The following article, reporting on a survey taken in the UK, gives print a big thumbs up compared to digital, showing readers are more likely to remember messages they read on paper, and trust what they read more.
The article appeared on July 8 2015 in the Australian daily printing trade newsletter “ProPrint”. Here is the article in full.
Readers trust print over digital
Another international survey is giving print a big edge over digital, showing consumers are more likely to remember messages in print and trust them more.
The recent Two Sides survey asked 500 consumers in the UK, and 1000 in the US how much they enjoyed reading on different media.
The results indicate 84 per cent of UK respondents say they retain or use information better when reading printed words, as opposed to 55 per cent on a computer screen, 41 per cent on an e-reader or tablet and 31 per cent on a mobile or smartphone.
Two Sides Australia executive director Kellie Northwood says the survey shows consumers trust print more than digital communication, remember print messages for longer and with greater accuracy, and they are less likely to immediately discard printed collateral.
Print is also more ‘relaxing’ with some 79 per cent saying they felt calm when reading print, 44 per cent on a computer screen, 33 per cent on e-reader or tablet, and 23 per cent on a phone.
Some 78 per cent say given a choice they would prefer to read on paper, 30 per cent on a computer screen, 24 per cent on an e-reader or tablet, and 17 per cent on a smartphone.
Of those who feel relaxed and receptive when they read printed news 69 per cent prefer print and 66 per cent choose magazine content, while 25 per cent opt for a screen and 18 per cent for online magazines.
Paper was also found to be less distracting with just 21 per cent saying they were easily distracted reading on paper – this jumped to 65 per cent when reading on a smartphone.
It seems that age is also not a factor with some 84 per cent of 18-24-year-olds saying they could understand and retain information better when reading on paper.
This is the same with 83 per cent of 25-34-year olds, 78 per cent of 35-44-year-olds, 86 per cent of 45-64-year-olds, and 91 per cent of those 64 and over.
Of those who find print relaxing the numbers were similarly positive. When asked how they would choose to read, the results are even closer, with just 5 per cent between the 18-24 category at 72 per cent and those 65 or over.
Younger people are more likely to agree that they found reading on a smartphone relaxing, but only half as many agreed in the print category.
The 18-24 and 25-34 age groups are on 38 per cent and 39 per cent respectively, while only 8 per cent of those aged 65 and over agree.
The results mesh with those of similar Australian surveys, with Northwood saying research by Roy Morgan, Nielsen, Australia Post, KMP Economics all found people connect better with print, making it a strong media channel for marketers.
“The KMP Economics survey conducted this year, found that people are three times more likely to immediately discard an email than a printed letter, Nielsen’s Consumer and Media View in research released this year found people spend on average 26 minutes a week reading catalogues, brochures and leaflets delivered through the letterbox,” she says.
“That’s a long time to communicate with your customers and Roy Morgan’s Media Most Useful sees print as a top three performer across all market segments.
“As an industry we need to use the Two Sides surveys and other global and local research available to us to challenge the myth that print is not relevant or effective.
“It is not true and consumers simply do not support this with their path to purchase and buying decision making. Print delivers results and customers engage with it.”