Print more trusted than digital

New research from paper and print advocacy group, Two Sides, has found that almost 80 per cent of consumers are more trusting of information that is provided in print formats that they are of digital equivalents. This includes newspapers versus online news, direct mail versus email or paper bills versus ebilling. 

The research found that print tends to be more trusted than digital formats because of the time and expertise required to produce and publish something in print. This effort means that in the consumers mind there is a value attached to it which creates a more emotional and engaging connection. The proliferation of fake news has also had impact with many of the respondents citing it for their mistrust of digital communications.

Digital is welcomed by consumers for time saving requirements such as online vouchers or loyalty apps, but consumers are increasingly being bombarded by digital communications because they tend to be cheaper and faster to execute meaning that inboxes and social media streams are being overloaded.

It’s unsurprising therefore that consumer perception towards direct mail is on the rise. When we recently carried out consumer research we found that more people are more positive towards the medium than in the past five years and that 500 million less pieces of DM have ended up unopened in the bin in the last 36 months demonstrating the increased value that is being placed on direct mail. 

There’s an emotion and sometimes a ritual connected to print. For instance folding a broadsheet in a particular way or picking up tangible mailshot from the mat – both are unique and can’t be replicated digitally. In the case of direct mail it’s an activity such as this that creates cut through for a brand, particularly if the mailing is well executed. Clearly this research shows that print is not irrelevant in the digital world – but what must be remembered is that it’s not a case of one channel versus another. What we as marketers should be concentrating on, in a post GDPR world, is creating complementary, compliant campaigns comprising mixed media that ultimately enhance a customer’s experience of the brand.