There are countless ways for you, as a print services provider, to use haptic signals to influence how information is perceived, such as the weight and quality of the paper used and special finishing techniques. Velvet-lined packaging can be used to suggest the benefits a face cream, while an advertisement engraved in acrylic conveys the precision of a tool. Emotions can be invoked through the weight and texture of the materials used or the opening mechanism of mailings.
But care needs to be taken with special effects, such as laser die cutting, embossing or scented coating. These will only have a positive effect if they fit to the product. Inappropriate materials or designs will have a negative effect, even if they are only perceived subconsciously. So you should test them with your customers beforehand to be on the safe side.
The Impact of Haptics Is Scientifically Supported
The question of why haptic advertising has a greater impact on consumers has been studied by Media Market Insights
(MMI), the main research department at Burda
Media. It tested the level of attention, emotional activation, relevance of the types of advertising to the test subjects (engagement) and long-term recall of the advertising. Steady State Topography (SST) measures electrical changes in the brain. The results are clear.
The study found that attention rates are 52 percent higher for advertisements with embossed surfaces than for conventional print ads. Emotional activation in the brain, which plays a particularly important part in information being classed as relevant, was almost 2.5 times higher. That also resulted in 30 percent of the subjects being able to recall information from the haptic advertisements even after several days. Those findings demonstrated for the first time that printed information can be lent emotions through touch and that recipients pay greater
attention to such information.
Heighten the emotional impact of touchpoints
For the print industry, it is time to move away from the same old printed materials to exciting products that are enhanced by multi-sensory features. This is where skeptics always point out the higher costs. That is true, but if the response rate is good, sales are supported and the higher return-on-marketing investment makes sense, then the additional outlay is relatively easy to justify. Sophisticated print products pay off very quickly, particularly for goods with a high profit margin.
However, e-retailers, which lack sensory touchpoints, have also discovered the importance of haptics and are increasingly making use of print media. For example, German company Adnymics creates personalized package inserts for online retailers that heighten the emotional impact of the “unpacking” touchpoint, which has been a resounding success.
Go on the Offensive
The range of possibilities for haptic printed materials that make a strong impact is vast and is continuing to grow. It is not only a question of special substrates and finishing techniques. Personalized content and geo-marketing can also play a big part in appealing to the emotions of readers and customers.
It is time for the printing industry to go from being on the defensive to being on the offensive. Despite the substantial changes that the industry has seen in recent years, we have the tools to boost the impact of multimedia communications with the corresponding pop. Remember – haptics is becoming the next big thing in marketing.