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Print Vs. Digital Media: Which is Better for Brand Recall?

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

brand recall blog

Some marketers compare the introduction of digital media to the California gold rush of the mid-19th century.

Around 1850, the discovery of gold in the Sacramento Valley led to a flood of more than 100,000 visitors to California - all intent on striking it rich. While some did achieve success (more than $2 Billion in gold was mined during the rush), a majority of visitors went home in debt. After all, mining isn't cheap and only a select few actually hit the payload.

Sadly, these gold prospectors neglected to see the other opportunities right in front of them - for example, the industrial revolution - in a domed attempt to pursue the shiny allure of gold.

The same can be said about the debate between digital and print marketing. Digital is the shiny, new investment and marketers and business owners are feverish to invest thousands of dollars into digital marketing strategies. Much like prospectors in the 1850's, they are neglecting to look at the facts - that a good portion of their budget would be better spent on print media.

Let's take a look at some of those facts...

Which is Better for Brand Recall?

In an article published by Forbes, a study performed by a neuromarketing firm compared the effects of paper marketing and digital marketing.

For the study, they used eye-tracking technology, EEG scans, and personal questionnaires to measure comprehension, motivation/persuasiveness, and how long subjects engaged with the content.

Their discoveries were quite convincing. The scientist found:

  • Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort than digital media

  • Print media is easier to understand & more memorable

  • Brand recall was 70% higher for print media

Why is Print Media So Effective?

One of the reasons why print media is so effective for consumer brand recall is that it incorporates the use of multiple senses. Instead of just reading a message on a screen, your skin cells are exploring the surface of the paper and taking in an abundance of information. You're getting a feel for the texture, weight, shape, and even the smell of the paper.

Together, all of the elements help consumers remember a brand's message weeks, or even months, after it has been taken in.

Print is Easier to Comprehend

When you're reading on a digital device, you are often interrupted by notifications for emails, texts, social media updates, and apps. Just a single interruption can knock you out of the focus zone - and it can take more than 20-minutes to get re-focused.

On the other hand, paper is analog. Distractions are eliminated entirely.

So what does this mean for marketing?

The fact that paper is a better medium for learning also translates to the advertising world. Think about it - if you can capture your reader's attention and enhance how well they comprehend our message, they're much more likely to invest in your business.

In fact, print has an approximate response rate of 9% while digital advertising has an average response rate of about 1% or less.

If you are intrigued by the the idea of print media and would like to leverage the Power of Print, Brand It Graphix can help. Call us today and let us supercharge your next print media campaign.

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