Measurability of impact remains the biggest challenge in print media
For many years now, marketers have wondered if printing is dead. So how is print evolving and adapting to keep pace with its times and prove its relevance to a new audience in the digital age? The Drum, in partnership with Print Power, and industry experts discussed these issues at the Maison de la Communication.
The illustrious group of sector experts was welcomed by the president of the Aquitaine region, Alain Rousset.
Among the participants were Eric Trousset, development manager of La Poste’s Media BU; Nathalie D’Isanto, director of mail advertising at La Poste; VÃ©ronique Priou, publication director at Publicis Media; AurÃ©lie Irurzun, head of the video and editing department at Havas Media Group; Thomas Jamet – CEO of IPG Mediabrands France; Nathalie Taboch, CEO of Ebiquity Paris; VÃ©ronique Louise, Global Brand and Media Director at MoÃ«t Hennessy (LVMH); and Ulbe Jelluma, Managing Director of Print Power Europe.
The round table identified one of the major challenges facing print today: the difficulty of measuring its impact.
Can we really measure the impact of print?
With the development of digital communication, ROI and profitability have become the obsession of all advertisers and agencies. The roundtable discussed legitimate concerns about this need to focus on a medium’s immediate data offering, but there appears to be little appetite for evaluating the effectiveness of print advertising over the long term.
With ROI and KPIs becoming the center of all concerns, advertisers have come to unfairly shy away from print communication, participants noted.
âAt Equibity, we recently carried out a study called Re-Evaluating Media highlighting the difference between the reality and the perception of communication teams. The aim was to show that the press was ranked in third place, just behind television and radio, offering a complementary impact to other media and acting directly on the positive emotion that surrounds the brand. explains Nathalie Taboch. The Re-Evaluating Media highlighted the difference between reality and perception of print media.
These results beg the question “should we re-evaluate the way print KPIs are calculated?” In attention and impact perhaps, rather than in scope or transformation.
People don’t perceive âtangible adsâ (TV, print, or poster campaigns) the same way they perceive digital advertising, Taboch said. Digital is all about the now, the moment. It is a snackable content that will create an impulse, promoting an action or a reaction. Tangible communication appeals to the imagination, to aspirations, they are imprinted more deeply, in the memory, in the service of a lasting brand image.
âThere is a ROI aspect that should not be neglectedâ warns VÃ©ronique Louise âit is of course a question of investment, but theâ I âis also imagery. Personally, I’m pushing my research team – because we’re part of a very finance-focused company – to work on an ROI2 that takes into account both the investment and the imagery.
Changing consumer tastes
With this lack of realistic data on the one hand, print communication is also faced with a whole new society consumed by immediacy.
Today’s customers and (and even) advertisers don’t want to wait, especially since data is easily accessible anytime, anywhere. Everything has become a race for novelty and results. Every piece of data and information is torn apart and analyzed, without even having time to evolve, the experts noted.
Then there are changes in the consumption patterns of different media and different experiences – people compete for limited editions, wait hours in lines to be among the first to eat in new places in the world. Fashion, opinions and phrases are instant and final, tweets and stories fly thick and fast, it’s all in the air. Even the media seems to allow fake news to thrive in this click race.
A double-edged sword that has hit the print media head-on: Readers say they no longer trust journalists, but aren’t ready to wait for them to build and corroborate their stories. âWe want it all, and we want it now,â participants agreed.
How can print adapt to the new world?
With a new way of consuming, new demographics have come to target, as Louise explained: âAnother factor that has pushed us – brands – to move away from print communication, is the advent of millennials and Gen Z, who don’t read or use traditional mediums anymore.With the constant fear of getting dusty, brands are looking for these future buyers in this digital age.
With access to search tools, such as Google, this demographic slowly forgot how to find and match information they are now used to demanding. In a world that seems to be accelerating incessantly on the fast lane, how can a medium that takes its time survive? How can printing adapt?
Industry experts have said that anyone can communicate online, but being a magazine or newspaper takes work. Something that the luxury industry has kept in mind, while brands continue to compete for the best pages of publications, which VÃ©ronique Louise, from LVMH, reminded the other participants.
âAt LVMH, what keeps this debate alive is this precarious balance between long-term and short-term strategy, between branding and immediate results,â she said.
Also, the printed medium must be able to reinvent itself. If budgets are still too low, if advertisers continue to communicate via print – both because they believe in the medium and are used to it, innovation is in order.
The future of printing is uncertain, that’s for sure. In a world that has left it behind, the medium must reinvent itself by opening up to new generations, while understanding that print and digital serve two very different objectives.
The panel concluded that print is a matter of aspirations, less direct than digital communications, but also more emotional. He offers a very particular look at imagery, imagination and brand content, compared to digital, which is a matter of impulse and curiosity. There can be no one without the other, and the two are most effective when combined in a common strategy, together rather than opposed.
âTo capture the consumer’s attention, you have to meet them where they are with a speech adapted to their way of consuming. And print is not a medium to be forgotten in there, âconcludes AurÃ©lie Irurzun of Havas Media Group.
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