While digital marketing has risen to extraordinary levels of use within advertising campaigns, print is still a highly effective medium for helping businesses reach their customers.
Neuroscientists who focus on the brain and its impact on cognitive functions have been conducting studies for a number of years on the effects of digital reading versus print. They have found a number of interesting facts that when applied to the world of marketing point towards the need to use a variety of mediums to ensure messages are being received.
In an article by Kerry Benson on BrainFacts.org, Lauren Singer Trakham, who studies reading comprehension, said “We read digital text more quickly, so we think we must understand it better. It’s one of the best parts of our digital world – everything is at our fingertips and we can get the headlines in a second – but it may also be one of the pitfalls. Everything’s so quick and accessible that we may not be truly digesting what we read anymore.”
Researchers have also found that people recall print ads better than digital ads. Mediaspace Solutions, a print and digital agency, said that while digital content is scanned quickly, paper-based reading is slower and more deliberate, leading to greater rates of comprehension and recall. This type of research has led neuroscientists to say that people are 70 per cent more likely to recall your brand after seeing it in print. Other studies have shown that 82 per cent of consumers report that they trust print ads in relation to other media.
In today’s world, this does not mean that you should abandon other mediums or platforms. Digital marketing channels provide an excellent opportunity to reach people quickly and when they are on the go. They are also able to provide you with a wealth of analytics that help you make informed decisions about your strategies.
The caution here is not to underestimate print. There are four basic reasons why print should play a part of your overall marketing mix. 1) Better memory. 2) Better focus, less distraction. 3) Multi-sensory experience. 4) Neural activity.
As always, it is finding the right balance between mediums that will give you the greatest reach of your target groups. Perhaps the most important thing to remember from all the research and studies is that consumers are more focused, more engaged when reading print content. This means you have to be really creative about the content of your print ads to ensure they give you the greatest ROI when used in conjunction with other media in your marketing mix.
Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org