Ever feel like you notice ads in newspapers and magazines more than the ones you see online? It’s not just you. According to neuroscience, on a brain-chemistry level, people process print content with greater focus and a deeper emotional response than they do content on a screen.
Numerous studies have shown that most online reading tends to be “horizontal” – scanning quickly and skipping from place to place. Paper-based reading, on the other hand, is slower and more deliberate. This leads to greater rates of comprehension and recall and a stronger transfer of information to long-term memory.
What this means for advertisers is that traditional print media ads are more likely to make a lasting impression on the people in your target audience than ads on websites. This, in turn, leads to more sales – a statement backed up by the fact that print media advertising boasts an impressive ROAS (return on ad spend) of $3.94 for every $1 spent, based on the results of 1,400 client studies.
Digital marketing, by comparison, has no measurable, standardized ROAS. This proves nothing, but in one 2016 study, an astounding 89 percent of respondents indicated that they didn’t think their digital marketing efforts were working. Furthermore, 96 percent said that their digital marketing efforts led to ad waste, and 71 percent said their digital programs failed to meet their expectations.
It’s not that online ads have no place in your marketing arsenal, but if you want potential customers to really connect with your ads, science says that your chances are much better in a printed publication.