Woman at desk thumbing through a print magazine.
Woman at desk thumbing through a print magazine.
Are you missing out on print advertising?

As a seasoned marketer and staff writer for Eagan City Lifestyle magazine since the summer of 2023, I’ve witnessed firsthand the changing tides of advertising. You’d think print had lost its charm in a world buzzing with digital noise. But, oh, how it thrives! 

From crafting compelling stories that decorate coffee tables across Eagan and beyond, my journey has reinforced a belief: Print advertising isn’t just surviving this digital world that we live in; it’s an essential piece of the marketing puzzle, bringing a unique blend of trust and tangibility that digital mediums struggle to match.

My Background in Print Advertising and Marketing 

My journey into the world of print advertising and marketing didn’t start on a whim. An undergraduate degree in English laid the groundwork, immersing me in the power of words and narratives. This passion for storytelling was further honed through a master’s degree in business communications, where I learned all about the intricacies of marketing, learning to master the 4Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. 

And I applied what I learned in my professional endeavors. From my early days as a senior planner with Best Buy, where I orchestrated integrated marketing promotional campaigns, to my role as a senior manager in strategic print advertising, I’ve navigated the evolving landscape of marketing communications. In these roles, I was not just a strategist but a tactician crafting campaigns that resonated with our target markets, driving action, and fostering brand loyalty.

Whether it was developing content strategies for the Best Buy sales circular, managing product selection for high-stakes advertising like the Black Friday circular, or serving as a liaison between our retail teams and corporate, my work has always centered around creating connections. These connections weren’t just between our brand and our customers, and within our teams, ensuring our strategies were as integrated and cohesive as possible.

I’ve seen the tangible impact of print advertising in a digital world. It’s more than just an assignment; it’s about creating moments that matter, experiences that engage, and strategies that resonate. And it works.

My Journey with Eagan City Lifestyle Magazine

Joining Eagan City Lifestyle magazine in the summer of 2023 marked the beginning of an exciting chapter in my career, blending my passion for storytelling with the tangible impact of print media. Eagan City Lifestyle is not just a magazine; it showcases the community’s heart and soul, distinguished by its high-quality production and compelling content that resonates deeply with residents and businesses alike.

Through my lens as a staff writer, I’ve witnessed the magazine’s profound effect on local businesses and the broader community. It has served as a bridge, connecting entrepreneurs to their local clientele in a way that digital platforms often struggle to replicate. The stories we share celebrate local successes, hidden gems, and community events. This can foster a sense of pride and connection among readers.

The magazine’s presence extends far beyond the boundaries of Eagan, reaching into adjacent cities within Dakota County and beyond. It graces coffee tables in homes and businesses. This widespread distribution shows the enduring appeal of print media; in a world inundated with fleeting digital messages, the tactile experience of flipping through a beautifully crafted magazine offers a lasting impression that readers cherish. Eagan City Lifestyle magazine has become a staple in the community, symbolizing the power of print to inform, entertain, and bring people together in a shared narrative.

The Power of Print in the Marketing Mix

The role of print in the marketing mix might seem like a nod to a bygone era. But even as we navigate a landscape where online presence is non-negotiable, integrating print advertising into your strategy is not just beneficial. Consider it essential, particularly for businesses with physical locations and those within the services industry, such as health and wellness, beauty, real estate, financial services, construction, etc.

Acknowledging the immense time people spend online and engaging with social media, my stance isn’t to divert marketing dollars away from digital avenues. On the contrary, investing in digital marketing is imperative to connect with the audience where they are most active. However, adding print to your marketing mix brings unique advantages that digital platforms can’t replicate on their own.

Print advertising carves a special niche in consumers’ hearts, with 75% of them feeling special upon receiving print ads and 73% showing a preference for print over other forms. This tangible connection builds a sense of trust and engagement that is becoming increasingly rare in the digital space. 

Print’s tactile nature, combined with its ability to be physically present in consumers’ lives, from their coffee tables to their mailboxes, builds a different kind of relationship—a personal connection that enhances the perceived value and trustworthiness of the advertised products or services. This unique trust and engagement metric associated with print make it a compelling addition to any comprehensive marketing strategy, ensuring a holistic approach that leverages the strengths of both print and digital to achieve marketing objectives.

The Added Value of Print Advertising

Print advertising adds a layer of richness to your marketing strategy that’s hard to achieve through digital channels alone. One of the most compelling aspects of print is the inclusion of coupons and special offers, which not only incentivize potential customers but also create an immediate call to action. 

Coupons in print ads have a tangible appeal. They offer something of direct value that consumers can physically hold onto and redeem. This strategy taps into the consumer’s love for savings. And, statistics show a clear preference: 69% of people appreciate receiving print advertisements with restaurant coupons—furthermore, 65% favor coupons for retail businesses.

But the magic of print doesn’t stop with coupons. The real power unfolds when print campaigns are aligned with digital efforts. This integration ensures that your message resonates across all platforms, reinforcing your brand’s presence in the minds of consumers. For instance, a promotion in a magazine can lead consumers to your website for more details or to redeem a code, seamlessly bridging the gap between print and digital.

Beyond the Page: Online Business Profiles and Listing Management

Magazines like Eagan City Lifestyle, which have become a fixture on coffee tables and in stanchions at local businesses, are extending their reach into the digital domain. This expansion offers advertisers an invaluable opportunity to amplify their brand’s visibility across both print and online platforms. 

When your advertisement appears in the print version of such a magazine, you’re often granted an online listing on their website. This dual exposure is not just a bonus. Consider it a strategic advantage. It enhances recognition for your company and contributes to your domain authority, which can improve your ranking in search results.

An online business profile complements your print advertising efforts. It provides a deeper, more accessible layer of information about your brand. This synergy between print and digital ensures that potential customers who see your ad in a magazine can easily learn more about your offerings online, increasing engagement and interest in your brand. 

Integrating Print into Your Marketing Strategy 

Integrating print into your advertising strategy may seem intimidating. However, the unique benefits of print—tangible engagement, trustworthiness, and a direct connection with your audience—make it a valuable component of a well-rounded marketing approach. 

Remember, most businesses allocate between 5 – 10% of their revenue to marketing budgets. The exact portion dedicated to print can vary. So, just ensure some of your budget is invested in this space to help you get started. 

How to Get Started with Print Advertising

Here’s how you can get started, even if you’re concerned about financial constraints:

  • Review Your Current Marketing Budget: Assess how your current marketing spend is distributed. Understanding where your dollars are going can help you identify areas where reallocating funds to print might be possible.
  • Start Small: If you’re new to print advertising, begin with smaller, local publications like community magazines or newsletters. These options often have lower advertising costs and allow you to test the effectiveness of print for your business.
  • Leverage Integrated Deals: Many publications offer packages that include both print and digital advertising spots. These deals can maximize your exposure across different mediums while keeping costs manageable.
  • Negotiate with Publishers: Don’t be afraid to negotiate rates or ask about promotional opportunities. Publishers are often willing to work with advertisers to fit their budget and advertising goals.
  • Track Your Results: Just like with digital campaigns, tracking the performance of your print ads is vital. Use coupon codes, custom URLs, or QR codes to track how effectively your print ads drive traffic and conversions. This data will help you adjust your strategy and budget allocation over time.
  • Consider Seasonal or Event-based Advertising: Aligning your print advertising with seasonal events or local happenings can increase its impact. This approach allows for more strategic, time-bound spending rather than a constant outflow of funds.
  • Collaborate for Co-Op Advertising: If you’re a retailer or distributor of products from other brands, consider co-op advertising. Many manufacturers offer to share advertising costs to promote their products within your marketing efforts, including print.

Incorporating print into your advertising strategy doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your budget. Strategically reallocate funds, start small, and leverage the unique advantages of print. Doing so can help you can enhance your brand’s visibility and engagement with your target audience. 

Make Print a Part of Your Marketing and Advertising Spend 

My journey with Eagan City Lifestyle magazine has reaffirmed that print’s tangible touch and trusted presence hold a unique place in our hearts and homes, offering a depth of engagement that digital mediums strive to match. This experience provides a broader lesson for marketers: to harness the full spectrum of media channels for a truly integrated marketing strategy. 

I encourage businesses to revisit the role of print within their advertising endeavors. Embrace its potential to complement digital efforts, enrich brand narratives, and forge lasting connections with your audience. Let’s not overlook print’s power in shaping advertising’s future.

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