Newspaper Inserts Still Drive Sales

The newspaper industry might be stuck in a downward spiral, but a new survey by marketing giant Valassis finds that its advertising inserts are still proving remarkably effective.

According to the Facebook-based survey (we’ll get back to THAT in a moment):

  • Nearly 60% of newspaper insert users said they bought a product or service in direct response to seeing it in an insert
  • 30% said they did online research about a product they saw in an insert within 30 days of seeing the ad
  • 76% said inserts are one of the big reasons they get the newspaper.

Where to begin. Perhaps with the lax criteria and opaque methodology inherent in most social-media surveys.

First, without knowing how many were polled, the percentages don’t tell us very much. Then, too, we are presented with the tautology found in the first statistic: 60% of newspaper insert users buy something advertised in inserts. In other words, insert users use inserts. Finally, inserts are one of the big reasons newspapers are purchased – out of how many main reasons?

In light of the recent regulatory tussle Valassis has encountered with the newspaper industry over discounts its managed to wrangle for its direct-mail clients, the whole thing feels like an olive branch, and a spindly one at that.

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