In the battle of print vs. digital, one benefit of print advertising is the fact that people retain more information when they read print materials when compared to digital copy, videos, and audio. The compelling effect that reading print has on memory can serve businesses who are looking to expand their consumer base and develop brand awareness.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, instruction for public schools and universities changed. Many educators had to lean on digital mediums more than ever before. What they found as a result, was that students struggled with retaining information. This was reflected in grades—particularly with quizzes and tests.
There has been quite a bit of research devoted to studying the effect reading print has on our memory when compared to digital reading and audio/visual learning tools. In the book, “How We Read Now” written by a professor of linguistics, the topic of learning, retention, and comprehension of print and digital was explored in greater detail.
Some of the key findings of this book include:
- Test scores of students reading print when compared to digital are significantly higher
- Discerning the main concepts of printed text is easier than with digital
- Making inferences from printed text is more accurate than digital
- Recalling the details of text is more common with print over digital
- Test scores tend to be higher when tests are administered on paper rather than computers or tablets
Why Reading Comprehension and Retention is Higher on Paper
There are a few theories as to why comprehension and retention are better with print materials. The first reason is that printed materials are tangible. We can touch them. The tactile aspect to reading in print seems to trigger brain activity that allows for more comprehension and retention. Another reason that print yields better academic results is the fact that human beings have been conditioned to approach computers, screens, and tablets with a mindset more oriented for casual entertainment. Decades of using televisions, computers, and tablets for leisurely activities like watching sitcoms and movies, surfing the web, and interacting on social media has an effect on how we absorb information in the digital space.
Developing Print Advertising Campaigns with Pel Hughes
While there’s a need and a place for digital marketing, it is wise to implement results-driven print advertising campaigns into your business. One way to tap into new markets and boost sales is to invest in a direct mail campaign. Direct mail has a powerful effect on consumers and makes integrating your digital advertising with print very easy.
Direct mail offers a higher ROI than e-mail marketing and social media advertising. Consumers of all age groups see direct mail as trustworthy. The research behind the powerful effect print among students carries over into advertising. Direct mail campaigns can help business owners connect with targeted consumer groups, increase brand awareness, and drive interest to their website and social media.