Print Media in a Digital World

Some see the evolution of digital marketing as an end to print media and printed promotional materials. The prolific development of social network platforms, video streaming platforms, online shopping portals, email and information sites present uncountable opportunities for digital marketing strategists. We engage with this digital conduit through laptops, tablets, phones, TV’s etc. and we use our sight, touch and hearing senses to consume it.

The trouble with digital media is its ability to create noise that tends to bombard the senses. It’s intangible by nature and is a direct contrast to print. On the other hand, digital media has the ability to convey information as text, imagery, video and sound whereas print media is limited to text and imagery.

Recent research in neuroscience has uncovered some interesting findings when comparing digital vs print media. The research was conducted by branding agency Millard Brown using MRI brain scans. The research demonstrated that when exposed to digital and print marketing materials our brain processed them differently. The stand out difference was how the brain processed paper adverts more emotionally showing that physical media left a deeper impression on the brain. In essence, the difference was the tangible nature of paper looking and feeling more ‘real’. The research also reported that material shown on cards stimulated more activity in the left and right parietal; An area of the brain associated with the integration of visual and spatial information.

The reality is that digital media is here to stay but the debate between digital vs print media will continue for some time to come. It does suggest however that a blend of both media could mould the perfect marketing mix.

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