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Targeted Distribution is Key

The key to print’s future is a more scientific and flexible approach

There is no denying that we live in an increasingly digital world, a fact which has become even more prominent due to the pandemic. However, it’s important to remember that print has also played a vital role throughout the Covid crisis and is valued now, more than ever.

It’s true that digital ad networks are enormous, with their scale and reach outdoing print tenfold. However, print media thrives on credibility, providing the security that digital cannot and consumers undeniably view print as one of the most trusted sources of information with an 82% trust score, according to Magnetic Media. Part of the reason being that magazines avoid some of the issues around unsafe advertising environments found in digital.

As we begin to navigate post-Covid, it is encouraging that globally, most countries have started to open up. For instance, the US has now eased lockdown dramatically, whilst the UAE has been “business as usual” pretty much throughout which has provided opportunities to expand visibility for print media outside the UK. Going forward, the key is to be more scientific and flexible with distribution, targeting print to areas where footfall is healthy and to where content can be fully absorbed, both whilst people are out and about, as well as at home.

Free regular magazines are a perfect example where, as consumer behaviour has changed, the magazines have flexed their hand out activity to target new areas of high footfall such as supermarkets and local high streets vs previously being centred around London travel points. Also, with venues being closed and events on hold, innovative ways of targeting people in their homes have worked particularly well.

E-commerce brands have also started to recognise that print can effectively drive people online and has an important part to play in their marketing strategy. Quality print is increasingly seen as the right vehicle to promote premium products, as well as to reach high-value and niche audiences. Print has an unrivalled sensory quality, whilst people also value something tangible and this winning combination makes the brand resonate for longer compared to digital interactions. Print captivates the consumer and in this multi-platform era, print really is the glue for all content.

Despite going through a tough period, print has shown its resilience and I am confident it will emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever for existing and new publishers / brands alike, even if it is in more limited volumes. Beyond quality and content, a key consideration is targeted, efficient, robust and timely distribution to ensure print media serves its valuable purpose within the media mix. Achieve that and the world really is your oyster!


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