Today, neither digital variants nor retailers' customer apps can match the reach of print advertising brochures.
Some companies in the retail industry have caused turbulence regarding their print media decisions for dialog marketing in 2022. Accordingly, home improvement retailer OBI and grocery store REWE announced plans to do away with printed advertising brochures
from July 2022 and July 2023, respectively. Meanwhile, the Schwarz Group plans to take over the Stora Enso paper mill
in Karlsruhe and, with Kaufland and Lidl, will presumably continue to rely on printed trade advertising.
Worthwhile print advertising media
Even if just such news leaves irritation in the print industry – the German advertising market has recovered after the pandemic-related declines. According to Deutsche Post's Dialog Marketing Monitor 2022, the advertising market grew by 6 percent to 41.8 billion Euro in 2021 compared with 2020 – that's the conclusion of a survey of around 1,500 marketing decision-makers on their advertising activities and advertising budgets in 2021 by the market research institute Statista Q.
Key drivers are spending on dialog media (online marketing, print mailings and telemarketing), with an increase of 8 percent to 22 billion Euro. Retailers in particular continue to invest particularly heavily in print advertising media. Overall, (fully, partially and unaddressed) advertising mailings recorded spending of 5.9 billion euros, giving them a 14 percent share of the advertising market.
Important for purchase decisions
Fully addressed print mailings
are particularly important for advertising to existing customers. At present, nine out of ten companies that use such advertising mailings address their regular customers directly, according to Dialog Marketing Monitor 2022.
Furthermore, a survey of 1500 (private) persons shows that advertising mailings offer a high attention value. 49 percent of households receive a direct mail item in their mailbox once a week, and another 26 percent once or several times a week. Eight out of ten people at least browse through direct mail addressed to them, around six out of ten "study" it more intensively, and every second person takes the content into account when making a purchase decision. Almost two-thirds of personally addressed mailings are also read by other people in the household.
Consolidation in advertising supplements
Nevertheless, the market volume for printed advertising brochures and advertising inserts continues to decline, analyzes a white paper from the Hamburg-based consultancy Apenberg & Partner. According to data from the Federal Statistical Office, the sales value achieved for these print advertising media decreased from 2.19 billion (2019) to 1.89 billion (2020) and 1.79 billion (2022) Euro.
In Germany alone, experts estimate that around 28 billion advertising brochures are distributed each year. Of these, the Media Central company controls 9.1 billion copies with offers from Bauhaus, Edeka, Netto, Penny, REWE, Rossmann and Toom, among others. At the same time, Deutsche Post reaches up to 20 million households out of a total of around 40 million in Germany every week with 1.1 billion copies of "Einkauf aktuell". Similarly, Aldi, dm, Kaufland, Lidl and Müller each put one billion copies in mailboxes every year.
Reach through print marketing
Likewise, the retailers' offers are also available on various digital platforms – "kaufDA" and "MeinProspekt" from Bonial International are said to have 10 million users in Germany. In addition, digital advertising brochures are part of the customer apps operated by the retailers. The number of downloads is said to be between one and seven million in each case. The exception is the Lidl app with 21 million downloads in Germany (50 million including abroad).
Overall, the reach of printed advertising brochures is considerably higher than that of the digital variants, and even the retailers' customer apps cannot keep up with the spread of print advertising media. To maintain this status quo, advertising budgets must now be increased so that the greater increase in the cost of print advertising media is compensated for.