Newspaper Advertising

We need to be ready to prove that print ads work

When it comes to advertising sales, we’re still stuck in the 1980s.

How do we know? Because we’re still trying to sell space for ads in the newspaper – and we’re trying to sell to folk who don’t necessarily believe that print ads are effective.

So that means your ad sales team will often need to convince clients that newspapers can be effective for getting their message out.

So is this really a problem for newspapers? You bet.

A recent Borrell study asked marketers what types of media were most effective. The responses were social media, broadcast TV, search, email marketing, cable TV – newspapers are way down the list.

The Borrell study says that local advertising will increase next year, but the increases will go to online, local TV, outdoor and telemarketing. The study predicts a 10 percent drop for newspaper ads.

That’s at least partly because we are not evangelists for the power or print ads to actually sell people stuff.

So do your ad reps know – and share – information like this?

  • ●There’s a direct correlation between non-subscribers receiving a newspaper and how much they spend. When non-subscribers get a newspaper, they make more purchases and spend more money.
  • ●Newspapers are trusted. Consumers consider an ad in a newspaper to be more believable – 36 percent of adults surveyed found newspapers ads trustworthy, as opposed to 8 percent for TV and 15 percent for internet.
  • ●Consumers are more likely to act on information in newspapers and their websites regarding products and services.
  • ●People actually pay more attention to newspaper ads. You don’t tune them out or go to the bathroom while they are on or fast forward through them like you do with TV.
  • ●Other ads, like in social media or TV or radio, are intrusive. Shoppers today want to seek out ads on their own.
  • ●Your ad placement in a newspaper lets you target your intended audience.
  • ●Newspapers are the best at reaching seniors, retirees and middle-income households – often the customers most sought after by many businesses.
  • ●And it’s not just that people read your ads, but the people you want to read your ads are reading them – the influencers in your community. Influencers are the “information hounds” who are more heavily represented in the audiences of print and online newspapers than in the audiences of social media and TV. What these folk say, matters. And they are reading newspapers and their ads.
  • ●Newspaper ads work, and that’s what advertisers want. You can say what you want about overall circulation, but the fact is that 79 percent of newspaper readers take action on an ad sometime during the month.

Especially with younger ad clients, we have to convince them that advertising in print really does work. A good way to do that is to put together an effective advertising pitchbook, which includes information about your newspaper, your rate card, information like that above on the effectiveness of print, and testimonials (with pictures) of satisfied advertising clients. For an overview of successful pitchbooks, see this presentation by TCCJ’s Chuck Nau.