Tilbian: Advertisers Must Learn to Love Newspapers Once More

City media analyst Lorna Tilbian has said that advertisers must learn to fall in love with newspapers once again, pointing to the boost to revenue return on investment achieved by including print on media schedules. 

In an article for the News Media Association published today, Lorna Tilbian, executive PLC director and head of media, Numis, cited the circulation increases enjoyed by newspapers during ther EU referendum as example of their continued importance.   

Lorna wrote: “The political and economic upheaval caused by the EU referendum result is a timely reminder of the value of newspapers and the importance of trusted news journalism. Over the three days following the vote, national newspapers experienced an average print circulation rise of around five per cent, peaking at seven per cent on the Saturday. Regional newspapers also experienced lifts in audience figures.

“These uplifts are significant because they illustrate that when fast moving and complex events such as the referendum happen, people rely upon newspapers to interpret what is happening, and to tell them how they will be affected. The referendum circulation bounce unequivocally demonstrated that print newspapers remain an important source of information and, at times of instability and uncertainty, they become even more valuable to their readers.

“Advertisers who are shifting their money away from print need to give this some serious thought. Newspaper readers are highly engaged with the content and, for advertisers, this engagement translates into hard revenue return on investment.

“A recent study found that, on average, advertising in newspapers as part of a campaign increases overall revenue return on investment by a factor of three. When combined with other media, newspapers act as an ad effectiveness multiplier making, for example, TV twice as effective and online display four times more effective.

“The research also looked at how newspapers are being used currently as part of the overall media mix. The study found that clients are invariably missing out on the optimum ROI due to a deficit in spend in print newspapers. In terms of the most effective media mix, the pendulum has swung too far away from print and businesses are communicating less effectively with their customers as a result.

“Monetising news media content remains a challenge for newspapers but publishers have shown they are willing to innovate and try new things. By diversifying and opening up new revenue streams through initiatives such as licensing of content and technology, leveraging data and market research, and working more closely with advertising partners, newspapers will be able to adapt and prosper in the changing media landscape.

“Newspapers must continue to do what they do best which is investing in unique, trusted and entertaining content which, as the EU referendum aptly demonstrated, is highly sought after, particularly in times of uncertainty. Advertisers need to remember the importance of newspapers, and the benefits for their businesses of using them, and learn to fall in love with them once more.”