Since the advent of the personal computer, the internet and digital readers, most companies have treated their print and digital marketing channels as interchangeable. They may have formatted the design of their content differently for each channel, but at its core, the copy and the message published on both print and digitals channels were virtually the same.

Research is showing that maybe it’s not that easy.

Robert Caruso, in his blog post Digital Content with Facts Wins According to Science, references a series of recent studies from Dartmouth University’s Tiltfactor Lab as a foundation for learning how businesses can improve the effectiveness of their digital content, which we share in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

The studies sought to determine whether those who consumed content from a print source and those who consumed the same content from a digital source had the same levels of comprehension and the same interpretations of the content. The results showed that the source did matter. There were two important findings from the research:

  • Those who read the content on a digital device had an easier time remembering concrete facts than those who read the same content from a printed source.
  • Those who read the content on a digital device had a harder time drawing abstract connections with or inferences from the content than those who read the same content in a printed source.

“The Dartmouth study found that using digital platforms for reading may make you more inclined to focus on concrete details rather than interpreting information more abstractly. Clearly put, people who consume content through digital media sources focus on and retain more factual details and have a more difficult time drawing more obscure, random or abstract connections to the meaning of something when read on a digital device,” Caruso wrote in recapping the results.

Tomorrow PCT looks at Caruso’s advice on how to use this scientific data to improve the effectiveness of your digital content.

Source: Recognized on Forbes list of top 40 social media marketers and the 57th top digital marketing influencer in 2016, Robert Caruso is a social media, digital marketing and technology professional with over 20 years in creating, planning and executing strategies within various industries. He is the co-founder of Bundlepost and holds multiple internet technology patents.