8 Reasons Print Dominates Trust Metrics

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Pop-up ads that seem to know our personal internet history are everywhere, and “data hack” has become a regular part of our vocabulary. Trust is at a higher premium than ever. Recent studies show that consumers trust print more than any other medium. As Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Content & Marketing at MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute, found, “More than 8 in 10 users trust print ads when making a purchasing decision.”[1]

So, what makes print so effective?

1.     Perception of Accountability

            Print offers added ethics and suggests more effort. It compares favorably with its digital counterpart as it must adhere to each publication’s guidelines and is subject to review by publication editors. Content reflects on the publication in which it appears, so most publishers hold higher standards for acceptable material.

Ads also benefit from trust by association. In her article, “6 Advantages of Print Advertising.”  Jenna Bruce, blog author for Media Space Solutions, a full-service print and digital media buying and planning agency, explained, “Brands who place ads in respected print publications receive the same positive feelings from readers that are associated with the publication itself.”[2] The opposite is also true. Ads from high quality companies can be cast in a negative light should they inadvertently appear on websites containing less than palatable content.

2.      Digital Trust has been “Hacked.”

Thanks to data hacks, fake news and unethical data collection practices, consumers are more skeptical than ever of what they find online. In fact, many consumers still find digital marketing invasive or even downright creepy.

Weighing in on digital advertising perceptions is Prateek Keshari, author for the Hearst Bay Area Blog, a publication of Hearst Newspapers, a media, information and services company with more than 360 businesses, including television stations, newspapers and magazines. In his article “6 Reasons Why Print Advertisements are Considered Trustworthy,” Keshari observed, “Online advertisers have now found even more intrusive ways [to present ads], such as placing ads over the content and obscuring readability or putting ads in the middle of the page…how do you suppose consumers will respond to your brand once they start associating it with annoyance?” [3]

3.     Time

            Print lasts longer, allowing consumers to read the material at their leisure. Unlike their digital reading experiences, consumers do not tend to multitask when reading print.

Even the way the brain processes print is different, resulting in improved retention and recall. In his keynote article, “Why print is the new digital,” Stuart Howie, Director of Flame Tree Media, shared that a recent study “found paper beat digital in a host of areas, including for creating an emotional reaction and a desire for product or service.”[4]  

4.     Control

Print offers advertisers greater control, providing choice of audience, section of the paper, geographic location and ad run dates. These tailored campaigns are often more effective in targeting desired demographics.

5.     Cutting through the Noise

The average Google search returns thousands, millions or even billions of results. According to Jameson Slattery, Vice President of Global Marketing at Colorescience, a health-science company based in San Diego, “Reaching your target audience online has become increasingly difficult. Especially with all of the “Ad Block” software that is available now. You really never know who’s actually seeing your ad. Placing advertisements in brochures/magazines is a more effective and cost-efficient way of reaching your target.”[5]

6.     Print is In.

New generations continue to engage with print. Although younger readers are more likely than their older counterparts to access content on digital platforms, they read for longer periods of time without interruption when consuming print.

Importantly, these young readers also trust print. According to The Nielsen Company’s “Global Trust in Advertising Survey,” “Millennials…show the highest levels of trust in…TV, newspapers and magazines, and they’re also the most willing to take action.”[6]

7.     Adaptability

Print is the cornerstone of any successful marketing campaign and can be complemented, not replaced, digitally. Keshari advises brands to “focus on traditional forms of advertising while using targeted digital campaigns to bolster their brands.”[7] Consider using personalized URLs, QR codes and integrated augmented reality features or other interactive elements in your print ads.

8.     Results

Print results in action. Nielson found that 65% of print readers typically take action after viewing print content.[8] The Genesee Valley Penny Saver’s 2018 CVC report confirmed our 77% reader response rate, well above this national average.

 
 
 
 

[1] Burstein, Daniel. “Marketing Chart: Which Advertising Channels Consumers Trust Most and Least When Making Purchases.” Www.MarketingSherpa.com, MarketingSherpa LLC, 17 Jan. 2017, marketingsherpa.com/article/chart/channels-customers-trust-most-when-purchasing?_ga=2.175474918.516090519.1562008811-170838753.1559745946.

[2] Bruce, Jenna. “6 Advantages of Print Advertising.” Www.mediaspacesolutions.com, Media Space Solutions, 23 June 2015, 07 July 2019, www.mediaspacesolutions.com/blog/6-advantages-of-print-advertising.

[3] Keshari, Prateek. “6 Reasons Why Print Advertisements Are Considered Trustworthy.” Www.marketing.sfgate.com, San Francisco Chronicle; Hearst Communications, Inc., 16 May 2018, 07 July 2019, marketing.sfgate.com/blog/6-reasons-why-print-advertisements-are-considered-trustworthy.

[4] Howie, Stuart. “Why Print Is the New Digital.” Www.inma.org, International News Media Association, 1 Jan. 2019, 07 July 2019. www.inma.org/blogs/keynote/post.cfm/why-print-is-the-new-digital.

[5] “Ask the Experts: Why Is Print Marketing Effective?" Www.instantprint.co.uk, Instantprint, 26 June 2017, 07 July 2019, www.instantprint.co.uk/printspiration/be-inspired/ask-the-experts-why-is-print-marketing-effective.

[6] "Global Trust in Advertising: Winning Strategies for an Evolving Media Landscape". The Nielsen Company, CZT/ACN Trademarks, L.L.C., 2015, 07 July 2019. "Global Trust in Advertising: Winning Strategies for an Evolving Media Landscape", www.scribd.com/document/288757568/Global-Trust-in-Advertising-Report-Sept-2015.

[7] Keshari, Prateek. “6 Reasons Why Print Advertisements Are Considered Trustworthy.” Www.marketing.sfgate.com, San Francisco Chronicle; Hearst Communications, Inc., 16 May 2018, 07 July 2019, marketing.sfgate.com/blog/6-reasons-why-print-advertisements-are-considered-trustworthy.

[8] "Global Trust in Advertising: Winning Strategies for an Evolving Media Landscape". The Nielsen Company, CZT/ACN Trademarks, L.L.C., 2015, 07 July 2019. "Global Trust in Advertising: Winning Strategies for an Evolving Media Landscape", www.scribd.com/document/288757568/Global-Trust-in-Advertising-Report-Sept-2015.

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