While there are some obvious advantages to reading on screen such as interactivity and direct access to a wealth of information, an article in Scientific American magazine gives evidence that most people understand and remember content better when it's read on paper than on screen.
How does this relate to your marketing materials?
As you know, both online and print communications are necessary and the best results come from a coordinated effort.
Global advertising research firm, Millward Brown, in collaboration with the Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University, undertook a study examining how the brain processes physical marketing materials, such as direct mail, compared to advertising materials presented on screen.
The study concluded: "This research strongly suggests that greater emotional processing is facilitated by the physical material than by the virtual. The 'real' experience that the physical media provides means it's better at becoming part of memory. It generates more emotion, which should help to develop more positive brand associations…and therefore should aid motivation."
One of our clients recently conducted a survey of readers' preferences regarding receiving a print or email version of their newsletter. A significant number of respondents preferred printed news. The organization is continuing with a printed publication that is also available online to accommodate individual preferences.
Read the entire Scientific American article here (PDF).