Mobile Passes Print in Consumer Engagement

Marketing For Growth Image WAV Group joined the parade of consults declaring the death of print media in late 2006. Inman News confirmed its death during their conference in San Francisco in 2007 (one of my favorite events of all time). Believe it or not, print actually made a bit of a comeback in 2010. Nevertheless, the Internet is the place that consumers increasingly spend their media time. The new news is that people are actually spending more time on their mobile phones today than they are spending interacting with print media.

According to eMarketer,  time spent on mobile devices is now an average of 65 minutes a day, compared to 44 minutes a day for print (newspapers and magazines combined).  Last year, both media segments were tied, but mobile grew by 30% in 2011.

Here is the weird part – someone forgot to tell the people who are creating the advertising budgets.

Today, companies spend an average of 25% of their marketing dollars on print according to eMarketer. Mobile gets less than 1%. Sound familiar? That was about the same ratio that we saw back in 2006-2007 when marketers began to shift dollars online. Today, marketers still only spend about 21% online – still less than print. The majority of money is still spent on Television – about 50% for most marketers.

At this time of year, we meet with our broker clients to solidify their marketing budget for 2012. It has been a fun season. We still see most budgets split pretty evenly between online and print, and despite our pleas – mobile is poorly represented.

The real estate brokerage today is still tied to being Agent-Centric and Seller-Centric in advertising. In my younger years, I would scream that it is about ROI and Reach until my face turned blue. I am more seasoned now, and understand that having happy agents and happy sellers has a value that even the best marketing matrix failed to measure. Lets face it, Agents and Sellers typically market from their gut. They are typically guided by beliefs and decade old experience rather than by facts.

Done effectively, online marketing will destroy print media dollar for dollar. So will mobile marketing. Smart marketers understand this – which explains why companies like Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com are outperforming most brokers in attracting consumers. By the way – in 2007 – Trulia, Zillow, and Craigslist were just emerging – 4 years later – they dominate.

If you need help with your marketing plan for 2012 – contact WAV Group. We support large brokers, MLS, and Associations by reviewing or building their marketing plans.

If you want to read more WAV Group articles about print media – here are a couple of oldies, but goodies that I enjoy reading from time to time.

Real Estate Magazines are leaders in print marketing for Real Estate

Newspapers are like Nursing Homes 

Will the last newspaper please shut off the lights 


  1. Victor Lund December 13, 2011 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Here is a story that came out from Nielsen – Millennials still like print.

    Direct mail (92%) and newspapers (91%) are the media most Millennials say affect their store choices, ahead of digital channels such as visiting a store website using a computer (84%) or receiving emails from retailers (78%), according to [download page] a December 2011 report from Nielsen. Data from “The Evolution of Circulars: From Print to Digital” indicates that when it comes to shopping, Millennials are more tech-savvy than Gen X adults, being more likely to have their store choices influenced by smartphones or mobile phones, social media sites, and retailer emails.

    Printed Circulars Lead Overall
    Printed circulars (direct mail, newspaper inserts, and in-store) lead the overall shopper popularity contest, with roughly 60% of consumers looking at them once a week. According to Nielsen, the only electronic vehicle demonstrating equivalent reach was retailer email. According to a study released in December 2011 by Epsilon Targeting, when it comes to learning about new products, American consumers also prefer direct mail: almost 3 in 5 report that they enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products, compared to just 43% who say they enjoy getting emails from brands on new products.

    Although high tech circular touchpoints do not enjoy extensive reach, they do see strong weekly usage: Nielsen data shows that social media (45%) and smartphone or mobile phone (39%) weekly use rates outstrip in-store vehicles such as print (38%), kiosk (24%), and TV (21%), with tablet devices also demonstrating healthy weekly usage (35%).

    Digital preference rates are also strong when asking shoppers about the future: more than 70% of shoppers expressed a desire for basic digital delivery (store website using computer or retailer email) in the future, and about one-third wanted social media or smartphone applications. Nearly 90% wished to continue receiving paper at home or in-store.

    Active Online Presence Critical
    According to the report, 18% of internet users would not buy a personal care item without first consulting online, while 17% check online first before purchasing a food item. And although just 20% of store shoppers visit grocery/drug retailer sites, those 1 in 5 consumers who research online first spend approximately 30% more in the store.

    Digital Efforts Lack Sophistication
    Although most retailers use digital channels such as online circulars (93%), site product filters (81%), shopping lists and recipes (81%), and active Twitter feeds (78%), Nielsen analysis shows that many are not taking advantage of other, more sophisticated approaches. Indeed, only slightly more than 2 in 5 use approaches such as circular email subscription (44%), circular search ads (44%), and circular via Facebook (41%), while just 22% use circular item search ads. According to a Compete study released in June 2011, many online consumers now treat Facebook like a product circular: more than half (56.2%) say they visit the Facebook page of a retailer/consumer product company to keep up to date on sales and promotions, almost double the percentage who give the second-most-popular answer, learning about a specific retailer (29%).

    About the Data: Nielsen’s findings are based on an extensive survey among an 11,000-shopper subset of the Nielsen Homescan panel.

  2. […] Mobile Passes Print in Consumer Engagement […]

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