What’s more real, virtual or print material?
This may seem an odd question but answering it holds key information about today’s consumers to marketers and companies.
A study by Millard Brown in collaboration with the Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University shows that the brain has a greater emotional process as a response to physical material compared with virtual experiences.
In the research, 20 participants were shown ads and other images in print and digital forms. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery (fMRI) was used to scan their brain activity and see the kind of reactions they presented to the various stimuli.
The results showed that material shown on printed cards generated more brain activity in the area associated with the integration of visual and spatial information, each located in a different hemisphere. It turns out physical material is more real for the brain, since it provides with a more complete experience. It also has more connections with internal feelings, which suggests a greater internalization of the printed message. This is why direct mail, brochures, flyers and coupons are still used in advertising.
So does this mean we should switch back to print media and forget about digital media? Of course not. Each industry has different purchasing processes and consumer behavior. You should determine when and where to market your products and services via conventional media.
Source: Millard Brown
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