Technological advances over the past few decades have almost diminished the importance of tangiable objects. When was the last time you actually used a thesaurus? It is just way too simple to right click and get an automatic list of synonyms. Hey, I’m even doing it while writing this. Same goes for dictionaries and encyclopedias. Things that were a staple in every office (no pun intended) are simply useless now with access to unlimited internet resources. It takes 12 seconds to type a question into google and receive a whole list of wonderful resources, whereas it might take all day to access the same information elsewhere.
With the rise of the internet to superstardom, there was a bit of debate on how it would affect mailing, in the tangible sense. Was email going to replace regular mail all together? Many of us would argue that snail mail has become useless. We can access our bills online, get invites to events through Facebook, and read news digitally on the website of our favorite news sources. So why do people continue receiving mail?
It’s easy for marketers to look to digital marketing as the go-to. Hey, I’m digitally marketing to you right now. But despite all of the advances in technology, the ease of digital marketing, and the access it provides us with customers, the public has all agreed on one thing. You can’t fulfill the human desire for tangibility through digital avenues. Nothing can replace the act of holding an object in your hand, having it to carry around with you, and refer back to whenever you want.
In a study conducted by Millward Brown, they tested the effectiveness of direct mail as opposed to virtual marketing. The study found that physical mail is much more effective in producing brain responses in consumers than internet marketing techniques. Physical materials produced stronger emotional responses in the brain in areas that are linked with memory. The conclusion of the study was that businesses can make a larger impact with direct mail marketing than they are able to make through email.
Our conclusion? Direct mail is the way to go for maximum customer impact.