The power that print holds – marketing experts have their say

Nothing replaces the experience of opening a magazine and the serendipity in what you might find there, says Eleanor Mills, editorial director, Sunday Times.

These days, digital dominates but print still has its place in this ever-growing technological fuelled world. Print media is still where the big stories are broken, asserts Mills. “It's where the big investments are made in investigations and in holding power to account. In that way, no one else is really replicating what brands like the Sunday Times or The New York Times do.

“We've been telling stories for over 200 years which is really reflected in the expertise we have in doing that. And that endures.”

Print is not dead, it’s a platform which can amplify your message and is changing all the time adds Benjamin Lord, executive director, global digital marketing, NARS Cosmetics. It goes beyond just being a newspaper ad, the packaging is just as important. “I saw a great 3D kitchen newspaper ad which was super creative. Beyond print, offline is still extremely relevant to amplify a message and if you're creative in print you know it's going to be amplified on social media.”

The power that print holds physically ascertains its longevity. Print will have a life in the future, but it will be tremendously different to the role it has today, according to Nats Sijanta, director global marketing communications, Mercedes-Benz. “To hold something in your hands that is physical, has a certain importance, will give it a flavour and extra touch,” he explains.

Aaron Frank, senior vice president research and insights, Branded Entertainment Network adds that print has the power with image, headline etc to grab people's attention and shake them out of their current mindset in a way that video, as powerful as it can be sometimes, can't do.

You need to understand your customers; how they want to be engaged, how excited they will be about a brands proposition that you’re trying to sell, don’t treat the whole marketing mix equally, says Zaid Al-Qassab, outgoing chief marketing officer, BT, and the new CMO at Channel 4.

“I don't think that anyone should ever have a preference before they do work for one channel or another, they ought to deeply understand their customers and print is something that many people are deeply invested in, engaged in and still use.

“The challenge isn't to use one to the exclusion of others but rather to understand how these fit together and are important in other people's lives.”

Andrew Geohegan, global consumer planning director, Diageo takes a similar, holistic approach. He concludes, “When it comes to print, it's about how it can be an information rich type of media. People have a longer dwell time, they're more likely to absorb spend time on it. They're also in control. It's much easier for them to flip over and switch. Print media has to be really engaging. Those are the key things we think about when we're considering print.”

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