Why bother with print advertising – Part 1

By Brian Schaeffer
President, AGS

As the owner of a marketing company for more than 20 years and with a subsidiary publishing company (AGS) that is entering its 31st year, this is a particularly weighty question. We are going to explore the relevance or NOT, of print advertising.

Does print still exist (for real)

If it doesn’t exist, why would guys like Rupert Murdoch, of 21st Century Fox, have recently bought a 73 percent stake in National Geographic for $735 million. You remember those old mags in your grandpa’s garage! What was Murdoch thinking?

I don’t know, but it wasn’t long ago that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $259 million. You know that newspaper that President Trump loves to hate!

And then there was the Nikkei group buying The Financial Times for a whopping $1.3 billion. Are these guys all idiots?

Would it surprise you to know that the smartest investor on the planet, Warren buffet keeps gobbling up newspapers to the point of owning over 30 dailies and dozens of weeklies in more than 30 states. What does he know? Well, one share of his ‘A’ stock sells for a quarter million dollars! Could the answer be circulation?

For the first time in half a century the revenue from print circulations has actually exceeded advertising revenue. Oh boy, now we have relevance. Can you believe that half of the subscribers to newspapers read them exclusively in print and that 80 percent of subscribers read a hard copy at least some of the time?

Why did The Profit, Marcus Lemonis, spend a pretty penny on The Good Sam Camping directory, if these publications are going away. Furthermore, why do dozens of state campground associations print millions of annual camping guides? Are they just throwing those things away or suggesting they are campfire starters? Uh, NO!

Why does print still exist in this digital age?

Remember those rich folks who spent a boat load of dough to own newspapers, magazines and printed guides. There might have been a method to their madness. In almost all cases they not only got the publications, they got their digital versions! It’s called owning a BRAND!

The print side actually provides credibility to the digital format and together they increase exposure. According to Pitney Bowes (you’ve heard of them) over 75 percent of small businesses use a combination of print and digital advertising.

There is just something about a printed piece. As I’ve gotten older I’ve had to spend more time in doctors’ offices – NOT FUN – but it is interesting that just about every person under 25 years old is on their phone or tablet and every other person is reading a magazine.

Question: who has more money to spend on your products or services — the kids or the more mature who have lived some life and actually have some cash in the bank?

Is print more credible? I don’t know. Where are you more likely to find “fake news” – in print or on the web with all those pop-up ads and viruses. I never got a virus from my morning paper, just saying!

Not only does print provide solidification of your brand it provides target marketing in niche publications, which is so hard to accomplish on the ‘world-wide’ web.

Part 2 will explore if print is changing and if it’s still worthwhile for campground owners to pursue.

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at editor@rvdailyreport.com.

Leave a Comment

  • Jim Spellman says:

    “Where are you more likely to find “fake news” – in print or on the web with all those pop-up ads and viruses. I never got a virus from my morning paper, just saying!”

    ANSWER: Depends on your audience. There has been generations raised on print editions of the National Enquirer, World Weekly News, Hollywood gossip papers and their British counterparts. Obviously, they’re a little different than the audiences who read the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.

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