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Advertise and flourish

Often people wonder how magazines, particularly print publications, survive in the age of Internet. Online editions are expanding along with Internet proliferation. There is no doubt print readership is steadily declining.
Adding to the woes of print’s struggle for media space is the emergence of smartphones. Publishers, who migrated to cyber space looking for higher readership potential, now provide news and features specifically formatted for websites and hand-held devices.
It’s a cliché that the only constant is change. Publishers have to change with the time. Most quality publishers continually leverage their content to meet the requirements of the emerging digerati. Like any other industry, publishing companies realise that they can survive the heightened competition only by catering to the demand of the customer, both digital and print.
We at Tyre Asia and our sister publications Rubber Asia and Auto Parts Asia have been responding to these technological changes and challenges. We have also proven a point that content will always remain the king. We continue to strive to produce innovative content.
The ‘Sidewall’ cartoon in our June/July 2016 issue speaks the truth with a tongue-in-cheek comment by the boss to the innovator who is engrossed in developing a novel tyre. “Your innovative concept is awesome…But an ‘Invisible Tyre’ is taking it a bit too far!’.
I’m not surprised at the boss who wants to see the next ‘big bang’ tyre coming out of the lab. His worry is to bring out the most innovative tyre at the shortest time to beat the competition.
We at Asian Business Media go for innovation all the time. We want to keep the readers abreast of developments in tyre technology, R&D, and market trends. We also keep them informed of developments for which we constantly tap into the knowledge-base of tyre and automotive researchers, market whiz kids etc. To a large extend we are able to address the needs of our readers who are constantly looking at innovation and ideas.
As journalists, we also strive to uphold the ethical tradition of our craft. The late editor of The Guardian newspaper CP Scott had given this dictum which all ethical journalists follow to a T. “Comment is free, but facts are sacred.”  Credibility is the critical factor that has taken all our three publications to this level of success.
As we vigorously pursue this goal to provide authentic and credible information to our readers, we are also aware of the competition from the cyberspace. Although we have a dynamic presence on the digital space and social media, we also nurture our print magazine with due care.
Readers can always access our magazines on the web but most of them still want to feel the glossy pages and the smell of ink. There is also a sense of immediacy in seeing the advertisement in print where the reader can relate to the message more intimately.
Advertising is the oxygen for the media – both print and digital. It is advertising revenue that drives the quality and range of the content. It sustains the publication, which is the platform for interaction, learning and exchange of knowledge.
Even in the modern networked information economy, the role of advertising is vital. QR codes on the magazine’s printed page have proven to be an effective bridge between print and the web. Scanned with a smartphone, the code guides the reader to the homepage of the advertiser.
Unique advantage
Despite all these digital sophistication, print media advertising has its own unique advantage. It is ageless and rewarding. It has a definite competitive advantage over online. For brand building, magazine advertising offers credibility and more bang for the buck. It offers a completely immersive experience.
Those who completely migrated to web advertising have realised that having a presence in print is more effective in terms of exposure and cost effectiveness. There is realisation about the limited scope to digitally reimagine the brand value attempts.
There are many advantages that the print media has over the digital space. The most important is tangibility as the printed ad gives a ‘physical’ feeling and it has higher ‘longevity’.
In spite of the hype of Internet’s global presence, the print ad offers a sense of trust and legitimacy. The population of those who abhor webpage’s popups and banner ads would prefer to see print ads physically. They need not fear spam and viruses.
Advertisers are also aware that the best way to reach their targeted audience is through print media campaign. Advertisers love print ads because of the sense of immediacy that they offer through design, fonts, colours and layout that enhance brand recognition.
Advertising in niche print publications give more value to the ad spend. It will also engage with consumers unlike websites where the attention span is less than 15 seconds. Research has shown that people read the text on website 20–30 per cent slower than print ad.
Another research on increase in purchase consideration/intent has shown that television accounted for a 30 per cent increase, while it was 13 per cent for online.  But dramatically, magazines represent a 56 per cent increase in purchase intent.
It shows that despite the crowded digital space, the dominance of the print continues as it offers stability, particularly when it comes to the readership figures of specialised magazines. These are less crowded and less suffocating unlike the digital market space.
Marketers realise that advertising in specialised publications will be more effective as they are clutter-free. They can sharply hit the target group to their marketing advantage and at often cheaper prices.

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