Analog Communication Beats Digital – Insights from the World’s Largest Marketing Mix Neuromarketing Study

 In about Neurons Inc, Advertising, applied neuroscience, arousal, attention, cognition, Cognitive Load, decision making, EEG, emotion, emotions, Media, motivation, neuromarketing, Our latest work, preference

Neurons Inc recently collaborated with True Impact Marketing, Canada, in running the largest neuromarketing study on comparing communication via different media channels. In particular, the study aimed to better understand the cognitive and emotional responses to advertisements via digital channels (PC, smartphone, tablet) and analog “Direct Mail” (letters, postcards).

In the study, we used mobile eye-tracking and EEG to measure attentional, emotional and cognitive responses in almost 300 participants as they interacted with communication through different media.

Methods used: eye-tracking glasses and EEG

In a recent press release, Canada Post describes the findings, and link to the full report. Here, they summarise some of the key findings:

  • *** Direct Mail is easy to understand and more memorable. Physical media requires 21% less effort to understand, and creates a 70 per cent higher brand recall.

  • *** Direct Mail is far more persuasive than digital media. Where a 2% to 5% positive difference in motivation between two stimuli is considered a predictive indicator that consumers are more likely to act, direct mail generates a 20% higher motivation score than digital. This means it is factually better positioned to persuade. This dramatically exceeds the threshold researchers see as an indicator of future behavioural change.

  • *** Direct Mail gets the message across faster. The context in which it is processed is optimal: quick glance, low cognitive effort and high motivation.

  • *** Direct Mail is more likely to drive consumers to act. Researchers determine this by examining the relationship between persuasiveness (motivation) and understanding (cognitive load). This is known as the motivation-to-cognitive load ratio. In this study, only direct mail passed the crucial threshold necessary to trigger the desired action from the consumer. This is true across all age groups.

Direct mail was associated with lower Cognitive Load and higher Motivational responses. This suggests that communication through digital channels may be suboptimal, compared to Direct Mail, in ensuring attention, emotional response and memory of the relevant information.

Direct mail was associated with lower Cognitive Load and higher Motivational responses. This suggests that communication through digital channels may be suboptimal, compared to Direct Mail, in ensuring attention, emotional response and memory of the relevant information.

The full report can be downloaded as a PDF file from HERE.

Letter-vs-email2

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