Uncovering the Hidden Benefits of Print Advertising

January 15, 2019 Marco D’Amico

For years now, businesses have moved to a more digital approach in their advertising initiatives. The rise of the digital search, led by websites like Google, Bing and more has created a generation of consumers primed to quickly search for a good or service on their computer or smartphone instantly. This move towards digital advertising and search engine marketing has created an entirely new and evolving industry. It does have many positives in terms of measurable, real-time results and a plethora of demographic information on customers and engagement. 

However, there also seems to be a strong misconception that print advertising is unable to produce these same metrics and results. In fact, many people have been asking ‘’Is print advertising really still as viable as it once was?’’. Many would be surprised to learn that the answer is indeed ‘’Yes’’ and that print advertising hasn’t lost any of its effectiveness and influence. Let’s take a look at how print advertising has continued to be an effective and essential tool for the success of SMBs:

1. Highest Spending Audience

Have you ever heard the expression ‘’Quality over quantity’’? Of course you have! Print advertising has a strong impression over the highest paying demographic strata: families and couples (aged 45+). This specific group of individuals will generally find themselves in the upper-middle household (according to Yellow Pages, their average income is of 134K per year) and represent one of the higher paying audiences in Canada for services or shopping. What’s even more important about this specific demographic is that they have been the fastest growing segment population in the last ten years; making up more than 40% of the population in the next 15 years. As of 2016, the average spend per purchase of print Yellow Pages buyers for General Contractors was $5,734 according to Burke data released in April of 2016.

2. Trust and Purchasing Trends

Upon answering a quick survey, 82% of internet users said they trusted print ads when making a purchase decision, more than any other medium. The level of trust and effectiveness when using print advertising is actually quite surprising to many, as 75 % of searches on Yellow Pages print ads are from ready-to-buy customers who follow up on ads (via call or store visit). Of those follow-ups, 52 % of then result in a sale or contract for an SMB, which represents a significantly higher conversion rate than a single digital advertising initiative. Further adding to the power of print, is its ability to attract new clientele, as 50 % of customers who follow up on ads are new customers; a great value for an SMB looking to grow its brand awareness.

3. Growing Customer Engagement

In a recent study, it was found that people process print content/advertising with greater engagement and focus, and a deeper emotional response, than they do content viewed on a screen. There’s actually been growing, as 32% of purchases made in 2017 were driven by print or direct mail promotions . To the surprise of many, Print directories are consulted in one of every 4 searches done on a daily basis in Canada!

In fact, recent studies on print advertising show that print ads are more likely to engage users and prompt action in comparison to digital ads. As recently as 2018, print-related advertisement was rated ahead of digital products such as ratings and reviews, daily deals, social media, online videos, and mobile apps in regards to trust and engagement levels. That shows that many have remained and are turning back to print to get a quality service or good from a local business.

4. Strong Industry Focus

Print advertising is very popular for specialised industries in a local setting. Consumers often turn to print advertising to find the local, specialized businesses in order to help them out of whatever bind they may find themselves in. Here are just a few examples of what people look for the most when looking through print directories:

  • Contractors
    • Plumbers
    • Home Improvement
    • Electricians
  • Restaurants
  • Pet Animal Services
    • Pet Health
    • Medical Services
  • Legal Services
  • And much more

Print advertising adds a special touch to local businesses seeking to reach their growing customer base. With companies that specialize in health, plumbing, home improvement and more looking to make a name for themselves in their local community, print advertising has a proven track record of getting them the exposure they want. With trust in print advertising trending very well, advertisers can rest assured that their key audience will be able to find them the next time they search for help. Print advertising’s ability to secure higher levels of engagement and new clientele make it a must in any advertisers’ portfolio, so, really, the question you should ask yourself is: ‘’What are you waiting for?’’

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