Why Print Media Thrives

Print & Digital media illustration

Print vs Digital media

Print and digital marketing work best when they are coordinated to work together (instead of seen as competing or replacing each other).
Social media and digitisation is turning the travel and tourism industry on its head and it seems now impossible to escape the grasp that the internet and social media platforms now have on the industry. Endless photos populate websites, platforms, review sites and blogs and long streams of thumb flicking proliferate. All from the most popular tourist destinations, tours, activities and attractions. Often these days they are from the sponsored content on travel influencers’ pages and being sold as best practice or trendy travel marketing.

When looking at this from an industry standpoint, it is easy to think that the travel marketing will continue to head in the direction of social media and that print media (of all kinds) will become less and less prevalent.  However, we now know that while digital media usage has increased rapidly, especially as a communications tool, in the case of travel marketing so have some forms of print usage.

This tells us that the traveller is not simply turning toward social/digital media alone when planning their trips, but rather choosing to receive cross-media information … they’re utilising both digital and print together to gather the information they need to book (and enjoy) their holiday. When in market (at home) it might be said that digital has the upper-hand, but when in-destination (on holiday) its print media that takes centre stage and brings tours and activities to the front of mind.

As expected, larger percentages of millennials consistently reported using social media platforms more for trip planning than Gen X and Baby Boomers. However, similar percentages of all three generations reported using various forms of print media in their planning as well. In fact, millennials reported using printed lifestyle magazines for trip planning at higher levels than older travellers.

According to a recent research survey conducted by Bentley University’s Center for Marketing Technology (Massachusetts, US), printed media such as “brochures, maps, and guides are still the #1 influencer of visitors during their trip,” outscoring both the internet and all social media channels.

Not only is print still used in trip planning, it has proven to remain extremely influential in the visitors’ decision-making processes once they are in-country. For example, Bentley’s survey also reveals that brochures influenced the travel plans of 73% of visitors who picked them up, and that 78% of visitors planned to visit a business that they saw in a brochure.

The advantage of social media is that it allows you to reach millions of people, all over the world, with just the click of a button. Yet, even with all these advantages, print media is still has higher levels of trust by travellers. It appears to be the tangible nature of print media that drives that trust. According to another survey by MarketingSherpa, 82% of Americans trust print ads when deciding to make a purchase. Comparatively, online pop ups were only trusted a much smaller percentage.

Which one should you use?

Clearly, a combination of print media along with digital is proving to be most effective at grabbing the attention of travellers and getting them to visit and take tour and activities while they are on holiday. Take at look at our services and why use us pages to find out more on how we can help make sure that travellers are picking up your brochure while visiting Sydney.

Eric Cantz, a Media Consultant, elaborates on the importance of striking a balance between digital and print marketing: “We live in an integrated media and marketing world where all media formats work together to accelerate the consumer decision making process.  We expect our visitors, after they discover a rack card/brochure, to then do additional online research like find directions, check out TripAdvisor reviews, Yelp reviews, and more. Then they can make a decision of Yes or No. No one media format works alone in today’s world – it’s all integrated and works together.”

In this so-called “technology age,” companies shouldn’t be looking to choose digital media over print … or even vice versa, but rather they would be better to find a balance in their marketing strategies where they complement one another.

If you have any questions regarding this article or print media feel free to contact us.
If you would like to learn more about how The Informed Tourist can use our Sydney distribution services to gets your brochures and other print media out into your customers hands give us a call 02 8594 7205.

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