In today’s quickly evolving online marketplace, the tendency is to assume print is out and digital is king. But recent research on pre-print circulars offers a more nuanced view.
While online sales and search continue to grow, people who use both print and online circulars prefer printed versions by a 2-to-1 margin, according to the 2012 Newspaper Multiplatform Usage Study published by the Newspaper Association of America.
Consumers see distinct value in online versus pre-print ads and use each to fulfill very specific needs. Shoppers use pre-print ads to zero in on good deals and are ready to purchase. Online ads on the other hand, are used primarily to gather information on product details and availability.
No channel demonstrates this trend better than Sunday circulars. Regardless of age, Sunday print readers prefer the ease of handling coupons and the convenience of taking them to stores as they shop. Pre-print ads can also be scanned quickly and people have an easier time finding the products they need.
It’s important to note the strong usage of pre-print across demographic categories like age. According to the study 54 percent of 18-24 year olds and 63 percent of 25-34 year-olds have read newspaper pre-print circulars in the past month.
The bottom line? Don’t underestimate the value of pre-print circulars. They are tactile, mobile and continue to be a deeply engrained part of shoppers' habits. To meet consumer needs, marketing efforts should leverage both print and digital avenues.