Death of the Free Standing Insert (FSI) – The Print Cliff is Here
Print is dead. Three years ago when I said that, the reaction was swift and furious. Print has a long way to go most would say. Many would also add that they love to read the paper, preferring it over electronic versions. I get it, so do I. There is nothing better than a Sunday morning, nice cup of joe and a New York Times.
Early last year I was at a meeting with some folks in the media industry that use newspapers to distribute Free Standing Inserts (FSI’s). Once they showed up (45 minutes late) we had a discussion about social content. At some point in the meeting I inquired as to their plan for distribution once newspapers went away. They all looked at me like I had three heads.
“People have been saying that for 15 years,” one executive remarked, and besides, we have an iPad app. The reality is something quite different. Newspaper readership is off, way off and so is ad revenue. In fact, Google now sells more ads than the ENTIRE print industry. There are no, I repeat no profitable newspapers. The economic reality is closing in, but perhaps the most crushing fact is that the content of the paper has already been consumed by the time it reaches the reader’s driveway, hotel room or office desk. Ironically, the FSI is in fact the only thing keeping the industry afloat.
Just a few short years from now we will collectively scratch our heads and wonder why we cut down trees, made paper, ran it through a press, loaded it on a truck, transferred it to a delivery person to bring people news that was at best 18 hours old.
So where will brand and retailers turn to get new product and promotional information to consumers, a media marketplace worth over 15 billion dollars when counting FSI’s and weekly circulars. A multitude of online coupon sites, apps and digital offer delivery schemes of all types have taken some of the slack but in reality, FSI’s grew 2.2% in 2012, marketer’s seem to be signaling there are not many other viable options.
From Courtney Velasquez of Detroit Mommies
We believe that social offers a powerful answer. In fact, it’s a quite superior because amazing content and user experiences can be coupled with offers and promotions. The key is creating various types of social content at scale that can be used across various social and digital platforms. Our Social Fabric platform is a media production, aggregation and syndication engine that delivers the same attributes as a printed promotional piece with far superior results at a significant price advantage.
Additionally, added long-tail benefits of delivering measurable share of voice increases along with organic, content driven SEO benefits. At scale, these activities drive all the traditional components of the purchase funnel awareness, consideration, conversion and loyalty. It’s time to focus media investments where people are you know, consuming media, unless your customers are all in the waste management business.