Maximizing the Potentials of Print Advertising

by admin on February 20, 2015

More than ever, marketers are seeing the benefits of print advertising. However, only a few companies are making a dedicated effort to comprehensively improve their print campaigns. This article will explain how your audience views print advertisements and how you can maximize the potentials of print advertising.

The Unique Nature of Print Advertising

On the surface, print advertisements face the same hurdles with other types of commercials such as those on television and radio. They all need to “break through clutter” and communicate persuasively and memorably.

However, television and radio commercials are different from print advertising. TV and radio commercials hold a pre-determined length of time of 15 to 30 seconds on average. Print advertisements, on the other hand, have pre-determined space, such as a single line or page.

So why is this better than TV or radio commercials? With print advertising, the reader is the one in full control of how the ad is appreciated. The reader determines how long he or she spends on the ad. The average viewing time for a print advertisement is from 3 to 5 seconds to as high as 15 to 20 seconds depending on how the advertisement is presented.

The Guiding Principles of Print Advertising

There are several implications to consider when we say that the “reader is in control”. Readers have the option to play back the print advertisement. In the same manner, the reader actively chooses which messages are considered and which ones are ignored. It is important to determine why a print advertisement fails to get the message across. Ask yourself: is the message salient and memorable? Is it buried and can be easily missed when a reader skims through the ad?

1. Ads are not Read; They are Scanned

It is not surprising that even the most engaging print ads are ignored by many readers. In fact, it has been seen that when ads are shown in a magazine, the maximum average viewing time is only 15 seconds. This figure applies even to the most sophisticated audiences. It has been found that the more text an ad involves, the more likely it is to repel the audience. Additional text is not likely to attract additional reading time. In fact, it is the contrary.

2. Readers Begin With the Visuals

Print executions are often designed in a way that a reader will start reading at the top left of the page, and then downward towards the right. This doesn’t work as it is presumed to. Readers actually begin looking at the dominant visuals, which is ideally positioned at the center. The reader then looks at the text depending on how engaging the visuals are.

This pattern reinforces a fact that people prefer to take information in a visual manner rather than verbal. The main visuals, however, should include a direct reference to the product or service being advertised. Otherwise, the results are easily predictable. Readers may recall the racing car or sexy model in the picture but the message will stop there as the reader fails to link it to your brand. While it is OK to use a picture of a pretty girl in your advertisement, make sure that she is wearing your brand or that your logo is somewhere in the picture. The most ideal print ad is to adopt a visual that immediately conveys branding without the need for readership.

3. Keep it Direct and Simple

While television commercials give you more time, tools and flexibility, print gives you only 5 to 10 seconds to get your message across so it pays to be direct and clear with your advertising message. You cannot ask a reader to make a connection between your visuals and the message you want to convey. The rule of thumb is to focus on a single message and not to try to convey too many messages in one go. With print advertising, less is always more.

4. Keep a Balance Between Science and Art

While there is no exact formula for an effective print advertising, it has been proven that effective ad placement and unique appearance generate the best results because they attract attention and encourage involvement. By applying these principles to the design, you will be able to communicate more clearly, quickly and persuasively.


While many people think that telephone numbers have been replaced by Twitter handles or Facebook pages, print is still a vital part of the marketing world. It is still vital to give your business card to potential and existing clients.

As technology changes, we also change the way we do business. While some people think that print is a dead industry, in reality, it continues to grow and evolve alongside the upsurge of technology.

According to a study, direct mail shares 43% of the total retail advertising market. In a Pitney Bowes survey, it was found that 76% of businesses still think that the ideal marketing strategy is the combined power of digital and print technology.

Print Media is More Than Just Paper

People who talk about the “death of print” forget that print extends beyond paper. It also involves promotional products such as drinkware, magnets, key chains and t-shirts. These promotional items are often given as gifts, so the audience are likely to hold them longer.

The Advertising Specialty Institute or ASI found that 84% of Americans are able to remember company names when they are emblazoned in promotional items. If you want to use them for your marketing, they don’t have to be something your target audience will take home with them. For example, you could use napkins or cups for a gala dinner.

Low “Cost Per Impression” or CPI

Small business typically do not have the capacity to spend too much on advertising, so the most ideal type of advertising is one with a low CPI. The most ideal marketing campaign is one that lets you reach the most number of people at the lowest cost possible. Print advertising is then the best choice.

In a 2010 study, the Direct Marketing Association found that every $1 spent for print advertising can yield $12.57 in sales. This return ratio was found to be true across many industries. Print is therefore an effective advertising medium no matter which industry you are in.

While print advertising cannot guarantee success, so does any other type of marketing. It is still important to develop an effective print marketing strategy that will put your business in the spotlight and engage your audience. You can’t use the same boring materials that everybody else use—you need to work on making a mark in the industry where your business belongs.

It’s time to get creative! Put some real thought into your marketing arsenal and make use of all print tools and technologies available to you.


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Every time you hand out your business card, you make an impression. That little piece of paper does a big job for you. It introduces you professionally, creates a professional image for your brand, or sends a message to a prospect. That being said, you cannot sabotage your efforts on a business card that helps you achieve your goals. [click to continue…]


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Need to make a big impression to get people’s attention? Then wide format printing is the one for you. Today’s technology allows you to print on unlimited sizes and lengths. With the prevalence of tradeshows, festivals, sales and other events, large format printing is the best way to showcase your products/services.

Also known as “wide format printing”, large format printing is done at a large scale. Printing companies that offer large format printing use printers that can produce documents 17 inches wide to more than a hundred inches. These printers work like your desktop printer, only that they are significantly larger.

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Compared to traditional printing, large format printing makes you save much money. Unlike offset printing, for example, where you have to print in bulk, a large format printer can print according to demand.This saves you a lot of money and prevents you from wasting printing supplies by producing only a handful of copies rather than an entire print run.
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While some people think that print is “dead”, it is actually quite the opposite. In fact, Forbes suggests that print should not be excluded in your marketing channels as you try to reach your target demographic.

Print marketing collaterals contribute much to the achievement of many business goals, no matter what industry a business may belong to, or what market niche is being targeted.

However, as in the case with almost everything in life, not all print marketing collaterals are created equal. Some function as an introductory tool, some exist to publicize events or personalities, others are used to educate and inform the market, while still others are there to act either as reminders or persuasive materials that are centered on the qualities of a brand.

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