Despite what you may think, print isn’t dead… and it isn’t dying, either. There’s no denying that brands have more opportunities to engage with consumers in the digital space. But magazines and print media are still effective marketing channels and aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, they are over 300 years old (that’s older than the Declaration of Independence).

girl reading a book

The science of memory retention

To the average person, the main difference between digital and print is the page-flipping experience, or lack thereof. I’m sure you know many people who still insist on reading hard-copy books instead of using an e-reader such as a Kindle.

But there are also scientific reasons why people prefer print. When you read printed materials, you are more likely to retain the information. In a study performed in Canada, subjects who read paper materials were 70 percent more likely to recall the brand name, versus 44 percent for digital ads.

charts on white background

It certainly makes sense that people are more easily distracted when using digital devices because there are so many competing messages. Think about it. When you are reading something online, you often get distracted by ads, links to other stories or incoming messages on your phone. Whether you know it or not, you aren’t fully concentrated on what you are reading.

For marketers, this means that you must be very conscious of the fact that your reader will only be retaining about 44 percent of your digital content. The solution? Create content suited for short attention spans – visually appealing, quick and interesting.

millennial trying to read a magazine

A time and place for both

According to Forbes, “Digital, however, does offer its own huge advantages, including instantaneous access, localization, power personalization and targeting, audio and video, and more… Marketers should take advantage of the unique properties of both paper and digital.”

Digital and print are both effective ways to distribute your brand’s message, but make sure you are putting the right content in the right place. And most importantly, always focus on quality over quantity because subpar work will be quickly forgotten by consumers.

Want to know which channel is right for reaching your target audience? Read our blog post on the Evolution of Marketing Channels.

Melanie Voisey

Author Melanie Voisey

Melanie is an Account Executive at InQuest Marketing. She works with clients to bring their big ideas to life and solve their challenges. Her favorite thing about the agency is the fact that it is full-service and she gets to learn about many different facets of marketing. Her hobbies include yoga and her dog, and if she could have any superpower it would be bilocation (the ability to be two places at once).

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