Now, I know what you might be thinking…”well of course the Postal Service is going to find that mailed ads work better than digital, they are a bit biased…"
Sure, you have a point but understand that the study itself was conducted by Temple University and they used 40 different physical and digital ads. They then used self reporting as well as eye tracking and biometrics to record what participants were looking at as well as their physiological responses during the interaction with both the physical and digital ads.
You can read the full study results yourself. Here are some quotes from the study that stood out to me:
"...we found that physical ads elicited greater levels of arousal than digital ads. In other words, participants were more emotionally engaged and interested when interacting with physical ads."
"We found that participants were more likely to remember an ad and its context if they were previously exposed to it in the physical format."
"...we argue that items are perceived as more valuable and desirable to the consumer when they were exposed to them previously in a physical ad."
What This Means to You
If you are a business owner or marketing professional this is a reminder that the worst number in marketing is 1. Meaning that to limit your marketing to ONE source is just a bad idea. This is proof that it is wise to have a mix of print and digital in your marketing mix.
What would be even better is if your potential clients saw your ads in BOTH digital and print forms. It is this kind of reinforcement through various channels that increases the effectiveness of advertising.
- Send out a direct mail postcard or shared mail advertisement and follow up with an email to your subscribers
- If you have an online promotion through a site like Groupon or something similar then also print that promotion and distribute at a community event
- Mail an advertisement to the largest group you can afford and in that advertisement direct them to your website or better yet to a specific page on your site that amplifies on the product or service or offer you are promoting on your printed ad.
- Put a QR code in your printed ads to direct people to a specific place online, a coupon, video, etc.
- Test! Do you get better results when you mail the ad first and follow up with an email or vice versa?
Have you noticed any difference in your business or with your clients on how they react to paper vs. digital marketing?
Do you find one has an advantage over the other?
Image courtesy of Darren Walters