Ace copywriter and marketer Ray Edwards is a smart guy and no slouch when it comes to the internet. So why is he planning to send out his upcoming newsletter in PRINT form through (gasp!) the mail???
Here’s what Ray has to say…
The study Ray mentions was sponsored by branding agency Millward Brown and conducted by Bangor University. They used fMRI brain scans to study the different effects of of paper and digital media. Some of their key conclusions were…
- Physical material is more “real” to the brain. It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with its spatial memory networks
- Physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations
- Physical materials produced more brain responses connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater “internalization” of the ads
So, to summarise, physical media (including print) delivers better recall, greater engagement and more emotional impact than digital media.
There’s more about this study and more recent ones in this Forbes article…
Ray also mentions the book “The Revenge of Analog” by David Sax that looks in some detail at this issue of physical versus digital. Well worth a read.
For marketers, especially information marketers, it is very important to be aware of and understand the implications of the differing impact of physical and digital media. For a long time “old-school” marketers like Dan Kennedy have insisted on the importance of such things as print newsletters and many have dismissed them as being behind the times. However, the reality is that physical media deliver better marketing results in the short term and help to build stronger long term customer relationships.
The conclusion is that there are substantial hidden costs to digital media and that smart marketers would do well to think very carefully before abandoning traditional media for both marketing and content delivery.