Why Print Is So Effective when Marketing to Millennial Consumers

We learned a few years back that if you really want to reach and engage with millennials, you need to be in print and not focus so exclusively on digital.

“Perhaps the biggest surprise for many is that the digital natives, who grew up around technology, crave the tactile interaction that paper brings,” wrote Leane Ashley a year ago. “I may have three inboxes, but I only have one mailbox. Yet, I, along with 89% of other millennials, get our mail at the first opportunity, according to a study by the USPS in conjunction with Summit Research. It seems that millennials love print—who knew?”

New data shows that it’s more than just love on their minds when it comes to the millennial generation and print media. 

“Print advertising yields lifetime results for marketing,” explains Heather Fletcher in Target Marketing. “Customers stay with brands who market memorably to them over the long-haul, which means customer retention and sustainable results. And in Millennial marketing circles, long-term may result in a very long customer lifespan, indeed.”

Print, it turns out, is more likely to be remembered – create those memorable marketing campaigns –  than digital ads (and especially more than video ads). As Fletcher explains, neuromarketing studies at Bangor University show that the “real” experience of physical media “is more likely to become part of the consumer’s memory.”

“The study itself says touching printed materials while looking at them triggers spatial memory in a way that other channels don’t, leaving a footprint deeper in the brain,” Fletcher continues. “The deeper in the mind the material goes, the more mental processing it requires, making it seem more real and require more of an emotional response. Emotional responses are more likely to be positive toward brands.”

The marketing world is, for the most part, calling a cease-fire in the old war between print and digital. Most brands need to do both for true reach and engagement – as they have been for years. And increasingly, it’s becoming obvious that our old notions about millennials were incorrect. Print connects with this demographic deeply and profoundly, making any marketing campaign more memorable.