IS Magazine Blog

The Future of Print Advertising

Jan 03 2011

print advertising

Though many have predicted a paperless future void of magazines and newspapers, this is certainly not the case.  You can still expect a thick issue of Vogue every September and print is far from dead.  Print advertising will continue to serve advertisers with its prestige and print will continue to thrive.  That said, the print advertising landscape is certainly changing.

This is Not the End

There’s still something about a shiny Rolex ad or a perfume sample tucked along the edge of a magazine page that doesn’t seem possible to reproduce in the world of digital.  Print is a prestigious medium that still means something amongst the iDevice rush and rise of the Internet.   People are still subscribing to magazines, and the paperless future some predicted is long off.

That said, print is certainly changing.  Many experts suggest that the transition that the print world is going through is the result of overabundance.  In their eyes print was experiencing a bubble, and the rise of new media popped that bubble in a way that will get rid of the excess and leave us with the print materials that actually matter.

Print Gets More Targeted

Though many mass market newspapers and magazines will continue to exist for millions of people, we can also expect to see more targeted, niche publications that are more specific to the reader.  This could result in shorter print runs (aka fewer copies of each publication), meaning that it might be more economical to push away from traditional presses, instead opting for more digital print runs.

Along with this idea of creating a more limited run targeted publication comes the idea of more targeted advertising.  While print already allows some specificity on how to regionalize ads, this could help brands create ads that are more suited for the potential viewer.

Print Gets QR Codes

The invention of QR codes have also allowed print advertisers to add another layer to their ads.  People will cell phones can scan the QR code and get sent to a link on a site, a video, or just about anywhere the brand wants them to go.  This is the rise of a new multimedia experience and we can expect much more of this kind of brand experience.

The Rise of Transmedia Brands

Many brands will continue to keep print marketing in their marketing mix, but as more people read publications online or on mobile devices, advertising will continue to shift with readership. 

Marketing budgets will continue to diversify as long as companies find new ways to reach people where they are.  While yesterdays marketing budget might have included television, print and radio, today we can find brands through apps, mobile, and online.

The future advertiser will need to be fluent in print ads, online ads, social advertisements, and earned media as well.  In a way this may make it seem like the advertising world just got a whole lot more complicated, but with these new mediums come better measurement and more feedback.

A Better Measurement Process

Marketers are using every channel, and the benefit of digital is all about measurement.  While no one can measure how long a person looks at a print ad, the rise of iPads and mobile devices have given marketers the ability to track exactly how long people are spending with ads.

Advertisers can also measure if people clicked on specific links in ads, and track the ways in which people interfaced with interactive ads.  These are the kinds of stats that help marketers measure impact and justify spending more money on more ads in the future.

In Conclusion

While new media ads have a lot to offer advertisers in terms of eyes, engagement and measurement, there’s still something about print that more people can’t deny.  There’s a feeling that goes along with holding a paper in your hands or turning the page of a magazine.  It’s a feeling that people aren’t even close to giving up, and the kind of intangible that guarantees the future of print advertising as we know it.  Advertisers’ fluencies may change a bit, but there’s still something about a Burberry ad in on a glossy page that we’ll be able to appreciate far into the future.

Mark has been blogging about marketing/advertising for 4 years.  He currently blogs the best sites to find online insurance quotes and free budget software.