Is Printed media a waste of money?

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Brand Strategist & Founder

I’m Kim a passionate marketer | Sharing growth insights for success | Proud founder of Squibble, empowering Midlands marketers to thrive by turning clunky websites into marketing joy | Let’s fuel your journey!

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We recently launched our new magazine, ENGAGE… for success. We decided to publish an online and printed version. But does anyone really take any notice printed media these days? Did we do the right thing printing our magazine?

We were curious, so we looked into how successful printed media is in today’s internet-focused, social media filled world.

A little bit of history

Over the past 10 years many newspapers have moved online, some have stopped printing daily whilst others have given up with printing altogether.

The launch of online only magazines and surge in the popularity of blogs has also created more competition for printed media.

What has it got to offer?

Print media uses more senses than an online version of the same product. The material used can be any size, shape, colour and texture, letting you create a unique product. High gloss paper makes photorgraphs pop out, seemingly more real than when viewed online. Titles stand out on a billboard much more than on a website banner. A well designed leaflet can generate a great buzz and give people a snippet of what you are offering and what you can produce and is easily shared around.

A great advantage is that you can hand out a brochure, leaflet or business card to anyone you meet and they will have a tangible reminder of you and your company to keep. They can then go and look at your website in their own time (and hopefully won’t forget!).

In sync with the web

Not only can printed media engage with a person in a tangible way that the web cannot, but it can also lead people to the web. With the use of a twitter tag or QR code you can direct readers to your website and link your online and printed presence in a second.

What do the stats show?

Research shows that campaigns combining printed and online media, linking printed campaigns directly to online advertising or sites produce up to 25% higher response rates than any campaign focusing purely on internet media. (According to the Direct Marketing Association.)

Studies have also shown that printed media is seen as more trustworthy and credible than online advertising. It is seen to stand the test of time and be more permenant than online media.

Astonishingly over 90% of direct mail is opened! A much higher number than email messages. (PrintWeek discovered, based on figures for 2012)


H&M have increased their print media in last few years, making sure the brand appears in magazines, posters and on billboards.

Printed media is now 62% of the brand’s entire media investment.

The result

In the UK, the brand awareness is around 98% and they have had a 15% increase in global sales in 2010. This surely shows that printed media can enhance your business and bringing more customers.


Did we do the right thing?

As this article, and especially this example, show, printed media is still useful and very much alive! It can sit comfortably alongside your online presence and help to highlight any online media.

I believe our decision to print our magazine as well as make it available online was a great decision. It reminds our clients and potential customers that we are a high quality, reliable company and, unlike much of what we see on the internet, we won’t be disappearing anytime soon!

And don’t forget: some people still aren’t on the internet! They may be a small minority, but you still don’t want to exclude them!


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