For the past decade or so, a wealth of leaders in virtually every industry, as well as analysts and researchers, have tracked the rise of digital advertising, publications and other communications alongside what was perceived to be a spiraling print sector. However, there have been increasing reasons to believe that print is not even close to seeing its final days, and that consumers are proving to continue demanding certain types of print publications rather than digital options. 

This can be seen in myriad trends that have taken place more recently, as the hype surrounding digital media began to be met with some skepticism and a general lack of trust among even younger consumers, though led by older ones. The saying “don’t believe everything you read on the Internet” is not even close to being baseless, as such a large portion of the content circulating today has no sense of reliability of legitimacy, sometimes because of the way it was published and other times simply because it is digital. 

Businesses still need a reliable and trustworthy medium through which they can communicate with consumers and other companies – that is just a simple fact of life. In some ways, print appears to be taking up a larger market share in the advertising realm in certain regions, and it might not be long before a revitalizing trend begins to take shape in the United States as well, driven by continued need for affordable and effective channels of consumer communications. 

India’s recent change
The Economic Times recently reported that there has been a major shift in advertising expenditures among businesses in India, affirming that a new study conducted by KPMG and FICCI revealed somewhat surprising results this year. According to the news provider, print had the largest share of total advertising spend in the nation, while it also predicted that this would remain the case for at least the next three years. 

Not surprisingly, television was ranked second with not much less of a market size than print, but still notably trailing considering the projected growth rates decided upon by the researchers. The source pointed out that the study’s authors believe print will grow at pace of 17 percent through the next few years, and television advertising expenditures will only expand at 15 percent in that time frame.

Digital advertising is growing at a pace of 29.5 percent currently in India, but The Economic Times argued that this was due to the much lower base this medium is working off of than the print and television categories. For further illustration of this, the news provider highlighted the fact that although digital marketing is growing at an almost double rate of print, the latter is still supposed to be firmly in the lead with respect to revenues in 2018. 

Back in the United States, television is still the proverbial king of the hill, but it is not clear how much longer that will last. 

Stateside trends
An eMarketer report from 2013 estimated that businesses spent more than $171 billion last year, which was 3.6 percent higher than the totals from 2012, and that television owned the leader position with respect to relevant revenues. According to that report, print was still well ahead of digital in 2011, but the unprecedented growth in mobile advertising in the United States has told the true story with respect to market share shifts. 

Now, remember that print advertising in newspapers and magazines, which were the only two print segments covered in the eMarketer report, is not all that there is with respect to physical document marketing investments. Rather, this leaves out direct mail, which takes up an enormous rate of advertising expenditures in a wealth of industries, notably retail and those like it. 

Studies have indicated that direct mail is still a highly effective type of advertising with respect to the returns on investment companies can expect, and the volume of conversions that are logged. As such, advertisers should not completely forget the merits of investing in physical options when planning out the budget for marketing, and remember that print will remain a necessary tool in their arsenals for years to come.