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Print Holding Its Own Despite Digital Media Consumption

The amount of information and the manner in which we access information continues to explode. As usage of the internet and apps continues to grow, shopper engagement with print media remains one of the most powerful influences on shopping decision making.

The Nielsen 2017 Homescan study reinforces this. 80% of US households still use print circulars and other traditional print sources for product information. Furthermore, that usage has declined in popularity only slightly by 3-4 percentage points since 2014.

So why does this critical retail media vehicle continue to resonate with consumers? Here are some of the reasons:

1. Print is easier to read: studies have shown that print is easier on the eyes and less likely to encourage multitasking which translates to greater comprehension and engagement which is a critical aspect of effective print advertising.

2. Digital reading promotes skimming. Research shows that people reading on screen take shortcuts, spend more time browsing and scanning and ultimately absorb less of the content.

3. The tactile and sensory experience of consuming print has been proven to satisfy readers

4. Print is more credible. Forbes cites that the saturation of digital pop-ups and banner ads on the web can be overwhelming along with the fear of spam and viruses. Ultimately you can earn trust with your digital marketing as part of your mix but print continues to stand out and resonate.

Ultimately media mix matters and each channel has very specific benefits that need to be recognized and leveraged. Too often big retailers view it as one or some media at the expense of another without fully realizing the impact and contribution that each channel makes in driving brick and mortar sales.

The technology, data and expertise exists to inform these critical decisions. Shortcuts, perceived bias and lack of data and analysis can lead to devastating business results both in the short and long term. However analyzing performance and maximizing each channel's contribution can drive traffic and sales at optimal levels of investment.

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