Is print getting its fair share in advertising?

Ever wondered why advertising spending in print publications declined so rapidly and how much further this could go on? Or when is print getting its fair share in advertising? Interesting research from WARC/GWI compares advertising spend against media consumption. An index value above 100 shows that the advertising spending share is higher than the media consumption share, while a value below 100 indicates the opposite. In other words: print press had an advertising share three times its share of media consumption in 2013.

The chart below shows a simplified and approximated version of the data gathered by WARC/GWI, but it conveys the main developments and ratios. The data is based on a survey of 715,000 consumers across 100 countries conducted by GWI in mid-2021. 2022 is obviously forecasted.

Ad spend versus media consumption
Ad spend versus media consumption (source: WARC/GWI)

It might not surprise that advertising allocation is not changing as fast as media consumption behaviours. In 2013 print and TV as the established media gained a lot more of the advertising pie than the upstart digital media, even as consumers were already flocking to Facebook (or was it still Myspace and Google Plus back then?). As readership in print publications declined, its advertising share declined even faster. Instead, marketers poured their spending into social media and by now their advertising spending portion is higher than the share of time spent in social networks. Online video broke the 100 index barrier in 2020, which indicates more money than time spent for this channel. Printed press is expected to cross the equilibrium line the other way in 2022.

Other media channels never got close to the equilibrium such as radio. For radio, as a media often consumed in the background, this is not a surprise. Online audio and podcasts started even lower; however, they are quite new as major media channel. Online press ranks low as well, which makes it an undervalued media for quite some time now.

Keep in mind, the data narrows down a complex relationship to a simple number. Obviously, media channels have different effectiveness and impact and not all channels are included (e.g. direct marketing). For example, a lot of research is showing that print (including online press) is a lot more trusted than e.g. social media and hence should garner a premium. However, this is a tough sell against cold hearted, numbers driven marketing executives (and against the other ones as well). Indicators and numbers got increasingly important in marketing.

Yet an important metric is turning in favour of print now. Print is not only a preferred media for many, it is also getting less attention than it should. It might not stop the downturn in print advertising completely, but it could mean that print is getting its fair share in advertising again.

Newsbrands more memorable than Facebook – chart of the week

Some Facebook posts might stay in your mind but how about the ads found next to them? Are newsbrands more memorable than Facebook or vice versa?

Australian ThinkNewsBrands wanted to find out and commissioned the audience research lab MediaScience to get details on how recall, brand recognition and brand image compare in newspaper versus electronic media. The study included more than 5,350 participants and ran across 42 print runs and 252 websites which together created 6,037 unique brand exposures.

According to the findings, ads in printed newspapers outperform Facebook ads of all types by up to four times. When looking at printed ads, including quarter, half and full-page ads, compared with display, 6, or 15-second Facebook ads, news offers a superior level of unprompted recall.

Recall newsbrand ad vs Facebook
Recall newsbrand ad vs Facebook

Reading printed books is good for you – and your grades – Chart of the week

In the light of distance learning during the pandemic and the move towards digital media in schools there is probably not enough of a discussion on how reading printed books is impacting learning, the joy of reading and consequently the grades. The OECD in sifting through the 2018 PISA study results on school performance published their “21st-Century Readers” report this year, with some interesting findings.

Average time spent reading e-mails – chart of the week

If you sent out e-mails you better come up with something to be read quickly. Litmus, describing itself as a leader in email marketing and analytics, published a report titled “State of Email Engagement” in which the average time spent reading an e-mail is only 10 seconds. This is down by 15% compared to the year before. In contrast to 2018 it is even 25% less time.

Average time spent reading e-mails
Average time spent reading e-mails

Marketing budget allocation – chart of the week

In an outside view marketing often equals advertising. Corporations need to perform a lot more activities within marketing however, which are necessary to plan and support advertising or are spent on other activities. This is reflected in the marketing budget allocation shares of the total spend according to a new study from Only 22% of the total marketing budgets is allocated to advertising. Considerable shares are invested into technology and people – which includes salary, training and other personnel costs. Event and sponsorship rank high on the budget list as well, demonstrating how companies still spend considerable amounts on shows, events and sponsorship activities (which in turn might support events as well).

Share of Marketing budget allocation B2C