Digital marketing, digital advertising, digital media, and digital jargons – they are everywhere, and it’s all we hear about these days. We’re now residing in a digital world where only websites, social media, and apps matter.
Books are now in downloadable forms. Even dictionaries come in app forms too. When was the last time you held a physical copy of your holiday photos? It all boils down to the question – do printed materials still matter, especially in marketing?
The answer is a big “yes.” There’s no need to rule out print yet. As a matter of fact, it could be your best weapon in a marketing world dominated by digitization and screens.
Digital mediums could be a fashionable choice among businesses who want to deploy their marketing dollars. As members of the digital culture, we always fall into the belief that new things are much better than older ones. But not so fast, because facts are singing different tunes.
What Neuroscience Has to Say
According to the study conducted by TrueImpact, a neuromarketing agency, and Canada Post, print media offers a gamut of benefits over digital media to marketers. The study also claims that print materials, such as direct mail, require 21% less cognitive effort to process, when compared to digital media.
A printed material is a more powerful and persuasive moderator of action, which elicits a positive response that is 20% higher compared to its digital equivalents. Hence, print materials are more memorable and easier to understand, when compared to other mediums.
These are just a few of the tremendous results that exhibit the unique benefits of print. Notwithstanding the fact that we live in a digital era, science proves that analog marketing methods such as affordable business cards and direct mail still provide significant value to achieve your marketing objectives.
The Younger Generation (a.k.a. Millennials) Favors Print Over Digital
It is without a doubt that Millennials are the digital generation, but it doesn’t mean that digital channels are the best route to reach them. It’s easy to get waylaid with deep thoughts on how Millennials consume, access, and engage with information, but it’s far more valuable to consider why.
When it comes to brand relationships, Millennials appraise legitimacy, authenticity, and connection. Millennials feel that physical media, like letters and cards, make them feel more connected to what they read and see, and it isn’t hard to understand why.
Holding something in your hands satisfies your sense of touch in a way that digital media cannot, which renders a sense of authenticity and legitimacy that anyone can value.
Print is “New” Again
Online content and social media are all familiar parts of the modern marketing concoction, but they have lost much of the novelty that leveraged their rise in the digital platform. Now completely “regular,” marketers can no longer depend alone on the “newness” of online contents and social platforms to engage and excite the audience.
In this case, print media becomes the new “new” with marketing audiences. Physical media is quickly becoming the new source of exciting novelty. And marketers can rely upon it to draw the attention of their audiences and drive engagement.
Of course, the reliance on the nature of print media alone is not enough to achieve your marketing objectives. Print has noticeable strengths, but you cannot expect to inspire your audience if you don’t utilize it properly.
It Draws Massive Attention
A study conducted by branding agency Millward Brown and Bangor University demonstrates through comprehensive neuroscience that physical materials like print media possess a unique quality.
Messages that are tangible and exist in space create a deeper and more memorable experience than intangible alternatives. Check out further examples below.
- Physical materials render a solid message to the brain. Physical materials such as newspapers, cheap business cards, and letters create better memories because they engage with “spacial” memory networks.
- Physical material employs more emotional processing, which is important for brand associations and memory.
- Physical materials generate more responses from the brain that connect to internal feelings, which drive more internalization from the person who sees or reads the content.
Print is Peaceful
Digital media is a strapping medium but can be mind-boggling as well. Online content always competes for your limited attention, which can be exhausting. For example, a simple act of reading an article on your phone can quickly escalate to pings, messages, alerts, emails, notifications, and alarms, all competing with each other for your constrained screen space.
Print does not do this. Printed collateral provides a mental oasis from the chaotic information that overwhelms your devices. This may help explain why print is gaining a popularity again in the digital age.
It Defies Trust Issues
Print crawls back to a reliable era before fake news becomes an endemic issue. A recent survey by Marketing Sherpa show that 82% of American consumers trust print ads, compared to only 25% who trust its digital equivalent (online pop-up ads).
Given these statistics, it stands to reason that utilizing print advertising it is an excellent way to build a robust relationship with a potential customer.
Studies also show that marketing campaigns that consumers can touch are more memorable than digital campaigns. Email marketing is great, but there’s just something special about receiving an actual letter that it can’t replicate.
Further studies reveal that 80% of consumers respond to post right away, while only 45% deal with emails immediately.
Print materials are better for your health. You’ve probably read some articles that warned of the dangers of excessive screen time. The effects that computers and mobile devices can have on your sleep, health, and social life are alarming. Even the most tech-friendly people know that dwelling too much on digital devices is not good for the health. Print business cards, letters, or flyers, and give your customers a good excuse to steer clear from the black mirror and spend five minutes reading in an old fashioned way.
It’s true that digital technology offers great opportunities when it comes to marketing, but it doesn’t mean that it should automatically replace everything that came before. Print is a powerful medium to drive engagement with your marketing materials, and should not be discounted.