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WHAT NEUROMARKETING MEANS FOR POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS

PROOF THAT PRINT AND DIGITAL MEDIA ARE MORE POWERFUL TOGETHER

WITH MORE CHANNELS COMES MORE COMPLEXITY

The amount of advertising channels available to political campaigns today is staggering, making it difficult to pin down the most effective media mix for each voter segment. Print, digital, or both? Offline or online? Mobile optimized, website banners, or social media? And with so many channels, attributing which voter came from which channel can also be a challenge.

While a multi-channel campaign strategy has become the gold standard for turning prospects into voters, not all channels are created equal. That’s why it’s so important to discern which touch points will deliver the most bang for your campaign buck.

DIRECT MAIL HAS SHOWN ITSELF TO BE A TOUCH POINT THAT GETS RESULTS

But don’t just take our word for it. Studies continue to prove that direct mail is highly effective in motivating action—particularly when combined with other channels. In fact, three times the return on investment is achieved on direct mail spend when paired with digital through direct mail marketing.1

Innovative neuromarketing studies are also making the case by measuring the effects of digital and physical media on consumers. In fact, the Canada Post neuromarketing study Connecting for Action revealed that integrated campaigns combining direct mail with digital media attract 39% more attention than campaigns that rely on a single medium.2

WHAT EXACTLY IS
“NEUROMARKETING”
AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

The measurement of brain activity, biometric data, facial expressions, and/or implicit reaction times to evaluate voter responses to ads, messaging, and candidates

Neuromarketers are studying the effects of media on the brain and the results are in. Direct mail is indeed an advertising powerhouse that resonates and compels its recipients to action.

Let’s take a look at two prominent studies and how they came to this conclusion.

DIRECT MAIL FOR THE WIN: CANADA POST STUDY

A Bias for Action: The Neuroscience Behind the Response-Driving Power of Direct Mail by Canada Post sought to answer the question “When it comes to driving action, are all channels created equal?”

The study focused on the two key indicators of media effectiveness: Ease of understanding and persuasiveness. It examined brain imaging metrics that corresponded with each aspect. The study also looked at visual attention given to the media presented in order to gauge how quickly participants absorbed the messages in each format.

The study concluded that direct mail is more action-oriented than digital media in the following areas:

COGNITIVE
RECOGNITION

Direct mail is easier to understand and more memorable than digital media. It requires 21% less cognitive effort to process and elicits a much higher brand recall.3

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MOTIVATION

Direct mail is far more persuasive than digital media. Its motivation response is 20% higher— even more so if it appeals to senses beyond touch.3

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VISUAL
ATTENTION

Direct mail is visually processed more quickly than digital media. When considered in concert with its higher motivation and lower cognitive load, this suggests it gets the message across faster.3

For all of these reasons, it’s clear that political mail can be a winning strategy for an omni-channel political campaign.

WHY AD SEQUENCING MATTERS: TEMPLE UNIVERSITY AND THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL STUDY

Using a combination of neurophysiological and traditional methods, the Temple University and U.S. Postal Service office of Inspector General study Tuned In: The Brain’s Response to Ad Sequencing sought to explore:

  • Whether digital and/or physical advertising media is more effective in engaging consumers.
  • What is the complementary effect when both physical and digital media are used?
  • Whether a specific sequence of these two media has a stronger effect than the other.

This information is particularly beneficial for smaller campaigns that may not have the resources to track the effectiveness of multi-media channels.

RESULTS4

  • Using the same medium twice, particularly physical media, can result in higher ad and brand (candidate) recognition.
  • Ads that contain faces are remembered more than those that contain scenes or words, particularly when the physical medium is used in sequence.
  • Digital ads were associated with higher responses when they were preceded by the physical ads, as opposed to digital ads preceded by another digital ad.
  • For brand/candidate-building ads, a purely physical campaign might be more beneficial, since recall, desirability, and likability were higher.
  • When physical and digital media are both used in a sequence, physical and then digital advertising might be better at eliciting a response.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Both studies clearly demonstrate that combining mail with digital harnesses the best of both worlds to close the gap between interaction and action. What can this mean for your campaign? It means that physical mail can be:

phone with letter inside

More likely to drive voters to act on your campaign messages than digital media.

eye with lightning bolt

More adept at getting your campaign message across faster because our brains process it more quickly than digital media.

21%

Easier to understand and more memorable than digital media. It takes 21% less thought to process and creates a much higher brand recall.4

20%

Far more persuasive than digital media. Its motivation response is 20% higher—and even better if it appeals to senses beyond sight and touch, such as smell and hearing.4

THE BOTTOM LINE

With its superior ability to drive voters to action and its attribution prowess, political mail can be a win-win for your campaign and, most importantly, for your candidate.

To find out more about Informed Delivery®, visit
informeddelivery.usps.com.

FOOTNOTES

  1. Danni Eickenhorst, “Direct Mail achieves 3X ROI When Paired with Digital Intelligence,” Reach Dynamics, July 25, 2017.
  2. Connecting for Action, Canada Post, September 2016.
  3. Understanding the Impact of Physical Communications through Neuroscience, Canada Post/True Impact Marketing, February 2015.
  4. Tuned In: The Brain’s Response to Ad Sequencing, RARC Report for USPS Office of Inspector General with Temple University, February 13, 2017.

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