Power of print

Blog by Kate Cox

Heard of haptics? No? It’s the neuroscience of touch and it has some fascinating findings for marketing and PR professionals in the competitive world of communications.

So why in today’s digital world should we care about haptics? In actual fact, there are plenty of reasons. According to neuroscientist and haptics advisor Dr. David Eagleman, our messages have a better chance of being read and remembered when printed on paper than those viewed on a screen. Researchers think the physical nature of paper explains this  discrepancy.

Dr Eagleman reveals:

• More than half the brain is devoted to processing sensory experience, and much of that sensory receptivity focuses on touch. (So, words on paper get extra attention)

• When you touch something, it triggers a reaction. You feel differently about what you touch. You own it. And research shows this makes you value it more. (that’s why we struggle to throw away greeting cards!)

We write and create for print and screen and appreciate the immediacy and brand linkability of words delivered digitally in blogs, social media and SEO content. But it is so interesting to see that studies are showing people still read best on paper:

1. It makes content more intuitively navigable.

2. It’s easier for the brain to map out printed information.

3. Reading on paper uses fewer of our cognitive resources, making retention easier. This means better retention and understanding.

And, if you think direct mail and printed messages are too old-school, think again. According to Angie Read, blogger and co-author of the new “Marketing to Gen Z,” “Gen Zers love getting things in the mail with their name on them. They’re so used to digital media, they view print as NON-traditional marketing.

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