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Print has ‘staying power,’ less audience segmentation

NEW YORK – Given that no media mix is a one-size-fits-all, for products in its early life cycle print “creates a ton of noise” and “lingers,” according to an industry veteran speaking here Association of Medical Media Educational Forum.

Santos Torres, Senior Director of Marketing, Bausch + Lomb, shared his thoughts on how and when to present to the customer print as a marketing option to the AMM audience.

“Remember first and foremost it is about the customer” and your awareness of where the customer’s product is in the life cycle, the challenges the customer is facing and their goals are key, Torres said.

“If [the customer] is launching a brand “of course they will utilize print as much as possible because it creates a ton of noise and the nice thing about print is it lingers. [Print] stays for a while.”

Each life cycle stage – launch, growth, maturity and declining – has different needs, Torres said. The launch stage typically has the highest budget and largest mix of media.

“When products are declining, you can go straight to digital. Why? … Think about Christmas time. By the time you are older, you got everything you need. It is just underwear and socks. … Same thing happens with a brand, but the challenge for the marketer is [their management] is expecting the same amount of revenue from the year before and they drop down your budget by 10%, 15% and you have to do the same amount. So, as a result it is a kitchen table issue. How do you get to the same amount of customers? Well, the only way you are going to do that is from a digital perspective,” Torres said.

“Print gives you a certain trust. When it is written it is hard to say ‘oh, that wasn’t true,’’ he said noting that print has additional advantages due to strong advertising recall, staying power and possibly more ecofriendly.

Torres said that print often has a strong alignment with reader interest and frequency.

Digital’s advantages are “reach and growth,” “cost and convenience,” “quicker and trackable,” and its shareability makes the chance of viralability greater.”

“Digital is quick and easy to pursue,” Torres said. “But [research shows] paper ads still are more engaging.”

Keeping product life cycle in mind “if you have a good blend [of digital and print], you will have success,” he said.

Following Torres, Jon Bigelow from the Coalition Healthcare Communications provided an update on FDA leadership and initiatives, and the effort to rein in drug prices.

David Reim, Chief Privacy Officer, DMD, gave an update on data privacy.

The Association of Medical Media Holiday Happy Hour will be on December 3 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Gem Saloon in New York City.

– Joan-Marie Stiglich, ELS


Torres S. Is print dead in light of digital media? Association of Medical Media Educational Forum. November 21, 2019. New York.

Disclosure: Stiglich is the Healio Chief Content Officer. She is a 25-year veteran of medical publishing and has been a Healio employee for the duration of her career.


Santos Torres
Bausch & Lomb