This is a question we have been asked for the past 5 years and with growing intensity from advertisers each year that passes. I ask again, Is print media still viable for advertising real estate or anything else for that matter? I would like to answer that question with a few of my own.
The first question that comes to mind is this: Why are there so many new start up magazines hitting the stands and particularly in my mailbox every year? There has been no fewer than 5 locally printed and issued magazines in my county alone in the past few years. All are very successful as well. Being a publisher, I instantly get every new publication that comes along in my mailbox. If print is indeed on the downturn, these new publishers didn't get that memo. I have collected quite a pile (To be recycled or used as fire starter material) of new mags, new catalogs and many old catalogs that continue to come. Why do so many people waste their money advertising in these? The simple answer is they still work and still pay for themselves. They are still a top way of branding yourself.
My second question is: Why would a Realtor who has national television exposure and name recognition bother to waste money in a Homes and Land Magazine? Surely a Realtor seen by millions of people on a popular TV show about real estate doesn't need anymore help in public promotion?? I speak of Madison Hildebrand of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing show. I happened upon that show one day and my immediate question was, I wonder if any of these agents do print media? I went to our co-league's Homes and Land of Malibu to Beverly Hills website and found Madison on 4 pages. Unlike H&L of Lancaster where we charge $695 per page, Malibu brings a price upwards of $1,600 a page, more than double our rate and a Realtor who is on a popular TV program with the biggest name recognition possible still finds it valuable to be seen in print. I know the average listing is priced well over a million dollars but it's still a viable avenue for him that brings results. Anyone who knows anything about branding and advertising will tell you that you need to be everywhere that people are looking for information.
My third question is: Aren't most all of the people saying that print is dead the competitors? I hear everyone echoing these words, but when I trace them down to the root it appears they all started with the online salespeople and marketers with an agenda to sell something that is not totally proven for the long haul. In fact things change at such a rapid pace online that it's almost impossible to keep up with all that changes on a daily basis. When you sign on for an ad campaign it's something like buying the latest greatest phone on the market... which is only the latest and greatest for a month these days until something surpasses it. Having an online persona is critical but just depending on people finding you through a Google search is a small sliver of the pie. Print ads are now designed to funnel people onto your online sites. Just look at Madison's 2 page spread with the most dominant part being his website address.
My fourth question is: Why did Steve Jobs stand by print ads as a major part of Apple's ad campaigns? The king of online, the king of mobile media stood with print media always. Why? Because he recognized that it was the best funnel out there to drive people to his online presence. Simple, just like his ads.
My fifth and last question is this: If the most successful people in the world still use print media and in our case Homes and Land magazine to brand themselves and to get leads, shouldn't you consider it if you want more success? With all the vitreol concerning print advertising, there is more than enough evidence to show that it is not only still viable but yet still effective. It is always tempting to try the latest and greatest avenues but one thing still works, being seen in print. It has shelf life, it comes with online presence to a large audience and it's not going away just yet.