Print Still Performs

SHOALS – Advertising effectiveness was the focus of a recent study by ThinkNewsBrands, through its “Benchmark and Payback Series.” 

The study revealed what some see as surprising data with regard to consumer ad recall in 2021.   

It wasn’t surprising to those who know print. 

An article for Editor & Publisher by Gretchen A. Peck recently summarized the study.

ThinkNewsBrands released a new installment in the series in August. It is called,  The Social Chapter, which looked at ad metrics and key indicators such as short-term and long-term memory recall, and brand lift.  This is how an ad, product or 

brand is perceived, remembered, and regarded across several platforms, including print news, Facebook, YouTube, outdoor advertising, broadcast, and radio.

The study revealed that advertising carried by news publishers outperformed ads distributed on the social media platforms, most notably on Facebook and YouTube.   The study concluded that print ads are significantly more memorable than short  YouTube videos and just as impactful as 15-second video ads on YouTube.  Despite the billions in advertising business Facebook does in a year, the effectiveness of those Facebook ads is questionable based upon the group’s analysis. 

“Irrespective of the Facebook ad type, ads in newspapers outperform Facebook by up to 4x,” ThinkNewsBrands found.

Although the study was specific to consumer trends in Australia, the study’s findings come at a time when Facebook’s North American user base no longer appears fully enchanted with the platform. 

Geoff Desreumaux, CEO and editor-in-chief of We are Social Media, an independent publisher of digital marketing news and analysis wrote in early 2021, “Facebook has a problem... a growing concern for its future,” he said.  “...There are serious signs of user fatigue in some of its core markets....”

Advertisers have begun to express their concerns and frustrations with Facebook publicly.  Big-brand advertisers like Coca-Cola, Unilever, Verizon, and others stepped away from Facebook advertising in 2020 because of the platform’s inept attempts to quell so-called hate speech and disinformation.  That only appears to be continuing in 2021 with the growing revelations of partisanship.

Meanwhile, print advertising, especially in newspapers, continues to be accessible.  According to the Australian study, simply more effective than digital ads on social media platforms. “Social media is simply no alternative to news,” the ThinkNewsBrands authors concluded. “News has strong reach, superior trust, memorability, and business impact.”

Courier Journal readers are never rushed.  They enjoy the opportunity of seeing what is going on in our community without intrusion, being pushed through a news feed, or dealing with low-battery alerts.  Readers have all week to look through and digest what is happening and who is selling products and services locally.  CourierJournal.net and the digital flip-page replica edition are also very comfortable reads.

While business people in their 30’s and 40’s may be somewhat surprised by the positive print results, many long-time advertisers are not surprised.   Print is right here – now, an hour from now, a week from now, and a year from now.  It is never gone.  Trying to click back to a web-based advertisement, especially on FB, can be a challenge - if not impossible - proving how back reference metrics fail miserably when compared to print.   

Radio, TV?  Those ads are gone forever.  That is why it can take hundreds of radio or TV spots to have real top-of-mind impact.  In the Courier Journal one time per week, ALL WEEK, to all 70,000 area homes, provides terrific return on investment.   And saturation coverage eliminates the hassle and confusion of digital targeting, because the Courier Journal goes into every mailbox. 

The Courier Journal has an assortment of ad programs that can fit any budget.  Business classified ads start at $7 per week.   You may see page 8 for details or call 256-764-4268.   

The Courier Journal’s  four advertising executives combined have over 65 years in local print advertising sales. 

Alphabetically they are Judy Cox 256-740-4702; Sadonna Magazzu, 256-740-4704; Heather Ridinger, 256-740-4703; and Gregg Scott, 256-740-4705.