Microsoft’s take on print and online advertising

A White Paper from Microsoft found that more people, below the age of 34, regularly use the Internet over reading a newspaper

September 21, 2010

A White Paper from Microsoft found that more people, below the age of 34, regularly use the Internet over reading a newspaper

The roles of print and online media in Europeans’ lives are changing – and print and online advertising strategies need to follow suit if they are to maximise exposure to consumers throughout the day.

These are the findings of a new White Paper from Microsoft Advertising, which surveys key print media audiences in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the UK and Switzerland. It includes important insights for how best to use print and online advertising to target those information-hungry consumers exposed to both.

The number of Europeans regularly using the internet is projected to surpass those reading a newspaper by 2012 (and already does amongst those below the age of 34). Just as rapid is a shift in the roles that the two channels play in readers’ lives. Amongst Europeans who read both print and online media, the internet is used more frequently, provides access to a greater range of content and information, and is fast taking on many of the most compelling qualities of traditional newspapers and magazines.

In an average day, newspaper or magazine readers spend more than four times as long online as they do with their print publication, drawn to a broader range of content including games, video, music, analysis, news and conversations.

More than three quarters (76%) of Europeans who both read print publications and use the internet consider the web their more comprehensive source of information, and 69% agree that they can find all of the information they need online.

When comparing print and online advertising campaigns, online emerges as an increasingly essential channel at every stage of a consumer’s path to purchase, whether users are searching for product recommendations, seeking reassurance or comparing brands. Web users also show loyalty to their favourite websites, with 84% visiting these at least once a day.

The findings suggest that marketers should ensure that the balance between print and online advertising reflects their changing roles in audiences’ consumption habits, in particular online’s growing importance at different stages of the purchase funnel and its increased relevance and trust.

While print still has a role to play in brands’ advertising strategies, online is rapidly becoming a dominant medium by enabling more dynamic advertising through a wide choice of formats and channels which allow brands to engage with audiences through highly creative and targeted messages.