Daily Dispatch, as well as prominent associated sites like TimesLIVE, SowetanLIVE, WantedOnline and BusinessLIVE.
Arena Holdings delivers a strong advantage for our clients. Bolstered by broadcast assets including Business Day TV, The Home Channel, Ignition, Viva Nation TV, Vuma FM and Rise FM, we field a team of front-line staff who are available to foster deep, integrated partnerships that will assist any business in recovery or better success following the lockdown effects of Covid-19.
Emerging from the last two years and re-establishing a robust circulation and distribution network requires extraordinary effort. All of us have had to, and must continue to, search for new ways of skinning the proverbial cat. It has been a time of strengthening the resilience of our organisations, buckling down and moving forward. In AREna it was time to REthink, REset, Rebuild and Recreate, all in an effort to become even more REsilient than we’ve ever been before. We had to all REconsider a culture where the customer once again is at the centre, and how we will deliver to customers what they want and in a manner of their choosing.
We are working tirelessly to connect all the group’s assets while providing clients with singular yet universal access to the various channels to carry content that informs, entertains and educates.
For newspaper advertising to thrive, we have to ensure we continue to provide quality content, engaged readers and credible environments. Thus, Arena has embarked on a clear ‘Subs and Clubs’ strategy drive to retain and build loyal members who feel they belong to one or more communities.
As we connect and strengthen these communities and verticals such as business, youth, women, motoring, education and luxury, targeted marketing and advertising becomes simpler. The availability of multiple channels, including below-the-line opportunities such as events that live off the pages, provides clients with a variety of ways to engage with their consumers.
With video at the centre and a cohesive social audio strategy, monetising newspaper lead opportunities will bolster revenue streams, not shrink them. In tandem with driving subscriptions, media houses will future-proof their businesses.
The future of newspaper advertising is still powerful while media titles have currency for readers. Brands built over time still have meaning, so whether the advertising is via print, digital, radio or below the line, the future of newspaper advertising remains bright, and print will still have a lead role within the media arena. Long live the integrated newspaper!
This story was first published in The Media Yearbook 2022 | The Business Beat. Please see below to read the new issue.
Lyndon Barends is managing director of strategy, sales and marketing at Arena Holdings. Barends is a results-driven change leader and former CEO with extensive experience in business restructuring, change management, organisational design, strategic planning, brand management, and general management experience acquired in media, IT, banking, education, and sporting industries.
The Covid-19 pandemic laid waste to ‘normal’ business practices and models. But it also rapidly stimulated innovation and technological transformation. Now, as we head into a third year of working and living alongside the pandemic, the media sector is expected to continue upending traditional business models in tandem with ongoing shifts in consumer behaviour. In this edition of our popular annual, The Media Yearbook, we explore how media companies are innovating, managing and up-skilling talent, investing in advertising and marketing technology, researching and simply getting on with the business of media. Please click on the cover to read the magazine.
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