News International Promotes the Power of Print

Not only are newspapers still investing in their print offerings to boost advertising revenues, they're also investing in their own campaigns to prove the effectiveness of print as an advertising medium.Drawing on research from Microsoft advertising, conducted in association with Brand Science, News International has launched a campaign that will run outdoor and across all its titles that claims that print is the most effective media in terms of generating sales.The ad campaign, which broke on Sunday, states that every £1 invested in newspaper and magazine generates £6.41 in sales - a return on investment 164% higher than that delivered by TV.In a world where marketers are increasingly seduced by new media channels, either due to a desire not to be left behind or driven by a need to deliver demonstrable return on investment, News International clearly sees the need to fight back with some hard facts. However, it is difficult to see this campaign having more than a marginal impact as most surveys indicate that marketers plan to further increase their spend on digital, including new investments in the embryonic area of mobile. Further research and sustained publicity will be required for a change in this trend.Just because a media is more measurable doesn't necessarily mean that it is more effective.  Traditional print media offers premium and luxury advertisers the opportunity to build awareness and desire amongst a wide swathe of their target audience in a high impact and tangible manner. There is no doubt that effective investment in print makes other digital channels work more effectively - a higher volume of branded search traffic for example or more Facebook fans following the higher profile a print media campaign can bring.While new digital techniques bring the opportunity to engage with audiences in new and more interactive ways, marketers need to understand what these new channels are bringing to the party in terms of effort vs. reward and not be swept away by the desire to invest heavily in something just because it's new.   But they also need to understand better the inter-relationship between offline and online and apply a healthy dose of logic and commonsense to their media investments rather than letting themselves be ruled by their RoI spreadsheets.

NewspapersGraham Painter