Are We Killing Print Because We Are Lazy?

I’ve written on here before about the death of print, which for a supposedly dead thing, is surprisingly alive. I’ve also written about measurement, how the big metrics may not entirely correlate to measurement based marketing.

  1. chevron left iconAre We Killing Print Because We Are Lazy?
Ian TruscottOctober 10, 2017

Welcome to the Tuesday 2¢. It’s Tuesday, the weekend is a distant memory and it’s time to let off some steam and give our 2 cents on a hot industry topic. This week Ian Truscott discusses whether our desire to quickly and easily measure our marketing efforts is killing print.

I’ve written on here before about the death of print, which for a supposedly dead thing, is surprisingly alive. I’ve also written about measurementhow the big metrics of share price, revenue, profit and customer engagement may not entirely correlate to measurement based marketing that is currently, and quite rightly, in vogue.

In the age of content marketing, we need to consider the broader story we want to tell about our brand, products and services. Perhaps individual campaign or channel attribution and metrics are not great yardsticks for gauging the impact this has on the value of our brand promise.

In fact, the opposite may be true. In isolation those annoying Facebook ads may produce a nice ROI in terms of spend versus click through rate, but when looked at more holistically what effect does annoying the 99.99% of your audience who don’t click on your ads have on the overall engagement with the brand?

I’m wondering if these two subjects, the decline of print and this new culture of measurement, are related.

The woe that print is not always just about the channel (the paper) and that folks are switching to digital content consumption might be true, but look at the free newspapers that litter a London tube train; clearly people are engaging with the channel in the right circumstances.

The big woe for print is declining advertising revenue and I wonder if this is partly due to our obsession as marketers for marketing attribution and measurement.

It’s stating the obvious to say that if I, as a B2B marketer, send you an email and you click the link, I have a metric, a tick. It is the same if I follow you around on Facebook. But if you read my advert in a trade magazine, even if you visit my website, unless you do something for me (like use a campaign code, or something) I cannot attribute that visit to that particular advertisement. Maybe if we want to pop into the DeLorean and go back to a time when QR codes were going to do it, maybe then.

It’s safe and easy to do the thing that my marketing automation system can measure.

So, would I invest in that ad?

Would I risk my lovely charts?

Would I risk my marketing ROI?

Would I risk saying “I don’t know” to my boss?

I am not an expert in print advertising, I am sure bigger brands can measure the impact – but for everyone else, can you? Would you run an ad on a hunch?

Maybe someone with a strong opinion on this will set me straight, but unless we take this holistic view of brand, rather than the quick return of things we can measure, surely, we will miss a trick.

And maybe by the time we figure that out, print would have gone because we couldn’t get it into Hubspot.

Ian Truscott
Ian Truscott has a passion for creating ART (Awareness, Revenue and Trust) for B2B software companies as a marketing leader and is a censhare alumni. Wanting to connect a like minded community and share something useful, he founded Rockstar CMO, a monthly digital publication, and is currently helping B2B companies create ART at appropingo.

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