Print still trusted over digital by consumers

Rhys Handley
Thursday, October 5, 2017

The power of print continues to sway consumers all over the world, according to a survey published by paper and print advocacy group Two Sides.

Newspapers are still trusted more than digital news sources
Newspapers are still trusted more than digital news sources

A poll taken of 10,700 consumers in June measured patterns of media, entertainment and advertising consumption. Results in the Print and Paper in a Digital World report indicated that people are more trusting of information provided in printed format and less likely to take on messages conveyed digitally.

In the UK, 78% of respondents preferred printed magazines to digital versions, while 75% of those surveyed in Germany preferred printed newspapers. Worldwide, 63% of consumers believed reading news in print provides a deeper understanding of a story while 74% were worried about “fake news” being propagated on digital platforms.

“Selling print can be tough at the moment because companies are looking at their budgets and worrying about cost,” said Two Sides managing director Martyn Eustace. “But print does have a better return on investment, as these results quite clearly show.

“A well-deployed piece of print will really sink in with a consumer while they set up online ad blockers and other software to shut off extraneous digital content.

“Printers and print specialists should read up on the trends we have detected and learn themselves to trust in print as the consumers do. We hope this enables them to speak with confidence to customers about how print can often be the best thing for a brand.”

Respondents also had concerns about hacking and leaks when their personal information was stored digitally, with 73% worldwide keeping paper copies of documents at home for safety and security.

Two Sides also showed in their report that drives to digital in the interest of going green were not convincing consumers – 62% believe companies switching to digital were doing so for cost rather than environmental reasons.

Over the past two years, Two Sides found that 460 global companies using misleading or unsubstantiated environmental information to justify a digital transition. To date, 278 of those companies have removed their statements after engagement with Two Sides.

Eustace said: “Print is renewable, recyclable and sustainable. Print has a great story to tell and we often don’t tell that story as well as we should. Knowing that print can be green when managed responsibly should be at the forefront of printers’ pitches.

“We can change the message by engaging with those who doubt or even deceive about the benefits of print.”


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