Digital first, also when buying print

The motto is ‘digital first’. Not just in the world of publishing, but also increasingly in media buying circles. Rightly so? Yes and no.

Yes, consumers have become more and more digital over the last few years, so it makes sense that advertisers have followed this route. But also a very resounding: No, incorrect! Because the industry agrees that print has remained an unchanged, powerful medium! Many studies still show that the attention and impact of paper remains very strong! It reaches your target group in a state of attention and quietness, ready to impart the advertisement’s message at its own pace. Taking into account the geographical and topical focus of printed material, it is perfectly suited to both local actions and brand awareness. We would even call it super premium.

So where does it go wrong? Is the fast and fluid way of digital methods no match for the powerful and permanent character of ink on paper? Or is it the publishers who are no longer interested in their paper productions? Have they decided to cast paper aside in favor of the Internet’s bits and bytes? Is there no longer any money in print for them? Not according to WAN-IFRA. Their  research within the news industry shows that newspaper publishers still owe 92% of their profits to printed papers.

So where does it really go wrong? Why do these “new” digital media buyers not understand print?

The answer is simple. They do not consider print as part of the mix because they cannot find it within their digital buying systems. Advertising space in printed material has never been offered to them in a way that they understand. They are not used to be in contact with the publisher’s account managers. Or to use the telephone to find available space. They are used to exchanges and data. DSP, RTB, DMP, SSP, Trade desks, Analytics, Ad Networks… that is their world. A world where print and other offline media is not yet present.

So is this a problem? Absolutely. This group of traders has grown steadily under the ‘digital first’ motto. It’s easy to imagine that the voices of those departments are more and more prominent within buying organizations.

Should we all just move over to the online principle? Absolutely not. As mentioned earlier, print is super premium. Maybe even extra super ultra mega premium, compared with some online proportions. This is mainly because of the reciprocity of added value, for both the advertiser as the medium. And this is where the role of the account managers remains crucial. It is just a matter of digital media buyers being able to find print inventory, offered in a way that they recognize. Then the added value becomes apparent.

Therefore, the first step is to digitalize print trading principles. A complicated process that Adoptiq achieved together with the industry. A logical progression would be to link this trade to the digital sales channels. Wouldn’t that be fantastic…

To be continued!


Tekst: Cees Polman – MD The Netherlands at Adoptiq