by Erik Sass
Media Daily News | April 14, 2011
Whatever their financial woes, print newspaper advertising is still a trusted source of information for consumers planning their shopping decisions, according to a phone and Internet survey of 2,502 U.S. adults performed for the Newspaper Association of America by Frank N. Magid Associates.
The study highlighted the effectiveness of a couple of key print ad categories, including endemic display ads, preprint inserts and newspaper-distributed coupons.
The NAA-Magid study, titled “How America Shops and Spends 2011,” found that 52% of adults surveyed identified newspapers as the most important medium informing their purchase decisions. Fully 79% of respondents recalled taking some kind of action in response to newspaper advertising in the preceding month.
The range of actions included clipping a coupon (54%); buying a product (46%); and visiting a Web site to get more information (37%). 72% of the respondents said they look at newspaper preprints at least occasionally, rising to 90% for Sunday inserts. Seventy-nine percent of adults said they had acted based on newspaper preprint advertising in the previous month.
The survey may help fill in some of the gaps in terms of measuring preprint ad effectiveness — a shortcoming identified by the NAA in previous publications.
Back in February, a white paper released by the NAA and Kannon Consulting warned that newspaper inserts are “under siege,” with big retailers demanding double-digit rate cuts and expressing concern that prepaid inserts don’t reach as many younger consumers.
The study also chastised newspaper publishers for lagging behind in developing more authoritative and precise metrics for ROI for preprint inserts, which it said need to offer advertisers tighter targeting — for example, at the ZIP code level.
Other studies have attempted to rank the effectiveness of various print formats. In December 2010 a study performed by MARC Research for the Newspaper National Network showed that coupons that appear within newspapers (run of press) are redeemed more often than freestanding inserts. They are also more effective at getting consumers to try new products, switch brands, or trade up to a more expensive product.
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