If you’re thinking that all signs point to a digital-filled future of marketing, think again. Print is not dead.

In an effort to examine whether digital or print mail advertising was most effective, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) commissioned Temple University to conduct a study, “Tuned in: The Brain’s Response to Ad Sequencing”.

The study was conducted in two phases. During the first two-weeks participants were asked to review identical ads in both digital and print formats. In the second phase, the participants’ brain activity was recorded using magnetic resonance imaging while viewing identical ads along with associated products.

The results were startling to many. Although participants absorbed about the same amount of information from both print and digital, print still came out ahead.

Four strong reasons print marketing provides greater benefits than digital 

  1. Print ads engaged participants longer than digital.
  2. One week after the study, participants remembered the print ads more.
  3. There was a greater emotional response for print ads than digital.
  4. Physical ads stimulated the parts of the brain associated with value and desire.

It makes sense when you think about it.

“If you can see it, hear it, feel it, taste it, touch it, or smell it, you can be present with it.” – Leonard Jacobson

Of course, successful marketing depends on what you are selling and how your target audience prefers to be contacted with information, promotions and advertising.

According to several past studies, the majority of purchasing decisions are made with their emotional system rather than their factual, thinking system. While product specs and features are important, how a consumer “feels” when viewing or considering a purchase is actually more critical to the sale. Print allows the prospective customer to review details more slowly and carefully, and gives them time to daydream and envision themselves using the product.

Consider these guidelines when planning your next campaign

  • Print over digital for products like high-end clothing, luxury items and other products that are selected emotionally.
  • When marketing large SKUs of merchandise, digital provides the best format for quick views, comparisons and narrowing down the selections.
  • One of the study’s most important finding was that the subjects’ “willingness to pay” was higher when both digital and physical advertising were in play.
  • Convincing print ads can push consumers toward digital purchases. If you have the budget to use both, integrated campaigns will likely be the most effective.

Coming soon — A new marketing twist

If you’ve not yet heard about the U.S. Postal Service’s newest program, “Informed Delivery”, brace yourself. Already being offered in a few select markets, Informed Delivery is a program where users receive a daily digital notification in an email or app that shows the content that will be later placed in their mailbox. The advance preview includes a link for each piece of mail so the user can go directly to the advertiser’s website. Of course, they will still receive the hard copy in the mail.

In a follow-up survey of 6,300 Informed Delivery participants, over 90 percent responded “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the new service. Surveys included comments such as “it’s informative and fun”, “now I know when to expect something”, and “gives me peace of mind that important mail will be delivered”.

Since the mail piece will be seen digitally and again physically, it will get double the play and therefore double the impact.

What does all of this mean?

  • For tight marketing budgets, select digital or print channels that work the best with your product.
  • If money is not an issue, an integrated campaign will be the most effective. Develop a combination campaign that pushes the prospect toward the brand and pulls them through to the actual purchase.
  • Stay current; marketing platforms, channels and methods are always evolving. Don’t get left behind!

Where should you start?

At Evoke Idea Group, we understand the importance of using print, digital or both — and are experts in both mediums. Our creative juices will spark consumer appetites for your products and services across all media. We would love to show you how we can enhance your current marketing campaign or develop a new brand image that evokes reactions and inspires action. We are always interested in hearing about what has worked successfully in the past for your brand and the marketing challenges you may now face. Contact us today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation at: hello@evokeideagroup.com or (630) 639-8985.

About Evoke Idea Group, LLC

Evoke Idea Group, LLC is a full-service design and marketing creative agency providing award-winning marketing communications and graphic design solutions since 1996. For more than two decades, we’ve helped mid-to-large size B2B and B2C companies, marketing departments and breakout companies captivate and convert customers through print and digital campaigns. We serve a wide range of clients on a national, regional, and local basis.

We are in the business of bringing awareness to brands and helping to grow companies through strategic marketing, digital marketing, advertising, web design, video and graphic design services. Our fresh, creative approaches are translated through: graphic design, logo design, website design, advertisements, infographics, digital marketing, social media marketing, web banner ads, print materials, flyers, case studies, sell sheets, posters, brochures, branding and identity, brand guidelines, packaging, trade show booths, exhibit graphics, video and animated motion graphics.

Our full-service advertising agency provides freelance marketing communications and graphic design solutions throughout Arizona, Phoenix, Cave Creek, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tucson, Peoria, Prescott, Flagstaff, Northern Arizona, St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Elgin, Schaumburg, DeKalb, Joliet, Chicago, Chicago Suburbs, Maricopa County, Yavapai County, Coconino County, Pima County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, McHenry County, DeKalb County, Cook County, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, the Midwest, the Southwest, USA and worldwide.