Monday, March 28, 2016 1:53:00 PM

The only way to develop an effective marketing strategy is to know where consumers are getting their information. It can be tempting to see print newspapers as restrictive and local while viewing digital media as multifaceted and global, especially if you're targeting a millennial audience. Yet, research shows that adults in all age brackets view newspapers as the most trustworthy medium for shopping guidance and advertising information.

Cross-Platform Marketing Amplifies Advertising Messages

It's true that consumers are shopping online more than ever, but purchase decisions don't start when shoppers click "buy." Newspaper readers are in an active buying mindset, and they rely on news publications for research, planning and savings before making that final purchase. According to a recent Nielsen study, 67 percent of adults read print or digital newspapers on a weekly basis. That includes 58 percent of adults between ages 18 and 34.

Among the 31 percent of adults who use computer platforms as their primary source of advertising information, 77 percent also acted on print newspaper inserts within a 30-day period. Newspapers are visually stimulating, readily available in homes and easy to carry on shopping trips, making them a go-to tool for evaluating products, services and promotions. Instead of taking an exclusive approach to newspaper and digital advertising, business owners can use these complementary media to reinforce targeted messages across a wide readership.

The Newspaper Audience Is Educated, Affluent and Professionally Employed

An ongoing challenge for businesses is connecting with audiences that have high buying power. The problem is these valued consumers have diverse backgrounds and motivations, making it difficult to evaluate their needs and create targeted campaigns. Newspapers are the key to bridging that gap.

Nielsen reports that 74 percent of adults with household incomes between $100,000 and $249,000 regularly read print, Web or mobile newspapers. This also applies to 72 percent of college graduates with four-year degrees, and the number climbs to 80 percent among individuals with postgraduate degrees. Another important factor is occupation. About 72 percent of people in business, management and financial careers read newspapers in print, Web or mobile formats. The same holds true for 70 percent of people in health care and technical fields, 68 percent of small business owners and 65 percent of sales professionals.

Newspapers are in demand across all educated and affluent groups, regardless of race or sociocultural differences. Yet, there are important patterns and characteristics these consumers often share. Nielsen's research shows that newspaper readership overlaps with many factors that increase buying power, such as financial intelligence. For example, print, Web or mobile newspapers are popular among 69 percent of consumers who use 401k plans, 75 percent who use college savings plans and 74 percent who use Certificates of Deposit.

Newspapers Bring Big Audiences to Businesses

While big companies can budget for expensive marketing campaigns, small and medium businesses benefit when they strategically use cost-saving resources to reach broad consumer groups. Today's savvy shoppers are often turned off by aggressive marketing that comes directly from businesses. They are actively engaged in shopping, but they have many options for regulating how much information they receive. Fortunately these same shoppers seek out newspapers for information before making purchases.

According to Nielsen, among the newspaper audience, roughly 60 to 70 percent of shoppers plan to make expensive purchases — such as furniture, electronics, home improvement, day care and appliances — in the next 12 months. Newspaper advertising gives you the power to target consumers who are looking for services in your industry and influence their buying behaviors well in advance of purchases.

The best part is newspapers bring purchase-driven consumers directly to you through the combined accessibility of print and digital media. We invite you to contact us today to promote your brand with our 4.1 million weekly readers.

Categories: Consumer Insights

Tags: consumer insights

Source: "2016 Advertising Planbook Guide." Newspaper Association of America. Pages 26-34.