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Is paper still the preferred communication?


July, 2017
G. Wilkins
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Paper or digital?  

That’s the question posed by researchers in a recent survey to find out individual preference for communication type. The study – commissioned by Two Sides, a global advocacy organization for the use of paper –  involved a year long process of over 7,000 consumers across 10 countries. The group found that there was a clear preference for print on paper across all countries and regions that were analyzed.

Two Sides’ representative Phil Riebel explains, “these findings may also be partially explained by neuroscientific studies that have shown our brains have a much more emotional and meaningful connection when we read on paper versus screens.” A further neuroscience study produced by True Impact Marketing used brain imaging and eye tracking technologies to analyze the brains of people interacting with both physical (direct mail) and digital (email) advertising media.  The research found that it takes 21 percent less thought to process direct mail over digital messaging, and creates a 70 percent higher brand recall.

Direct mail also gets the message across faster because apparently our brains process paper media more quickly than digital media.  Writer and philosopher Deepak Chopra attempts to explain this imbalance:

“Physical fills a much-needed, and very human, sensory deficit in the virtual world, where we spend most of our time these days… In their race to find the next big breakthrough, marketers didn’t stop to realize that paper catalogs and marketing mail are emerging as an effective tool, even to engage digital natives.”

What’s your preference?

  1. Header Photo Attribution: Pete O’Shea via flickr
  2. https://www.pulpandpapercanada.com/innovation/the-neuroscience-of-paper-emotions-1100000693


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