New and exciting research is emerging in the field of neuroscience that gives us interesting insight into the world of marketing, in terms of the brain processes involved in different forms of media. What was discovered is an interesting effect when a consumer looks at direct mail as opposed to images on a screen.
Researchers at Millward Brown and Bangor University have used some unconventional methods for measuring consumer behavior included eye-tracking and brainwave measurement. These methods allow marketers to learn something about their target audience that their audience may otherwise be unwilling or unable to express.
The work conducted on this project studied the brain’s reaction to different forms of media. Some of their key findings were:
- Tangible materials left a deeper footprint in the brain. This suggests that physical material is more “real” to the brain and better connected to memory than material presented on screen.
- Physical material involves more emotional processing, which would suggest that the physical presentation may be generating more emotionally vivid memories.
- The brain appeared to remain more active when viewing direct mail. This may suggest that the individuals were relating information to their own thoughts and feelings.
Although neuroscience-based methods don’t necessarily reveal hidden truths, they can provide a different perspective on participants’ responses to communication. Conventional methods will remain the standard in marketing research, but science can add further insight into the consumer mind.