Print Media

U.S. Consumers: Print on Paper is Safer, More Secure and More Trusted Than Digital Media

By: Phil Riebel


The latest consumer survey commissioned by Two Sides, “Print and Paper in a Digital World,” highlights interesting consumer feedback on print vs digital.

In recent years, there has been an explosion of data breaches in the financial, business and health care sectors. This has made people everywhere sit up and take notice about where and how their important personal data is stored.

It is not surprising then, that the recent Toluna survey commissioned by Two Sides revealed that 78% of U.S. respondents keep hard copies of important documents at home as they believe this is the safest and most secure way of storing their information.  A similar number (76%) are increasingly concerned that personal information held electronically is at risk of being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged.

For a taste of what these digital breaches can look like, check out a few examples covered in this blog. Millions of small businesses, households and patients are affected by data breaches every year. While moving from paper to digital records seems like it should save time and energy, the reverse can also be true.

Trusting the news found on digital media has also become increasingly difficult as hoaxes and misleading information pop up on the internet and then are shared on social media. Survey results show that 74% of respondents thought fake news was a worrying trend.  In total, 56% said they trust the news stories they read in printed newspapers versus 35% trusting the news stories they read on social media.  64% said they would be very concerned if printed newspapers were to disappear.

The 55+ age group was less trusting of both printed and online news sources, with just 39% saying they trust the news stories they read in printed newspapers, and only 7% say they trust the news stories on social media.

The results clearly show that having a printed copy, whether it be a newspaper, an invoice or a health or financial record is generally perceived to be a more secure way of receiving information than its digital counterpart.

Age group differences were examined between the overall survey group and the 18 to 24 year-old age group (table below).  The younger age group was less inclined to keep hard copies of important documents, and also less concerned about their digital information being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged (11% lower response than the average).  However, they showed similar levels of trust for print media and an even higher concern about fake news as a worrying trend.

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For the full survey report, go to  To request your free print copy of the report, please contact us at

Author: Phil Riebel

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Selling the Power of Print

By: Nancy O'Brien


It seems like I fight an uphill battle with a handful of my clients who think print is dead.

I include print advertising, among many other things, in their proposal every year and then spend an hour explaining to them why keeping some presence in print in their media mix is a must.

They argue that print ads aren’t trackable, they don’t generate leads, it costs a fortune to design and place them, and no one under the age of 50 will ever see them.

“What’s the point of spending what little advertising money is allocated these days on an impossible medium to prove?” my 30-something clients like to ask.

The truth of the matter is that print ads are a very valuable part of almost every campaign.  Those who follow my blog posts know that I am a big advocate of a fully integrated advertising campaign that spreads the message to just about every medium a consumer could see it.  That’s called finding the buyer where they live.  Print is an integral part of that strategy.

Print is certainly not dead, but it is not for everyone.

Ironically, the benefits of print are more relevant today than ever. Here’s some of the reasons why:

  • Print ads last longer than a nano-second banner ad.  Sitting on a coffee table in a living room or an office lobby, a print magazine could keep delivering your advertising message for months or years.  It doesn’t disappear when you turn the page.
  • Ads in magazines and newspapers aren’t intrusive.  A person reads an article and somewhere on that page or the next is an ad.  It’s just there.  It doesn’t rotate, pop-up or expand.
  • Readers of print media are wrongly defined as over 50 but rightly described with longer attention spans.  They aren’t attracted to the fast-paced digital platform to read content but rather want the option to sit back, unplugged, and consume articles of interest.  With print ads you can target where you want your ad to appear (a section, a day of the week, near pertinent editorial) and your ad enjoys the leveraged credibility of the magazine brand, the primary reason the reader is reading it in the first place.

Selling print advertising still matters.

Our print magazines are our brand. Adding value with print ads is a unique and visible perk. Think inside the box for your magazine. Then make an offer your advertisers can’t refuse.

Author: Nancy O'Brien

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Why Old School Advertising Is Not Dead

By: George Beall


“Hi, I’m Al Harrington, President and CEO of Al Harrington’s Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man Emporium and Warehouse! Thanks to a shipping error, I am now currently overstocked on wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men, and I am passing the savings onto YOU!” Family Guy’s local television commercial personality Al Harrington, of Al Harrington’s Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man Emporium and Warehouse, was such a hit with viewers that he appeared on the cutaway comedy show two more times, selling his wares.

What made Al Harrington, just another crazy cutaway character among hundreds of others, so memorable for Family Guy audiences? It’s simple; every single one of us can relate to watching a similar commercial prepared by local businessmen on regional television stations. The best comedy is relatable, and we all definitely know that old school business that’s still leaning in, counting on traditional marketing tactics just like these.

The truth, though, is that old school advertising is alive and well, and perhaps even better than ever. Although we get a chuckle at old Al’s expense, the results these methods generate are really no laughing matter.

According to the National Association of Advertisers, on-premises signs like air dancers (the technical term for wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men) cost less per impression than just about any other form of advertising. Attention-grabbing signage can increase foot traffic by up to 20 percent, which is pretty impressive when compared to around 5 percent for television advertising.

When you think about it, a lot of the traditional marketing strategies are making just as much of an impact as they ever did even if they’ve been a little digitalized here and there. Advertising through mailers, coupons, and lead buying is still hugely beneficial to any business, whether you’re using good old-fashioned snail mail or online sales funnels.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to note that old school stamp-and-send mailers still tend to perform better than web campaigns. According to Forbes, “while PPC and local SEO helps users find us easily online, using mailers to increase brand awareness is vital in helping us build trust with consumers. Consumer trust increases sales calls.”

Building trust with the customer is what it’s all about, and despite what you may believe about old school advertising, it’s not all about push marketing. While there are plenty of traditional methods that focus on interruption — like commercials during TV shows or idling past a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man on your morning commute — the internet didn’t invent permission marketing.

According to Jake Braun, the co-founder of Kapok Marketing, “technology may have made it faster and more efficient, but businesses have been asking customers to register for newsletters and coupon mailers, gathering information from promotions and giveaways, and implementing loyalty programs for decades.”

It’s no surprise that permission marketing is more successful than interruption marketing, because you’ve been invited into your customers’ lives. They’ve already indicated their interest, so you’re not wasting precious energy on all the people who do not have any interest whatsoever in what you’re selling.

Another important way to establish trust with consumers is through brand recognition. It’s true that the ever-growing field of graphic design has taken comprehensive, consistent branding to a whole new level, but advertisers have always known that a successful logo, catchy jingle, or memorable mascot could take an ordinary business and turn it into a household name.

You only need to look as far as an organization like Coca-Cola to see how classic branding strategies can pay off in American icon-hood.

Last but not at all least, don’t forget about the power of radio advertising. A Nielsen data analysis concluded that broadcast radio reached more than 77 percent of adults each day, making it a powerful resource for companies looking to expand their reach.

Entrepreneur advises using radio campaigns targeted toward establishing yourself as the industry expert your audience can trust, since they will be hearing your reassuring words on the airwaves on a highly regular basis. Radio advertising campaigns are most effective when they run in long cycles (ideally 52 weeks a year), but they are sure to build trust in your expanding customer network.

If you’re looking to grow your business but feel frustrated by trying to keep up with the latest-and-greatest digital techniques that always seem to overpromise and underdeliver when it comes to your ROI, get back to the basics and start kicking it old school.

Advertising strategies that include phone calls, traditional mailers, promotions and giveaways, loyalty programs, consistent branding, and even a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man (because why not?) can deliver some serious bang for your buck. More importantly, though, they’ll develop the kind of trust necessary to establish lasting relationships with your customers.

What old school marketing strategy ha worked wonders for your business? Share your success in the comments below!

Author: George Beall

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