The Pair­ing of Old with New

ArabAd - - COVER STORY -

Long live print. I pre­fer read­ing a paper as I be­lieve it is more in­sight­ful and can re­tain in­for­ma­tion bet­ter than read­ing from a screen. More­over, I tend to get more dis­tracted when read­ing an elec­tronic paper. It is eas­ier to read and nav­i­gate printed con­tent; it al­lows me to un­der­line, fold and mark a paper, giv­ing it an un­usual feel.

Over the past decade, we have seen a blast in the amount of dig­i­tal con­tent, de­spite the drop in ad spend­ing dur­ing the first half of the year by nine per­cent com­pared to last year. Print still ac­counts for 29 per­cent share of ex­pen­di­ture and top pub­li­ca­tion ti­tles still have their loyal read­ers, which means print read­er­ship did not drop dra­mat­i­cally.

Mar­keters are us­ing the power of dig­i­tal on print with few tech­niques to track re­sults and mea­sure en­gage­ment from print to dig­i­tal and vice versa. Pre­vi­ously, print ads were not linked to any sort of dig­i­tal as­pects, but to­day we can see QR codes, social me­dia links, hash­tags and aug­mented re­al­ity em­bed­ded into print art­works. This means our print ma­te­ri­als are track­ing en­gage­ment with con­sumers while also driv­ing dig­i­tal in­ter­ac­tion. These are ef­fec­tive tech­niques to en­rich print cam­paigns and make them more in­ter­ac­tive to con­sumers. Most im­por­tantly, un­der­stand­ing the way con­sumers be­have and even mea­sure ROI, print and other tra­di­tional me­dia are also be­com­ing a way to ex­tend and boost dig­i­tal cam­paigns.

In my opin­ion, print isn’t dead. If you try to move your business ex­clu­sively to a dig­i­tal plat­form, not only will your au­di­ence miss your advertising, you will also lose out on sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth, as each me­dia (TV, print, ra­dio) adds in­cre­men­tal reach. This, in turn, brings the right bal­ance be­tween var­i­ous me­dia plat­forms through in­te­grated mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, which will en­sure a steady rev­enue flow, an in­crease in sales and po­ten­tial for new customers.

In con­clu­sion, this year the UAE gov­ern­ment an­nounced the dec­la­ra­tion of 2016 as the UAE Read­ing Year, aim­ing to en­cour­age peo­ple to read as it’s a ba­sic skill ev­ery­one must have in or­der to build a cul­ture of read­ing in an at­tempt to in­her­ent it as part of peo­ple’s ev­ery­day lives. This project aims to en­cour­age read­ing and pro­tect the Ara­bic lan­guage, which would strengthen the print in­dus­try in gen­eral.

Print still ac­counts for 29 per­cent share of ex­pen­di­ture…

Aoun Shaar, Me­dia Direc­tor, Ini­tia­tive MENA talks to Arabad about the health of the print in­dus­try and of­fers ways to boost that sec­tor us­ing dig­i­tal tools.

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