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  • 29 June 2017

    Is Print Media Dead?

    With all the accent on social media these days, one could easily be forgiven for thinking that there is just no place for the printed magazine or newspaper in society any more. And to an extent, in some markets, this is true.

    For us, working in the media industry, it’s a topic that is constantly being evaluated. After all, what’s the point of us putting a marketing schedule together for a client that is heavily weighted with print-based media, if everyone’s reading online, accessing information with just one click?

    Our clients rely on us to give them media advice that will help their advertising schedules create response that will, in turn, create sales and research we have done in the past few years suggests that, even in the professional sectors, online is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.


    Demographics play a huge part in this debate. For the young upwardly mobile consumer markets, online is really the answer these days. Major FMCG* manufacturers are driving the advertising content for social media apps, where positioning of their ads is being focused around bloggers and other advocates for their product, where – until a few years ago – their ads would have been appearing in magazines carrying press releases and articles about the product.

    However, because of the proliferation of social media, this marketplace – dominated by millennials – actually pays greater attention to print media, considering it to be more trustworthy and authoritative. The growing problem with ‘fake news’ in social media has been a contributory factor here and underlines this.

    Move up a few socio-economic notches to professional areas and the picture is quite different. Technical publications see no reduction in their print runs, even though many of them are running websites. One of the reasons is that it is generally easier to cross reference information on different pages in the same technical article.


    There is also the psychological suggestion with this demographic that there is a stronger emotional connection with the printed page; touch, feel and smell all playing their part. There is also an issue with the internet being ‘out-of-bounds’ in some professional business environments.

    The more astute publications have realized that they have got a great opportunity to hang onto their reader through providing a digital option to their magazine. Having an online ‘turning page’ version gives the reader the ability to read the magazine on his tablet at home, in the garden or on the train – and for advertisers in the magazine an extra opportunity to connect with the reader by clicking on their ad and going to their website.


    As with all marketing campaigns, getting the media mix right is all-important. Knowing and understanding what the market consumes in media terms and placing your message in the right place at the right time is key. And print media in this context has never been so important.

    So is print media dead? Alive and kicking, we’d say!

    *Fast Moving Consumer Goods