Why are marketers still jostling for press ad space?

Print is dying the cmo

A couple of years ago I shared an article on my bemusement with marketers who jostle for ad space in the local publications Herald, NewsDay, DailyNews etc. The premise of that article was due to the emergence of digital media which that time was a fairly new concept. In a follow up to that conversation, this piece was inspired by an encounter I had with a client earlier this week about their social media efforts. What go me thinking was that this client was prepared to pay for a full page in the local daily paper for which Herald is now charging 19,200RTGS. This client does not have a working website, has limited presence on social media, has not run any paid advertising but still was prepared to pay 40k to Herald for a once off ad at a print run of approximately 80k. The charge for a print ad is 40k RTGS which translates to $1120 USD at the official bank rate of 17 or $750 at the parallel market rate.

My reasoning back then was print is dying and thus brands should adopt digital marketing as it offered best value for money, relatively cheap and campaigns can be measured with surgical accuracy. My challenge is not only this client but brands who are spending big in press ads yet they do not have strong presence across digital channels. With a budget of $1,000 USD a brand can develop a website and run paid ads on social media and Google for a month and yet that budget is being gobbled up in a day’s work. Sounds more like stealing money!

My challenge to brands is that lack of digital presence (updated and functioning website, social media pages at least on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) is non-negotiable. While we appreciate that certain brands might have the base of their customers at the lower LSMs there’s no excuse for not having a functioning corporate website and at least 2 social media accounts. We are happy to continue this conversation and challenge marketers to improve their online visibility.

We are also quite curious as to why this behavior still exists? could it be marketers just want to tick the box? are marketing efforts tailored to target audiences? or perhaps our heads of marketing are so stuck in analogue marketing at the expense of digital?

We remain curious!



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