I admit to having a weird hobby, and it involves traditional media.
I still read the newspaper no matter what town I’m in. I pick up a copy of the local fish wrap and read. But I do more than that. I count ads. I estimate ad inches. I look at and count the pre-print inserts. It all tells a story about the health of a newspaper.
Recently, I read an article in Harvard Business Review about the return to traditional advertising methods. Some of the reasons cited include an effort to cut through the digital clutter and trust in traditional advertising.
I don’t know much about television and radio advertising, but I do know that newspapers still have a loyal audience. Yes, that audience has shrunk, but by and large, they trust the paper and the content in said paper, whether we’re talking stories or ads.
It seems traditional advertising is growing for the first time in a decade.
Anecdotally, I look to my weekly. I get it in the mail every week, and it has a lot of good information about what’s happening in the community. I’ve also noticed something. The ad count and the total inches of advertising are steadily increasing.
The simple fact is newspapers will not return to their heyday. I remember, as a publisher, 10 to 15 percent revenue growth every year and operating profits hovering in the mid-30s. Classifieds are gone. Legals are going. Traditionally strong advertisers – real estate and auto, for instance, are still there, but their money is divided. Pre-print inserts are on the decline.
Digital’s not going away, but there is still a place – and strong reasons – to invest in traditional forms of advertising.
If you need help with your digital/traditional ad mix, reach out. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.