Study Shows Circulars Still Most Impactful Ad Medium For Retail

Despite the increased attention to digital marketing, recent research shows that traditional mediums such as inserts and circulars are among the most impactful advertising mediums for retailers. According to the recently released Vertis Customer Focus 2008: Retail Study, 47% of Americans cited inserts and circulars as the most effective advertising methods that capture their attention, an increase of 9% over a similar study conducted five years ago.

The study, conducted by direct marketing solutions provider Vertis Communications, also found that consumers use inserts and circulars for more than price comparisons. More than 50% of the respondents indicated they said they read the printed advertising pieces for help in preparing shopping lists for future store trips, browsing for new products or styles and clipping coupons. Additionally, 45% of respondents use inserts to look for recipes, while 37% claimed they help steer shopping trips the same day they read the insert.

“This research proves advertising inserts and circulars are a valuable marketing tool, even in a day and age when consumers are constantly being bombarded by marketing messages,” said Scott Marden, director of marketing research for Vertis Communications. “The fact that inserts and circulars are more efficient at capturing consumers’ mind share than television, radio, display advertising and any other medium is clear indication that savvy marketers should take advantage of the shift to drive greater ROI.”  

While new mediums are grabbing increased share of budgets, Only 9% of respondents selected the Internet as the most influential medium, and e-mail advertising was the least popular choice, selected by a mere 1% of respondents.


TV advertising continued to represent a dominant medium, with 43% of respondents indicating TV was their top influencer, that figure represented a 10% decline over the results from the same period five years prior. Newspaper advertising also declined as a top attention grabber, with only 38% selecting that medium, compared with 45% in 2003.

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