First impressions are everything

Don’t just get your customer’s attention. Feel it.
This story is part of our series about how haptics—the science of touch—can enhance your marketing. View other stories in the series or subscribe to Pop from Sappi today to receive an email when we post more.

How hard is it to get your audience to pay attention to your brand? Let’s just say, it’d be easier to entice a goldfish.

8.25 seconds. That’s the length of the average human attention span. Goldie can go for 9.

With that in mind, Condé Nast hired a research firm to investigate how people interact with magazines, particularly how their responses to TV and magazine ads differed. Which medium was better at keeping their attention?

The study revealed that because paper is “lighter in its assertion of control,” it draws readers in. Because they were in charge of their own interaction, they engaged with the print content—all its content, not just the ads—more fully.

“There are cognitive, cultural and social dimensions to the human-paper dynamic that come into play every time any kind of paper, from a tiny Post-it note to a groaning Sunday newspaper, is used to convey, retrieve or store information.”
William Powers, "Hamlet’s Blackberry: Why Paper is Eternal,” Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

The New York Times discovered something similar when it explored the revival of printed catalogs in 2015. Retailers that had shifted to online catalogs found sales plummeting, as people missed the haptic qualities of the catalogs they were used to.

Now, mailings of paper catalogs have rebounded and the form has changed dramatically as companies find exciting new ways to make this old-school approach relevant to today’s shopper. It’s working.

The rate of people polled who said that a catalog drove them online to shop. Millennials and Gen-Xers reported in at 38 percent.
Source: Millennials: An Emerging Consumer Powerhouse. Quad/Graphics, March 16, 2016.
More than 100.7 million Americans made a catalog purchase in 2016.
Source: DMA Statistical Fact Book 2017. Data & Marketing Association, 2017.


When you print on high-quality paper, a few seconds may be all you need.