LONDON: Advertisers who are cutting back on newspaper advertising are less effective, according to new research which claims the pendulum has swung too far towards digital advertising.

A study by effectiveness consultancy Benchmarketing for Newsworks, the marketing body for national newspapers, was based on a meta-analysis of 500 campaigns over the past five years across six categories and concluded that advertising with newspapers increases overall revenue return on investment (RROI) by three times.

Not only that, but it also makes other media more effective – television two times more and online display four times more.

Warc Media Awards

Warc's Media Awards recognise comms planning which has made a positive impact on business results. Find out more and enter.

On a sector by sector basis, the research found that adding newspapers to a campaign increased effectiveness by 5.7 times for finance; three times for travel; 2.8 times for retail; 1.7 times for automotive; and 1.2 times for FMCG.

Presenting the data at the Newsworks Effectiveness Summit in London, Sally Dickerson, managing director of Benchmarketing, highlighted how some categories are significantly underspending on print.

The analysis suggested, for example, that a typical finance brand should be allocating 21% of its spending to print newsbrands for maximum campaign effect, but in 2015 the figure was just 8%.

For supermarkets with a typical spend of £40m, around 27% ought to be earmarked for print newsbrands, but the actual figure last year was 16.5%.

Dickerson suggested that search and online display had grown too much and that the spending pendulum should really be swinging back to 2013 levels.

One outcome of the Benchmarketing study – which forms one part of a "triangulation" approach that also takes in studies on business effectiveness and brand health – has been the creation of an ROI optimiser tool to help media planners establish the ideal proportion of any given budget that should be invested in print newsbrands.

Rufus Olins, CEO, Newsworks, said: "It is clear that newspaper brands boost other media as well as performing a powerful role in their own right.

"Running a campaign without newspapers is like trying to bake a cake without baking powder," he added.

Data sourced from Newsworks; additional content by Warc staff