THE POWER OF PRINT
In a world of skip buttons and fast-forward icons, print media still has the power to strike curiosity in a reader and breathe life into a page. Moving through an evolution of formats and creative developments, print now acts as a bridge between the physical and digital advertising worlds. An essential piece of history, printed material continues to offer positive mental and bodily benefits in the present and will undoubtedly be a strong force of knowledge and storytelling preservation for future generations.
Although they appear to be wired directly to their devices, the youth of today are actually believed to hold the key to the revival of print media. 92% of 18-23 year olds surprisingly find it easier to read print over digital content1. Gen Z (those born between 1995 and 2012) still read magazines for about an hour every week2. In addition, 61% of Gen Z believe their peers would benefit from unplugging more3. Engaging with a physical page is a rewarding experience that benefits many aspects of our lives. Introducing print to our daily routine can greatly reduce monitor fatigue, also known as asthenopia, helping relieve strain on the eyes and mind4. Since the brain is not wired to handle staring at screens 24 hours a day, this balance is essential to a healthy lifestyle.
Along with the health benefits, print media also brings a feeling of security and reliability. Falling only second to television, print is highly trusted, more so than both websites and social media5. “When making purchasing decisions, consumers trust print advertisements 34% more than they trust search engine ads.”6 Avoiding spam and bots helps people feel confident that what they are reading is both factual and personal. The response rate for direct mail marketing is actually a shocking 37% higher than the email rate7. Local papers, coupons, and location-focused magazines are just a few examples of print marketing vehicles that are tailored to target people locally and fit in with their day-to-day lives. They provide a great opportunity to align brands with publications to reach a specific group of consumers. For this reason, direct mail can be particularly rewarding to advertisers. 79% of households say they read/scan direct mail, and 92% of young shoppers say they prefer direct mail for making purchasing decisions8.
Print media proves to be quite rewarding when it comes to how it is received in the brain, as well. The human memory is a remarkable system, and it has been proven to respond very positively to longer processing times. Since consumers don’t have the option to instinctively hit the “x” in the top right corner of a screen, printed materials achieve prolonged exposure at one price. People are actually more likely to remember an advertisement they saw in print a week longer than if they had seen it in digital form9. The ability of the consumer to recall the printed information at a later date creates longer lasting impressions and increases the likelihood that they will retain the story the ad is telling.
The best approach to advertising requires finding the right balance of both digital and print media. The future of advertising does not have to be a battle between the two, but a bridge. 44% of customers actually visit a brand’s website after receiving its direct mail10. This is an example of how the best success comes from playing off of each other’s strengths. The above points are just some of the reasons why print will continue to stay relevant in the future. We at Vision strive to not only build this bridge for our clients, but walk across it ourselves every day. Our penguins on the other hand…well, they prefer to fly.
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