Want to geek out on marketing science? Check out neuromarketing, a field examining consumers’ responses to marketing stimuli. Neuromarketing looks at how the brain receives and processes information, and neuromarketing looks specifically at the impact of this process on the various marketing channels. Spoiler alert: These studies consistently find that while email is an important channel, it isn’t for everything. Especially for higher-end products that require more thought processing, direct mail is a better approach.
How do researchers come to these conclusions? They use three primary methods:
Eye tracking: Camera and infrared technology that monitor eye movements in speed and duration of attention. Eye tracking tracks visual attention in reaction to predetermined areas of interest.
Core biometrics: Sensors placed on participants’ fingertips that measure heart rate, skin conductance (sweat), motion, and respiration: Core biometrics gauge the depth of emotional engagement.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FRMI): Brain scanners measure changes in oxygenated blood flow to reveal regional activation during a task or experience. FRMI pinpoints specific deep brain activity beyond surface cognitive function (e.g., empathy and reward).
What do these methods show? A good example comes from one study conducted by Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making in concert with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG). The study found that while participants could process the information from digital ads more quickly than from print ads, the details weren’t retained or recalled as easily later.
What made participants more likely to retain and recall that information more easily in print?
- They spent more time with physical ads.
- They had more robust emotional responses to those ads.
- While they stated similar preferences and willingness to pay for the item, whether it was delivered in physical or digital format, their brain activity indicated a greater subconscious desire for printed products.
“These findings have practical implications for marketers,” note the report’s authors. “If short on time, the digital format captures attention quicker. However, for longer lasting impact and easy recollection, a physical mail piece is the superior option.”
So, there you have it! When given a choice between print and digital media, especially for products and services that require deep cognitive processing, the brain loves print.
Keeping your mailing list up to date is essential for making the most of your marketing dollars. It ensures that your messages arrive in a timely fashion and provides other benefits such as cost savings and better targeting. Let’s look at five benefits of an up-to-date mailing list to motivate you to make this one of your top investments.
1. Gives you a strong foundation. Accurate, up-to-date lists are the starting point for creating relevant, personalized communications. Keeping your mailing list clean, accurate, de-duped, and up to date is a best practice that should be part of your routine. If you get in the habit of keeping up with the basics, it will help you with more sophisticated targeting later.
2. Keep customers happy. Nothing says, “We don’t care,” like a misspelled name or street address. Sure, your mailer might get there (eventually), but at what cost? Keeping your list up to date ensures that your target audience knows you care enough to get it right.
3. Keeps costs down. With an inaccurate list, you are printing and mailing pieces that may never arrive. Don’t waste money! Ensure that every piece gets to its destination. With an accurate list, you also save money by not sending duplicates to the same individual or household.
4. Provides anchor points. As you compile your records, basic data points can be used as reference points for future refinement and additions to that list. For instance, is Jane C. Cochran the same person as Jane Cochran? Can Bob Smith be distinguished from Robert Smith, Jr.? These questions can be answered by cross-referencing data points from an accurate mailing list.
5. Improves targeting. Once you are confident in your list, you can begin to build more detailed profiles of each person. You can purchase additional data to construct more complete profiles that will help you improve your targeting and personalize your communications even more.
Invest in your mailing list regularly. Not only does it help you create an accurate, up-to-date profile of your customers that improves targeting and saves money, but because your email, social, and mobile marketing all draw off the same list, it also benefits your marketing in other channels.
The global pandemic has had a profound impact on the world of consumer marketing, and one of these impacts has been to bring QR codes more into the mainstream. With consumers increasingly comfortable using QR codes, businesses can confidently leverage this marketing tool, making it more straightforward for customers to gain information, access coupons, and reply to offers.
QR codes are those boxes of black-and-white squares you see on posters, on the backs of business cards, and in the drive-through windows. When scanned with a mobile phone, they connect people directly from the world of print to the world of digital. While most people associate QR codes with taking the user to a web page, they can do much more.
When scanned, QR codes can launch a web page, play a video, make a phone call, add a calendar event, launch a survey, initiate a mobile payment, send an email, and much more.
QR codes are free to create and simple to use, and suddenly, they are everywhere.
Faster, Easier World for Customers
QR codes (short for “quick response” codes) have been around for nearly two decades. While traction has been gaining, adoption took off during the pandemic thanks to the promise of touchless interaction. Now QR codes are here to stay. Touchless interaction is still a benefit, but more importantly, QR codes make things faster and easier for consumers.
Consider just a few of the ways that QR codes are being used today:
- Restaurants are adding QR codes to menus or table plaques, allowing patrons to browse their dining options and place orders without waiting for a server. QR codes enable restaurants to update their menus or daily specials in real time.
- Hotels are adding QR codes to enable contactless check-ins, allowing customers to place in-room orders and control lights or air conditioning.
- Sports, music, and travel lovers no longer need physical tickets to enter their favorite venues. From high school sports to rock concerts and art events, patrons show the QR codes on their phones.
- Medical facilities use QR codes to let patients check in for appointments and access health information on posters.
- PayPal, Venmo, and other payment apps have launched QR code mobile payment systems, making payments even to small businesses as easy as point and tap.
Want to learn how to use QR codes to make your customers’ lives easier? Just ask!