Magazine article CRM Magazine

Sense-Sational Marketing: Advertising Is Movin' on Up-And in, out, and around All the Human Senses

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Sense-Sational Marketing: Advertising Is Movin' on Up-And in, out, and around All the Human Senses

Article excerpt

All eyes and ears--and noses, mouths, and fingers--were alert at the Direct Marketing Association's B-to-B Marketing Conference recently in Orlando. With a grand display of intriguing pieces before him, Mike Maguire, chief executive officer of Structural Graphics, conveyed the impact of a well-designed, interactive piece of direct mail. We may be the efficiency-driven, Web 2.0 generation but when it comes to business we can play with, we'll slow down for the kid in us. Emails come and go, Maguire said, but some things last forever, and a three-dimensional, car-shaped brochure that has a magnetic closure simulating the feel of closing a car door is one of those things.


The average consumer is hit with 1,600 commercial impressions a day, according to Maguire, and yet a recent study by IPC Media reported that 59 percent of adults actively avoid advertisements. Consumers are being bombarded by excess rather than quality pitches simply because advertisers blindly believe quantity is called for. In his presentation "Scent, Taste, Lights, Sound, and Touch: It's Not Your Father's Marketing!" Maguire emphasized how an ad must promote attention, interaction, and involvement. "If there is no emotional experience," he said, "then nothing will happen."

Communicating through advertising requires companies to do more than just show a pretty picture. The first step is the stop-them-in-their-tracks attention-grabber. "It's what determines what goes in the 'keep pile' versus the 'toss pile,'" Maguire said. Next, high-impact ads should have a means of interaction: Whether it's a "pull here" flap or a popout taste strip, this is where consumers will be inclined to take a closer look. Finally, the ad must be conducive to an ongoing relationship, such as a link to a related Web site. "This is where the response happens," he said.

With ample research to back him up, Maguire argued that stimulating the senses is a strategy that works best when more than one sensory outlet is engaged. A study by Baylor University found that response rates for dimensional packaging were 75 percent higher than advertisements with flat packaging. Moreover, the average magazine reader normally spends 1.5 seconds on a magazine ad whereas a dimensional ad can keep a reader intrigued for 10 seconds or more.

At the root of it all, our senses determine how we interact with the world. Only because of them, in fact, are we able to understand the world at all. Sight is the most powerful of the five senses, with 83 percent of the information we retain derived from the visual. Though less explicitly associated with product recall, a worldwide survey found that 56 percent of consumers recognized the tune for Intel's "Intel Inside" jingle. …

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