Have you heard the news? Print is dead—digital is the way forward, the holy grail of marketing.
The golden child has a bright future. Everyone knows that people are online 24/7, online media is relatively inexpensive, results are quantifiable and creativity is infinite. What’s not to love?
But here’s the deal: Print is alive, kicking and generating terrific results for many of our clients—especially when it comes to branded magazines. Seems it’s also true for a ton of brands that haven’t gotten the “print is dead memo” including Rhapsody (United Air), Pineapple (Airbnb), The Furrow ( John Deer), Asos (ASOS), the Red Bulletin (Red Bull), Colors (Benetton)—the list goes on.
This is important, especially for shopping centre marketers, purveyors of style, fashion and lifestyle. Regarding the launch of the glossy fashion and lifestyle magazine Porter (Net-A-Porter) Tess Macleod-Smith, VP of publishing and media shares:
“Women who love fashion, who spend money on fashion, cited print as being the key influencer in purchasing decisions in our research—we felt we had to respond. 85% of our top customers were inspired to shop after reading an issue of Porter, and those who became subscribers increased their spend by more than 125%.”
For shopping centre and other marketers, there are many benefits to a print magazine, particularly when you control the content and keep it fresh versus recycling what’s on your website. Consider these many benefits:
- Allows you to differentiate your centre and reinforce what makes you unique through the design, visual approach, content strategy and tone and manner.
- Allows you to rise above the constant static of the Internet and the lure of ceaseless clickbait and truly stand out from the crowd. Print is seen as more credible than digital (Hubcast), and a way to reinforce key brand attributes in a meaningful way.
- Allows you to provide product information and inspiration to multiple shopper segments.
- Allows you to provide integrated, contextual support for complementary retailers helping to showcase the depth and breadth of retailers and services and the important role they play in the target’s lifestyle.
- Print is tactile—the sensory experience of reading on print is significant and makes a stronger cognitive impression than digital (Hubcast).
- Allows for intimacy: 50% of consumers do no other activity while reading a magazine.
- Cost effective engagement: consumers spend an average of 25 minutes reading a custom magazine—that’s the equivalent of about 50 30-second television spots without distractions.
- Magazines have a longer life-span in the home and benefit from, conservatively, a 2.5 industry norm pass-along factor (Think Mint Media).
- Creative assets can be broken into snack size bites and leveraged across an array of other channels to help amortize the investment and reinforce core messages.
- Print is a vessel that can include multiple calls to action, promotions and offers—all “trackable.”
There’s lots more reasons why print is far from dead. In her book, Print is Dead, Long Live Print, Ruth Jamieson spoke to over 100 people in the industry. Based on her research, she shares this:
“The whole ‘is print dead?’ question has been knocking around for a while now. Digital people say it is dead. Print people say it isn’t. I wanted to change the record and say, yes, a certain kind of print is dead, or dying, but who cares? Quite simply, the internet does fast, cheap distribution of throwaway information much, much better than print does. So in killing that specific kind of print, digital media has cleared the way for a new, much more interesting, much more exciting print to spring up.”
And that is the opportunity for shopping centres—to invent a new kind of print, one that brings what makes a centre special to life in a fresh way that informs, engages and most of all, inspires.
Print isn’t dead. It’s being reborn, and looking for bold, smart marketers to lead the way forward.