There is only one question on the minds of retailers and advertisers for the next two months – what is the best way to reach consumers?
The answer this year, as it has for many years prior, is newspaper media.
As we enter an exciting holiday shopping season, retailers will experiment more than ever with mobile apps, geolocation push notification and other advertising strategies to reach elusive consumers. However, data reveals that one of the most effective methods remains print and digital newspaper advertising.
The proof is in the numbers. Recent research from a national survey found that 79 percent of adults have taken action as a result of seeing an advertisement in a print newspaper in the past 30 days, and more than half made a purchase. Furthermore, 69 percent of adults cite newspapers as key coupon sources, making newspapers the leading medium for coupons.
These numbers indicate what we in the newspaper media business have always believed – that nothing connects advertisers with potential customers like we can. Newspapers engage consumers and influence purchasing decisions.
This is especially important to note as trends suggest this will be a huge holiday season for our economy. Despite a shaky start to 2014, the National Retail Federation announced earlier this month that it expects sales in November and December to increase by an impressive 4.1 percent. If those numbers hold true, this will be the first time since 2011 that holiday sales would surpass the four percent mark. The NRF anticipates that holiday sales will represent 19.2 percent of the retail industry’s $3.2 trillion total annual sales.
For many, the holiday shopping season truly kicks off the day after the Thanksgiving feast on Black Friday. Regarded as the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday sees major retailers compete for earliest opening time, biggest sales and largest markdowns, vying to earn the business of customers nationwide.
In fact, Black Friday has taken on such importance that many retailers in 2013 decided to open their doors on Thanksgiving day and it is expected that trend will continue this year. Leading up to that week of shopping – let’s not forget Cyber Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend – is an important time for the newspaper industry as retailers compete for advertising space and consumers seek out the best deals.
The holiday shopping season presents an enormous opportunity for retailers to use the power of newspaper media to capture the attention of millions of consumers across the country. Statistics show that 57 percent of adults used print or digital newspaper advertisements in a typical week to make shopping, planning and purchasing decisions. To top it off, newspapers continue to climb to new audience heights – in 2014, people engaging with newspaper digital content reached a new peak, totaling 164 million unique visitors, a 16 percent increase from September of last year.
The prominence of newspapers is also true internationally. Worldwide, more than half of the adult population reads a daily newspaper – that is 2.5 billion people across the globe engaging with newspaper-generated content. The newspaper industry generates more than $160 billion in revenue globally across multiple sectors. This is not only from content sales and advertising revenues, but increasingly from other forms of diversified revenue streams.
The media landscape is changing and newspaper media are at the forefront of this innovation. A new survey from mobile shopping app Retale and location analytics platform Placed finds that 58 percent of people surveyed used a circular ad from a newspaper in the last 30 days.
We live in a digital age where audiences are fractured and overwhelmed with options. Newspaper media – in print, read online or viewed on a mobile device – is essential. That is why advertisers and retailers will turn to newspapers to drive their biggest sales of the year, and potentially their biggest sales in several years.