When you want someone to feel loved, you invest in things that matter to them and make them feel good. Customers are no exception. When it comes to marketing materials, that means providing print.

According to current research, information read in print is embedded more deeply in the brain, is more easily recalled, and is recalled more accurately. But buyers don’t love print because they remember things better (although marketers love it because they do). Buyers love it because it makes them feel good.

Take, for example, research by Toluna/Two Sides, who found that consumers view print as a preferred, most enjoyable to read format. According to the research, “Print and Paper in a Digital World,” consumers overwhelmingly found hard copy versions of books, magazines, and newspapers more enjoyable to read than their electronic alternatives. In fact, when it comes to books, the percentage citing preference for hard copy is up 6% from the previous year.

Furthermore, consumers view print as a more relaxing format to read, as well. Eighty-one percent of consumers cited print as making them feel more relaxed compared to 49% who say this about computer screens, 37% who say this about e-readers, and 30% who say this about smartphones.

Not only are electronic devices less preferred by consumers for relaxation and enjoyment, but Two Sides found that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of (and concerned about) the health effects of spending too much time on electronic devices. According to the survey:

  • 49% believe they spend too much time on electronic devices.
  • 53% are concerned the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health.
  • 71% believe in the importance of “switching off” and reading more in print.

The percentage who believe in the importance of “switching off” (71%) is up significantly, from 66% in 2017.

With this data, it is no surprise that print is more effective at catching people’s attention. Two Sides also discovered that people pay more attention to advertising when reading magazines in print (64% vs. 26% online). In fact, 66% of consumers say they can’t remember the last time they willingly clicked on an online ad. Nearly the same percentage (63%) say they do their best to block or avoid online ads.

The takeaway? If you love your customers, then love what they love. Digital communications have their place in the multichannel mix, but when it comes to “feeling the love,” it’s still very much about print.

Source: Print and Paper in a Digital World: International Survey of Consumer Preferences, Attitudes, and Trust (Two Sides/Toluna, 2017)