Is Print Advertising Still Working?

Only a few years ago, if you asked any major company whether print advertising was a worthwhile marketing tool, they’d probably look at you a bit funny, of course it was. Now that alternative forms of advertising have come to the forefront, the question is acceptable. The response, however, is not black and white.


There’s little question that the amount of subscribers of print media has diminished, due to advancement in technology. Many magazines, by way of instance, experienced negative subscriber growth in the second quarter of 2010, according to Media Bistro. With an array of free content available for those on the World Wide Web, readers of newspapers and magazines have chosen to find other methods of finding information. While the decline of print media does not indicate a death blow to print advertisements such as poster and flyer printing, it surely suggests that print ads won’t have as big of an effect as they did before the prevalence of the Internet.

Available Information

Print media has been phased out in favour of other media sources, such as TV, the internet, and more recently social media. According to the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism in 2010, papers ranked just ahead of radio as a source of information. It was the first time that people went to the World Wide Web to find news over reading papers. That data clearly has adverse consequences for print advertising, particularly if the trend persists.


Whether print media advertising will work for your company is largely dictated by the audience you are trying to reach. Young consumers who grew up without exposure to print media are clearly less likely to read newspapers than the older generation who grew up with print media. Taking out an ad or large format print like a billboard for a tech product in a paper, as an instance, is very likely to be less effective than simply taking out the identical ad on a technology site. Advertising in magazines makes it easier to reach your targeted audience as you’ve got the option of picking magazines that target your audience.


While print advertising is not dead and is still powerful — based upon your business — it’s more costly than other types of advertising. Lou Dubois of clarifies that print advertising is often thousands of dollars more expensive than online advertising. You could end up spending around $50,000 for an ad in a well known magazine, and then you will likely pay a portion of that to conduct the identical sort of ad on a site which attracts similar traffic.

Effect on the Consumer

One benefit that print advertisements have over other avenues of advertising is that print advertisements frequently make more of an effect on the reader. Take the Internet for example. Because readers of Internet content see so much Information in a short period of time, they become used to viewing the advertisements. Folks effectively become advertising blind and frequently disregard the advertisements. That’s not true for print advertising. Researchers at Penn State University Conducted an evaluation in 1998 to evaluate if online advertisements or published ads were more memorable. The researchers reasoned that print ads stuck with readers a lot more than online advertisement.