Newspapers Still Send Consumers To The Store

According to early data from MORI Research, announced by the Newspaper Association of America, 59% of adults identify newspapers as the medium they use for planning, shopping and purchase decisions, making newspapers the leading advertising medium cited by consumers for these activities.

NAA President and CEO, John Sturm, says "... while new technologies have their place in any total marketing program... newspaper advertising remains the most powerful tool for advertisers who want to motivate consumers to take action... "

In a series entitled "American Consumer Insights," early results indicate:

  • 73% of adults regularly or occasionally read newspaper inserts
  • 82% have been spurred to action by a newspaper insert in the past month

While 82% of those surveyed said they "took action" as a result of newspaper advertising, including:

  • Clipping a coupon (61%)
  • Buying something (50%)
  • Visiting Web sites to learn more (33%)
  • Trying something for the first time (27%)

Preliminary data also reveals that other media trailed well behind newspapers as the primary medium for checking advertising. The closest competitor, the Internet, trailed newspapers by 20 percentage points, direct mail gained a 14% response in the survey, and television was cited by only 8% of respondents.

Primary Medium for Checking Advertising (2009)


% of Respondents





Direct mail










None of these


Source: MORI Research/NAA, July 2009

MORI Research conducted this phone and Internet survey of more than 3,000 adults for the Newspaper Association of America representing the $47 billion newspaper industry and more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada

For more information from the NAA Press Center, please visit here.

19 comments about "Newspapers Still Send Consumers To The Store".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Deacon Webster from walrus, August 10, 2009 at 10:25 a.m.

    Why do I have trouble believing this?

  2. Jeannie Gibson, August 10, 2009 at 10:39 a.m.

    How were the 3,000 adults chosen for the survey?

  3. Jim Dugan from PipPops LLC, August 10, 2009 at 10:43 a.m.

    Looking Ahead ~

    According to this data provided by the NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (might be part of your trouble Deacon), BUT combined with other true data:

    -the want/need for local info,
    -the problems newspapers are having staying in business,
    -the percentages of what people are searching for/using from the newspapers and,
    -the advance in mobile technology,

    will lead to/is leading to, the demise of many of the newspapers for a number of reason, including costs, reduced local advertising and more,

    will result in/is resulting in, the consumers relying more and more on their mobile devices for local news, e-money coupons, and assisting them in making instant buying decisions at the point of purchase.

    This isn't just an opinion. It's happening.

  4. Debbie Coffee from WHTM-TV, August 10, 2009 at 11:20 a.m.

    I'd like to know exactly how the question was asked. I would agree people don't watch TV, as an example, as their "primary medium of checking advertising", but that doesn't mean they don't still get and respond to the info they see/hear while watching for news/entertainment purposes! It isn't possible to purposely "check" advertising in say TV or radio, so of course those mediums would rate low when the question is asked that way. People don't go to the web to look for advertising, but they still see it when they go! Research like this is only as good as how the questions are asked!

  5. John Cowan from Crosshair Marketing, August 10, 2009 at 11:21 a.m.

    OK, so 73% of people may"occasionally"read newspaper or inserts. That's probably right. So, wouldn't it stand to reason that Newspapers would have the highest number of respondents?

    Level the playing field and get a random sample of people who have been exposed to all of these mediums for one campain for a more accurate comparrison.

    On a typical Direct Mail project, a small fraction of targeted households are generally mailed verses a typical 50% of the population that might be exposed to a local newspaper daily. The overwelming numbers would always give newspapers the edge.

  6. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 10, 2009 at 11:22 a.m.

    Thoroughly get why getting research from a self serving organization may be questionable. However, when one is reading the newspaper in all its glory of a full page, one sees more than one item. 20" x 10.5" vs a teeny tiny little screen let alone the depth and breath of a computer page. The broadsheet or even a tab format gives the reader an opportunity to open their optical ability to see a larger variety of ads as well as articles they probably may never have seen otherwise. Thus, the increased response rate - ya' know about it before ya' buy it. Then there is habit. A whole bunch of coupons in one place they don't have to print out (wth some markets not accepting some) even though one does not use the majority. It is also faster that going through individual websites or all of the different cooupon sites. Odds have it, someone just might find a product they would not have purchased it they were finely targeted. So with the shrinking of the newspaper industry, no wonder advertisers are shakier.

  7. Chandler Howell from Toba, August 10, 2009 at 12:16 p.m.

    Rare is the audience that only uses one medium for communication. Thinking that "newspapers" are ineffective or not cost effective in reaching an audience is - wrong. And this is coming from an online advocate.

    1 - Almost every audience uses multiple channels; TV, print, online, and all their variations. Communicators need to know the benefits of each. To believe one channel is always the best... well, I guess you'd think your child is better looking than mine too. This negativity in comments over the report is baffling.

    2 - 3,000 marketing messages a day. How can the average person get than many from just one outlet? The best campaigns are those that utilize and integrate the many outlets.

    3 - Fact: many non-communication professionals read online newspapers regularly, but might answer a survey thinking "newspaper" included those too. And why shouldn't they?

    I recently ran a test online newspaper coupon campaign in a few markets (ironic – I only did the online portion). Had almost 10% interaction rates with an outstanding 1% download conversion (not 0.1, but 1%). When the client was comparing the results, they compared the outlet brands, not the channel (“how come SacBee online did better than HuffintonPost print?”). That's the type of questions I like to get from clients: forget the silo - look at the campaign dollar.

  8. Grant Bergman from •, August 10, 2009 at 12:17 p.m.

    My disbelief meter pegs at this statement: "59% of adults identify newspapers as THE medium they use for planning, shopping and purchase decisions."

    I can believe they identify newspapers as "A" medium.

  9. Dyann Espinosa, August 10, 2009 at 3:32 p.m.

    I agree with @debbiecoffee that how the question was asked is key and who the 3,000 people were (phone survey/in person?) makes a difference.
    Secondly, in the phrase "the medium they use for planning, shopping and purchase decisions," I think the word planning is a clue to why newspapers were selected. It's impossible to "plan" by watching TV, listening to the radio. But in my observation and through anecdotal experience, people are turning in droves to the Internet to find products, find reviews, get the best deals and then order what they want (some of this search includes visiting news sites)
    I want newspapers to stay in business, but the reality is that people's habits are changing.

  10. Kathy Broniecki from Envoy, Inc., August 10, 2009 at 5:03 p.m.

    I second what Chandler Howell says - it is about media integration. In my experience from marketing for a CPG, newspaper FSI still net the highest redemption and are effective as a mass coupon vehicle.

  11. Mark Leevan from, August 10, 2009 at 5:35 p.m.

    Oh come on.

    MORI is a long-time well-respected research company. They aren't going to screw this up.

    Sheesh. I guess all the skeptics prefer friends and focus group research.

    Of course NAA is cherry picking. But if you really care, I bet they would be glad to share the research with you (or contact your local newspaper Advertising Director / CMO)

  12. Lockwood Phillips from Carteret County News-Times, August 10, 2009 at 6:46 p.m.

    Full disclosure here...I'm a newspaper publisher BUT...there is reason to believe the NAA report. Remember Tip O'Neill's admonition- All Politics is Local. The same holds true for business -All business relationships are predominantly local. Therefore- inserts in the LOCAL NEWSPAPER carry more relational data than the internet which lacks the feel of local.

    This is not to diminish the internet...but it strengthens the concept of local branding which newspapers, particularly LOCAL NEWSPAPERS can and are doing.

    That branding and the tangible aspects of the product (inserts/pre-prints) create a branding for the advertiser as well and a tactile relationship (the reader is holding a product with the advertiser's name on the outside and throughout the publication). And while that reader looks through the insert there is little interference from other advertisers, no pop-ups no distractions...all eyes are on that particular advertisers publication.

    A LOCAL BRAND whether it's a local store or a national chain is strengthened by a local connection and there is no better Local Brand than a Local Newspaper.

    When the local grocery store goes out of business and all our fresh and local foods are delivered by courier or the USPS then we can re-think the concept of local and the future of print advertising - especially newspapers with the name of the local community in it's title.

  13. Jeff Fleming from Duncan McIntosh, August 10, 2009 at 7:49 p.m.

    Newspapers make it easy for consumers, most of whom, shop locally - not globally. Newspapers deliver a huge variety of business selling wares, from groceries, cars, homes, clothes, tires, etc. in one, easy to find, easy to 'navigate' inexpensive product- and the coupons comes 'pre-printed.'

  14. Scott Mackenzie from WNZF Radio, August 10, 2009 at 8:24 p.m.

    The only survey that really counts for anything is what the cash register says! I've met plenty of retailers who said print did nothing for them.

  15. Pavan Chawla from, August 11, 2009 at 1:30 a.m.

    This survey makes a lot of sense. My gut tells me newspaper ads, by virtue of providing space for product details, can really help drive sampling for new products. However, it would be great if the survey could actually pinpoint what kind of goods and services received bigger footfalls than other media - first, in two main groups: New and Existing goods and services, and the categories therein.

  16. Ray Donnelly from O2 IDEAS, August 11, 2009 at 11:22 a.m.

    I find it curious that the release didn't provide the demographic age ranges of the respondents. The results are probably true for the 45+ readers of newspapers. How about releasing the statistics?

  17. Neil Brown from brownchild ltd inc, August 11, 2009 at 2:24 p.m.

    Sadly it is 59% of an ever decreasing number, Also cost of production for FSI's regardless of redemption is higher than DM or just about any other medium

  18. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 11, 2009 at 6:08 p.m.

    Can't tell you how many times businesses would tell me newspapers don't work and then I saw what they did or didn't do. It was usually one or a combination of running a teeny space a couple of times, lousy copy, wondering why people were not going out of their way for 5% off and other such examples. If they would not invest enough and expect a line out the door, I would tell them to take their wife out to dinner. At least one person would be happy. And you all know, every media outlet can have their own examples.

  19. Randy Novak from NSA Media, August 11, 2009 at 6:19 p.m.

    A couple answers to questions posed... first the study was both phone and online; and the adults for this study were 18+... rather than make assumptions I contacted the NAA directly for verification. Now for the rest of the story... yes newspapers have suffered some hits recently, but let's not lose sight of what matters most to advertisers and consumers. First, newspapers drive sales to stores, traffic to web sites and most importantly, move product. Yes ROI could be better, but you can say that about any medium. Second, consumers view newspaper advertising as "content." That is not the case in radio, TV or online, where people do what they can to avoid ads at all costs. There is an unwarranted bias among many in the industry against newspapers (as is evidenced by the posts) because they are deemed to be only read by 45+ (not true.) Yes, the audience skews slightly older, but it is a quality audience... and in the end, isn't that what we as marketers are looking for?

Next story loading loading..