As we extend ourselves further and further into the information and technology age of the 21st century, healthcare professionals scramble more and more to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing. This has been hard to do, because marketing and the technology for it has been changing almost as fast if not faster than the medical field itself changes.
One of the biggest questions right now is actually a two part question. First part: “Do printed materials still work in marketing?” Second part: “Do they work less effectively than, as effectively as, or possibly even more effectively than digital marketing?” This is the big debate right now, and a study done by the United States Postal Service actually shows us some insight on this, which directly shows us why printed pharma marketing is so effective with doctors.
USPS and Printed Marketing
The USPS handles about twenty-billion dollars in advertising mailers. Actually, advertising mailers is about a third of the entire gross revenue for the USPS. So it must work right? Well, it could, but it might not too. Just because someone is spending money on something does not mean that it is working phenomenally, maybe just slightly. Regardless, to get to the bottom of it the USPS worked with psychological studies to try and see just how effective printed marketing really is.
From the research, it was found that printed material, something you hold in your hand and can actually touch and read the dried ink, triggers activity in a key area of the brain which is called the ventral striatum. This is the brain’s reward center. When this area is triggered, the ventral striatum lights up and releases those feelings of reward. Furthermore, this effect is more pronounced with written material than it is with digital material, which definitely means something.
The USPS found that not only do people spend more time with printed material, but they also experience a stronger emotional response (that ventral striatum cropping up again), than they do with digital material. The study further found that:
- When people observe actual, printed materials, holding them in their hands and reading over them, this trigger parts of the brain, including but not limited to the ventral striatum, that help such individuals to make decisions that could lead to a sale.
- Because of the actual, tactile engagement with something that is real and within the same physical space as a person, people will without a doubt spend more time looking at printed material than they will looking at digital content of the same kind.
- Because people will spend more time looking at printed material, this leads to people being able to recall info better that they saw in print. This also harkens back to why people who study for tests in and college do better than those who simply take tests based off of their memory from the teacher’s lectures.
- Last but not least, and this one is the real kicker, printed material triggers a much stronger emotional response in most people than it will in digital media. This emotional response is crucial to getting a person to buy something.
All of this as one can imagine applies directly to doctors being marketed pharmaceutical drugs. Doctors are already very tactile professionals in general, and as personalities prefer written and printed words on a surface than digital advertisements. While it is true that it is never wise to abandon any one, major marketing tool, (don’t stop using digital marketing!) it would seem like printed material has a lot going for it. For more information and for help with marketing, contact iPath Media today.