Consumers’ Reading Habits Reveal Challenges and Opportunities For Print and Digital Media


Consumers’ Reading Habits Reveal Challenges and Opportunities For Print and Digital Media

Each month in this letter, I’ve sought to provide readers of Strictly Business my perspective on relevant topics surrounding the importance of branding in print and digital advertising. The Freeport Press blog has been an invaluable resource helping us to keep a finger on the pulse of this field. On September 21, David Pilcher reported on their annual statistical survey of magazine reading habits, which received 1,226 responses. When considered carefully, these statistics reveal vital information for any business concerned with return on investment. Pilcher summarizes the results of the survey succinctly: “When it comes to our magazines, we read more, read longer, and subscribe more often to print than digital.” For me personally, there were two key takeaways, and they are the following:

  • 74.71% of the respondents reported having read one or more print magazines in the past month, as opposed to the 45.35% of respondents who reported having read one or more digital magazines.
  • Print magazine readers report spending significantly more time reading than do digital magazine readers.

“Strictly Business provides the opportunity to tap into the best of both worlds, engaging both print and online readers.”

What to make of these survey results? While this certainly looks like good news for the print advertising world, it also indicates that most print magazine readers are less willing to carry their reading habits over to online magazines. However, one shouldn’t be too quick to assume these statistics indicate a problem which cannot be overcome. After all, Strictly Business has successfully been able to utilize both social media and search engine optimization effectively, with over 12 million Google search results returning our clients’ digital content in one year.

Clearly, it is possible for experienced advertisers to utilize both print and digital mediums effectively. In a separate article published on the Freeport Press blog on October 2, David Pilcher discusses statistics published by Xerox on the effects of advertisements in print catalogues. Not only did print catalogues influence an average of 2.5 purchases for each survey respondent, Xerox reported that “69% of consumers consult a printed catalog before an online purchase.”

In her coverage of the statistics from Xerox for the Hansel Group Marketing blog, Tanya H. writes a solid observation on the significance of this information: “…this doesn’t mean that [the]print catalog itself hasn’t had to evolve — or borrow a couple of tricks from its new-found partner in sales, digital marketing.” Tanya H. presents several key points as to why some digital brands are rediscovering the power of print. Here are three that I consider particularly relevant:

  • The “experience” of reading a print publication helps communicate a story about the brand, building an emotional connection within the reader.
  • Print publications reach readers in a way that feels less intrusive than the cluttered digital advertising landscape.
  • Customers surveyed by Xerox tended to use print publications as their guide for search terms.

Furthermore, to quote Tanya H., “consumers who use organic search usually have more difficulty navigating the site because their search wasn’t as knowledgeable or targeted.” When consumers have relevant terms and information, it streamlines their search results. By providing the first and best coverage of business news and events in Lincoln, Strictly Business provides consumers with specific information about our clients, which in turn improves our online presence.

Strictly Business provides the opportunity to tap into the best of both worlds, engaging both print and online readers. We have described this approach with this hashtag: #PrintProudDigitalSmart, which keen-eyed readers may have seen printed on the bottom of the pages in our last issue. The data we’ve examined indicates the ongoing strength of print advertising. Our approach has tapped into a new generation of readers who look to Google and other search engines as their first step for discovering businesses in their area.

As Strictly Business is often the first and only publication to provide solid coverage on local business, and since we take SEO into consideration as well, our content has successfully been able to find a loyal audience in both the print and digital fields.

Let Strictly Business Magazine help you lock in your status as The Expert in your industry, utilizing print, the internet and social media. Find out how by contacting Paige at (402) 466-3330.