Using Direct Marketing to Build Brand Values
Millward Brown, September 2010
While the primary purpose of direct marketing is the achievement of an immediate and specific response (such as trial, purchase, or inquiry), large-scale direct marketing can have other positive effects as well. It can boost awareness and interest and enhance a brand's image. But direct mail can be ignored, and, worse, have deleterious effects by annoying recipients. So if the benefits of direct marketing are to be maximized, a number of issues need consideration.Direct mail is still relevant
Given the rise of the Internet as well as email marketing, one might expect that the importance of physically delivered direct mail (including leaflets, coupons, postcards, letters and samples) would be limited. However, research suggests otherwise.
In collaboration with the Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University in Wales, we conducted an experiment that used functional Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (fMRI) to understand how the brain reacts to physical and virtual stimuli. fMRI allows us to look directly at brain activity and so see the brain regions most involved in processing advertising. We observed that there was more emotional involvement when participants handled material
printed on cards than when they viewed the same material online.
The research strongly suggested that greater emotional processing is facilitated by physical material than by virtual, which should help to develop more positive brand associations. The real experience is also internalized, which means the materials have a more personal effect, and hence
should aid motivation.
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