With everything going digital, printed materials offer some distinct advantages. A number of studies have been conducted over the past few years showing that when it comes to emotional impact and memorability, print beats digital.
A study conducted in 2015 by TrueImpact, a Canadian neuromarketing firm, compared the effects of direct mail marketing with email and display ads. According to the report:
"Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media (5.15 vs. 6.37), suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable. […] When asked to cite the brand (company name) of an advertisement they had just seen, recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to a direct mail piece (75%) than a digital ad (44%)."
Another revealing study was conducted by Bagnor University and Millward Brown, a branding agency, in 2009. They used fMRI to study the effects of paper and digital media. Some key takeaways, according to Forbes, included:
- "Physical material is more “real” to the brain. It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks.
- Physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations.
- Physical materials produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater “internalization” of the ads."
So what does this mean for your business?
Your branding efforts should include a mix of digital and printed materials. Digital should not replace print; they should work together. Put together some well-designed print materials that leave an impact of your brand, such as business cards, letterhead, brochures, envelopes or direct-mail postcards.