News & Opinion

Industry experts: “Print is something that many people are deeply invested in"

Marketing professionals from some of the world’s most influential organisations share their opinions on the power of print. 

Representatives from The Sunday Times, NARS Cosmetics, Mercedes-Benz, Branded Entertainment Network, BT and Diageo were invited to discuss the impact of print and applauded the ability of print to engage, influence and provide readers with an experience. According to the latest PAMCo results, print remains strong with 11.5 million people reading newspapers on a daily basis in the UK.

Engage

“Print is something that many people are deeply invested in, engaged in and still use” said Zaid Al-Qassab, CMO at BT. This was echoed by Andrew Geohegan, global consumer planning director at Diageo who added: “people have longer dwell time, they’re more likely to absorb spend time on it." In fact, according to the latest IPA TouchPoints data, readers actually spend on average 1 hour and 11 minutes with their daily newspaper, allowing audiences to develop a greater connection with their papers.

Influence

Hand-in-hand with engagement and drawing on Al-Qassab's reference to investment, Aaron Frank, senior vice president research and insights from Branded Entertainment Network goes one step further and talked about print’s ability to encourage people to be inspired and move away from their current mindsets.

Experience

The tangible nature of print provides readers with an experience. Mercedes-Benz’s director for global marketing communications Nats Sijanta said “to hold something in your hands that is physical, has a certain importance, will give it a flavour and an extra touch”. It also gives the reader control as Geohegan added, as it allows the reader to easily flip over and switch, something that is not always so easily done in other formats such as video.

The Sunday Times’ editorial director Eleanor Mills drew on print’s history and its continued ability – still after 200 years – to deliver investigative journalism that holds power to account. Mills also noted that the continued importance of print is sentiment to news brands’ expertise in delivering quality journalism.

Looking to the future, Sijanta commented: “print will have a life in the future, but it will be tremendously different from the role it has today”. NARS Cosmetics executive director of global digital marketing Benjamin Lord added: “print is not dead, it’s a platform which can amplify your message and is changing all the time.”  

Moving forward, Al-Qassab reflected on the fact that the “challenge isn’t to use one (platform) to the exclusion of others but rather to understand how these fit together and are important in other people’s lives”. In the UK newspaper industry, we see news brands embracing the multi-platform nature of journalism. In recent weeks, Newsworks has reported on The Telegraph's launch of daily WhatsApp briefings and the launch of Mail Metro Media's new podcast series.

Beyond print, UK news brands are uniting over a common goal of providing quality content to audiences wherever they are and in whatever format they want it in and the results speak for themselves. Hard work is paying off, the number of news brand readers is up by one million every day from last year according to PAMCo.

Source: The Drum

Hannah Ohm Thomas 09/07/19

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