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Marketing SHOWDOWN: Print v. Digital Advertising

While an online presence is mandatory in modern marketing, it can be presumptive to assume ONLY an online presence is necessary.  Research from the Temple University Center for Neural Decision making shows that print still wins against Internet marketing in many categories.

In the study, participants were shown a mix of 40 email and postcard ads, and monitored using eye tracking, heart rate, respiration, sweating, and MRIs.  End results showed that postcards were superior to digital ads in 5 out of 9 categories, equivalent in 3, and only lost out in one. The MRI scans found that the postcards triggered the ventral striatum of the brain, the center of desirability and value. On that evidence, Temple researchers concluded that physical ads have a deeper and longer-lasting effect than digital ads on instilling desire for products and services.

  1. Attention – A customer’s focused attention for a sustained period of time on key components of the ad. Winner: Email.
  2. Review Time – the amount of time a customer spends with an ad. Winner: Postcard.
  3. Engagement – the amount of information the customer processes or absorbs from an ad. Winner: Tied.
  4. Stimulation – an emotional reaction to an ad. Winner:  Postcard.
  5. Memory Retrieval Accuracy – accurately remembering the advertising source and content. Winner: Tied.
  6. Memory Speed and Confidence – quickly and confidently remember advertising source and content. Winner: Postcard.
  7. Purchase and Willingness to pay – whether and how much the customer is willing to pay for a product. Winner: Tied.
  8. Desirability – a subconscious desire for the product or service. Winner: Postcard.
  9. Valuation – the subconscious value a participant places on the product or service. Winner: Postcard.
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