A question for all publishers: Are ads in our tablet apps as impactful as in print?
New research has revealed that advertising impact can be as powerful on tablets as it is in print editions, particularly if the digital edition of the newspaper carries over the overall look and feel of the original news brand.
Cebuco, the news media marketing organisation in Holland, has invested largely in editions for smartphones, tablets, and e-readers.
First, some facts:
- The penetration of tablets doubled last year.
- One-third of Holland’s people now use a tablet device.
With this growth, a huge market now opens up. In December of last year, 21% of the Netherlands’ population used the iPad for reading a newspaper ... and this figure continues to grow daily. Research company Ipsos divided a sample of 2,500 readers into three groups:
- digital readers.
- conventional (i.e. “paper”) readers.
- combined (i.e. “print + digital”) readers.
They were questioned about their reading behavioural patterns, their attention to the advertising, their brand recall, and their buying intentions as a result of the advertising.
The main summary was that the reading behaviour of print and e-paper is fairly similar. The pleasure and intensity of reading is practically the same as the engagement with the newspaper. Ninety percent said they enjoyed the edition and two-thirds said they read almost every page. The engagement is indeed high: 70% felt “connected” to the news brand.
Perhaps reassuring for advertisers is the fact the advertising impact seems just as powerful on tablet as it is in print. There seems to be no significant difference found in advertising reach.
What is also interesting is the differences that did come to light between platforms. For example, when looking at the same advertisement, Cebuco’s online readers felt a better impetus for ideas and originality, whereas the printed versions seem to realise more credibility for the advertised brand. In addition, the printed ads were perceived to get a much clearer message across.
The study also shows, perhaps strangely, that print is read more often in the kitchen, while the online edition is consumed more in the bedroom, in the study, at work, or “on the go.” Targeting for content and mindsets seems to be important here, too.
Readers who consume both print and online are more aware of the ads and, consequently, have better brand recall. This makes us realise the added value of the tablet; the online edition often causes a second exposure to the creative, which, in turn, makes the ad effectiveness grow.
Another significant finding in this research is the eagerness of digital readers. Sixty-two percent of the readers state categorically that they “feel the need to interact with the ads.” They like to click through to another action to experience further content (and while online newspapers don’t yet offer this functionality, it seems obvious there is an opportunity for both publishers and advertisers alike to look at this going forward?).
Once the commercial content is clickable, the effectiveness of the ads can then be enhanced, (backing up most research I have seen recently on how interactivity is expected and even demanded from this environment).
Online display ads get the message across, offer the opportunity to interact with more information, and might even offer the chance to order a service or product.
So, multiple platforms to market, different assets ... but all have an important role to play. There’s that “print + digital ecology” mantra again. The mantra highlighted in INMA’s Outlook 2013 report so strongly.