Why Marketers Still Love Print

There’s a reason why marketers still love print. Despite the stunning advancements in digital communications, print still has a uniquely powerful role in marketing today. You don’t just have to take our word for it – there’s scientific research to back it up. We talk about this all the time with digital printing, it provides plenty of convenience, interactivity, and other positives, but print’s greatest power is in ensuring the message is seen and truly remembered.

  • Reading on a page (rather than on a digital screen) boosts reading comprehension. For marketers, this means a better understanding of their brand’s messaging and a higher likelihood of persuasion.
  • Print requires less effort to focus on, or reduced cognitive load. Instead of being distracted by multiple extraneous elements on a digital screen, print keeps the attention on just one item and one message, leading to better focus and recall.
  • Print correlates with stronger recall and emotional connection, in part due to its multisensory approach. Unlike digital media, print can take a tactile, physical approach, which has been demonstrated to create deeper senses of connection and memory.

 

Research Supports What Print Can Do

The benefits of print marketing have been highlighted with multiple studies on print and digital media, reading comprehension, and more.

 

A 2023 study published in the journal PLosOne found that screen reading leads to greater cognitive load – or challenges in focusing on a task at hand – and reduced attention than reading physical print. From a neurobiological perspective, the study compared measured brain activity in certain regions of the brain during both screen and print reading. The result? Print was seen to be better at activating higher-level frequency brain activity, which in turn is connected to better attention and focus.

 

Another study from the University of Valencia compared print and digital leisure reading habits. This study found a minimal relationship between reading comprehension and digital reading, but a significant and distinctly positive relationship between comprehension and physical print reading. In fact, the researchers found that readers may have six to eight times the reading comprehension when they use print than if they read for the same amount of time on digital devices.

 

The connection between positive outcomes and print (and potentially negative outcomes and digital) isn’t news. A 2014 study from the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand found that increased digital use for reading led to an increased amount of reading on a broad level, but it also caused changes in readers’ patience, increased skimming, more multitasking, distraction, and eye strain.

 

Savvy marketers in today’s world know that print and digital are at their most powerful when they work together, creating an immersive and integrated marketing experience. Technology like augmented reality, personalized URLs, QR codes, and more can blend digital “wow” moments with classic, tactile print experiences. It’s the best of both: personalized and interactivity from digital, attention-grabbing and recall-building from print.

 

Lithographics is here to help you navigate every aspect of marketing – print and digital combined! We’re one of the top printing companies in Nashville, but we serve customers all across the United States. With our innovative thinking, exceptional team of experts, and wide range of technology and solutions, we offer endless possibilities to ensure your brand’s message hits the mark every time.