FML Blog

Media Consumption: Sébastien Houzé and John Wilpers talk 'Digital and Print - a match made in marketing heaven'

Sunday, November 30, 2014      Marjolaine Detry      0
The theme of media consumption is among the main focuses of the Future Media Lab. this year. Media consumption is still changing at tremendous speed, and the ways in which we access content have never been so varied.It is however, not a tale of digital merely replacing print these days. In fact, we have begun to appreciate how well these formats complement each other. In their article for the 2014/15 EMMA magazine, Sébastien Houzé (Print Media Group) and John Wilpers talk about ‘Digital and Print – a match made in marketing heaven’ and present hard scientific evidence to support the strength of using both mediums in combination.

 



The article starts with a claim: Print is tactile, emotional and evokes more senses. A strong claim, you might say, but a well-founded one, as the article draws empirical examples from a 2009 UK-based study by Millward Brown commissioned by the Royal Mail into how our brains process physical information compared with digital information.The first question proposed in the article asks, in this digitally saturated era, how can we reach the volatile and totally overwhelmed consumer?

Houzé and Wilpers argue that print still has a role to play in successful advertising campaigns, especially when reaching out to consumers inundated with digital content.Consumers need to be entertained, sure, but the fact remains that information retention is still best when reading from a physical format. Thinking about physiological processes in the brain, what is striking about the Millward Brown study is that it indicates that physical (print) material leaves a footprint in the brain, further suggesting that paper adverts are internalised more effectively.

 


 


What about applying this science to the magazine sector? Here, according to Houzé and Wilpers, the basic rules of marketing still apply; attracting attention, raising interest, creating desire and leading customers to action.Hooking the audience’s attention with print before leading them to desirable digital content appears to be the clear strategy here. To support this, Houzé and Wilpers give a number of concrete examples of advertising campaigns that have merged print and digital in innovative campaigns, ranging from Microsoft’s T-Mobile Router found in the 6 May 2013 print edition of Forbes, to magazine covers that play music, to the wireless solar powered phone chargers found in Nivea’s print adverts.

In essence, the debate isn’t and should never be print OR digital, but print AND digital – as this provides the best and most efficient route to advertising success. Encouraging diverse media consumption patterns in such a way supports the power of print as a medium which retains its value and its significance in spite of the threats wrought by the digital revolution.
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