INMA’s report on print advertising

Print advertising remains central to the marketing mix

New INMA report - The Power and Promise of Print Advertising. Photo INMA

Research backs up what revenues show – Despite misperception of print advertising’s effectiveness, the return on investment on print advertising works for advertisers, media companies, and audiences, according to a new report released by the International News Media Association (INMA).

‘The Power and Promise of Print Advertising’ rejects the idea of print as an afterthought, urging news media companies to better educate agencies and media buyers. The report looks at –

  • What the research tells us.
  • Whether the print is still attractive to advertisers.
  • Rethinking how we think about print.
  • Getting print on the radar of media buyers.
  • Measuring print ads and the effectiveness of print advertising.

While digital has captured the bulk of the buzz in the news media world, print is far from dead. According to the report, it’s important to remember that print continues to offer attractive advertising solutions that can’t be accomplished in the digital space.

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A 2021 study by Australia’s ThinkNewsBrands found print ads make more of a lasting impact on readers than digital ones, and newspaper ads — both in print and digital — outperformed those on social media by as much as four times — and were twice as effective. Similar research is found in other countries as well –

  • Global advertising spends in print newspapers increased by 4.8% last year.
  • Print revenue has grown 13% in India.
  • Print comprises 89% of newspaper revenue in Germany.
  • Print pulls in 64% of Folha de S.Paulo’s advertising revenue in Brazil.

Written by INMA Advertising Initiative Lead Mark Challinor and Paula Felps, INMA’s Ideas Blog editor, ‘The Power and Promise of Print Advertising’ distills lessons learned during INMA’s print advertising innovation master class in February and other association resources.

Featuring case studies from The Times of India, Bild, The Evening Standard, Torstar, Facebook, Folha de S.Paulo, Stuff, along with insights from legendary advertising executive Sir John Hegarty, the report digs into successful print advertising strategies from around the world.

The report also highlights the pitfalls of print and explores how publishers can change their mindset to adopt new strategies, emphasising the need to provide fun, excitement, value, and thought-provoking content.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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