One of the first things I do when meeting a new direct to consumer marketer and potential client, is ask them to rank all their advertising media channels in order of performance, on an ROI basis. They will most certainly always include print media close to the top of that list. To most of my clients, ROI Customer Acquisition in print remains not only profitable, but consistent in performance. This takes much of the hip shooting guess work (also known as SWAG: sophisticated wild ass guessing), out of the sales and budget planning process across the print media universe.
What drives this consistent and successful performance in what is today mostly considered a dying media channel? Well, it’s Audience Measurement Transparency. Or better known as, paid and audited media accountability. Print Media is still using what has always worked as the highest form of paid media audience measurement: Independent and universally accepted auditing across all media vehicles associated with print. The Alliance for Audited Media Report (formerly Audit Bureau of Circulation ABC), is used extensively by print media companies to guarantee their advertisers an accurate count of their paid readership.
Compare this to Digital Media’s method of audience measurement and it’s no wonder digital audience numbers generally show higher engagement than print but far lower sales conversions across the board. In the world I live in, sales conversions are far more important that engagement, page views, and deliverable impressions. It’s no wonder that the world’s biggest ad agencies are now finally demanding greater accountability for their clients from Digital Media Publishers.
Why these transparency changes have taken so long to come around speaks mightily to the unstable and risky proposition that of advertising in digital media still is in 2016. This reality can only make including integrated print media a wise decision, if only for the stable and honest audience delivery you can consistently count on.