Paper Beats Digital As Most Effective Communication Medium For Brands

Stacked paper bales for recycling

Research funded by print media advocacy group TSA Ltd shows brands communicating on paper are able to connect better with customers.

Phoebe Jamieson
Posted by Phoebe Jamieson

A report The Value of Paper and Print, 2013-2014, shows that despite the ever-increasing popularity of digital media, paper as a communications device is still the most effective channel when it comes to engaging with customers.

Kellie Northwood, executive director of TSA Ltd said: “Research continues to show regardless of whether print material is delivered in books, magazines, catalogues, leaflets, newspapers or even direct mail, information transference and recall are more effective on paper than on screen.”

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The key findings reveal that:

  • 20% of people remember an article better when reading on paper.
  • Letterbox, catalogues, addressed and unaddressed mail continue to deliver increased audience reach with an impressive 18.3 million Australians per week.
  • 7 in 10 Australians read magazines. That’s 6.4 million men and 7.4 million women reading magazines each year.

Newspapers are read by more than 15 million Australians every month, or 86% of the population aged 14+. Some 9.2 million will pick up a copy of their favourite national or metropolitan edition. A total of three million will read regional titles while 4.8 million read their local community newspaper.

Interestingly, heavy print media users are above average income earners, educated and big spenders. Big spenders are heavy unaddressed mail and magazine users, with 67% always ready to try new and different products, and those who are heavy magazine and catalogue readers being more open minded to trying new products.

The two highest average income earners are heavy consumers of newspapers ($105,130 average income) and addressed mail ($104,120 average income). They are also the most educated at 44% and 49%, respectively, holding a diploma or degree.

Heavy TV and radio consumers have the least educational qualifications (per audience member) than print channels and only 12% sit in the AB Quintile – highest socio-economic group across education, income and employment status.

Northwood said: “In comparison to the national norm, TV viewers and radio listeners, the findings show print media reaches a highly valuable, upmarket and lucrative audience. It is the most trusted advertising channel and it’s clear that it has a big impact on consumers. This report validates the fundamental importance of always including print within any marketing and/or advertising campaign”.