By Dani Gibson | Senior Writer

July 1, 2019 | 5 min read

Quality, well-known case studies around print media are becoming hard to come by which makes proving the power of what print can do that little bit harder. There needs to be more of it, according to Peter Markey, the chief marketing officer at TSB Bank.

Peter Markey - Power of Print

Print continues to make a significant contribution to effectiveness, but the industry remains unconvinced. The Drum spoke to Markey about the power of print in the marketing mix, it's role and its future in compelling campaigns of the future.

"I've seen it work brilliantly and powerfully but we need more case studies shared by media owners, who need to do a better job of promoting what they do and how they do it," explains Markey. "As well as by agencies and clients to talk up print media for all the benefit and value it brings."

When planning the media, for Markey it's important that they consider every channel, the role that each channel is playing in the customer experience and how they deliver the results.

"Print is part of what we consider. It shouldn't be an afterthought. It should be integral and part of what you do. The only way print might be an afterthought is if you have urgent exciting new news to share and then print becomes a powerful way to get stuff live the next day and in action, but it should always be part of your integrated plan."

Advertisers and agencies are under increased scrutiny over budgets. Perhaps short-termism is driving the obsession with digital over print advertising. For every business, there is a short term need to hit sales targets and objectives but there has to be room created for the broader brand building and consideration of the long term, explains Markey.

How to balance short term vs long term

"That's where the role of print and content in other channels can be very powerful. The challenge that I place to any brand is to break out of short-termism alone and think about the long-term build. You can achieve both. You can address the short term, digital is brilliant for that, equally digital can help with the long term alongside channels like print media."

When buying media, agencies could do a lot more in terms of talking about the benefits of print media in the mix alongside other channels, Markey suggests. "The media owners themselves need to raise the bar on what they can do and what they can bring.

"As clients, we look at print media simply as that. As just print. Whereas, the best media owners like Guardian Labs, are brilliant at proving that there's a broader role for print media than just print itself. You need media owners who are better at selling and media agencies that can get behind that and promote it better to clients."

Print media as creative and dynamic

There are plenty of examples of quality print advertising, Markey insists. Last year's KFC apology and British Airways FIFA ticket stub. "Both those ads show how dynamic, how creative, how disruptive print media can be to really drive great results for brands."

Print as a medium has got to keep evolving and what excites Markey is the role of partnerships. Take a look at the Guardian Labs and other media owners who are finding their feet in a multichannel environment.

Markey concludes: "For us at TSB, and similar brands, we're looking for engagement. People don't wake up every morning and think about banking. But print media done well, considering the content and the other aspects can be hugely powerful. Where print is heading, is a partnership model, a model of creativity and disruption. That will be powerful and effective for print in financial services."


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