What does the future hold for printed advertising in the digital era of e-commerce?
12 May 2016
Advertising is everywhere. It generates the consumer’s desire and permeates our daily life. The new media (television, and now Internet) have made us reconsider the fundamentals of corporate communication and tested the limits of absolute certainties. The digitalisation of our society has upset the place of paper advertising supports in e-commerce. Consumers, who find themselves at the centre of all this attention, have become media experts, and demand more emotional content, value and meaning from advertising. Will the battle of e-commerce advertising be won by the printed or digital form?
Printed advertising’s relevance
Since its invention by Gutenberg in 1436, and despite the encroachment of Internet, the printing press has never stopped working. Printed communication, tangible and sustainable, transmits its messages with relevance and aesthetic appeal. Adapted to different targets, printed advertising supports (business cards, sales brochures, catalogues, posters, leaflets, etc) convey corporate images and values in e-commerce.
In order to stay attractive, printed advertising has taken the upper hand over digital on a visibility and memory level. It benefits from a higher confidence rate, established by its proximity, which enables it to remain credible. Printed communication offers a higher quality appearance, is an excellent promotional tool, and can be used dynamically in the diffusion of messages to business target groups.
Digital communication’s efficiency
Digital advertising (advertisements on the social media, on-line videos, paid search engines) benefits from an exponential growth and companies pursue their permanent mutation, continually adapting themselves to each new emerging technology. The e-commerce sector has not been spared, far from it. The force of the social networks (led by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) has made these media indispensable for all web platforms.
Even if digital advertising is more often zapped than printed advertising supports, it has the added advantages of speed, facility of diffusion, multiple diffusion types, numerous formats, as well as its return on investment (ROI). The web is unavoidable and enables a company to be quickly recognised by a large part of the public.
Towards omni-channel marketing campaigns
Faced with the changes taking place, e-commerce marketing strategies must be reassessed and adapted to the new use of multi-screens by consumers. To accomplish this, company communication professionals must work in cross-functional groups on multi-support media campaigns. In other words, they must propose a coherent and striking omni-channel communication.
Today, printed advertising is linking with digital to augment the benefits. These two company communication channels effortlessly complement one another, especially since they don’t have the same audience. Internet users, who are extremely sought after, are bombarded with concise and attractive digital advertising, which can be read very quickly. Conversely, printed communication is more differential and allows a more profound treatment of the topic.
Light years from being obsolete, printed advertising supports have many advantages in their arsenal that enable them to stay competitive. Nevertheless, printed communication in e-commerce must continue to adapt, as is also the case for digital advertising. Printed and digital advertising are not warring brothers, but communication supports capable of complementing and supporting one another at the heart of an integrated campaign.