The Five Senses —Part 2: 25 Advertising Platforms’ Reach and Engagement Levels
For decades, some marketers have been aware of the potential advantages of appealing to more than what consumers see or hear, as the typical consumer has five senses that can be targeted: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The topic was the subject of recent articles in Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal and was the focus of our previous Insights brief.
This Insights brief, the second part of a series, follows up on how Shullman Pulse survey respondents, who represent the 242 million American adults age 18 or older, responded to the following request: “Of the five senses that most people use in everyday life, please rank your own senses in order of their importance to you.” It focuses on platforms where advertising was seen or heard among two market segments: the majority (about three quarters of adults) who ranked sight as their most important sense, and the remainder who selected one of the other four senses as “most important.”
According to our most recent survey findings, sight is the most important sense for a large majority of consumers, and this finding obviously will influence how consumers respond to advertising. While television remains the number one advertising medium, there are many variations as to where the sense of sight has the greatest impact.
Those consumers who did not rank sight as their number one sense use fewer ad platforms (6 platforms on average) compared with their vision-centric counterparts (8 platforms on average). Traditional ad platforms (i.e., television, magazines, and others) have greater appeal to the vision-centric, while the newer digital, non-traditional ad platforms (i.e., Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc.) attract considerable attention from those digitally-oriented consumers for whom sight was not their “most important” sense. Also, consumers who do not rank sight as their number one sense tend to be materially more engaged with the advertising they consume on the platforms they actually use.
While the differences between the sight-centric and non-sight-centric segments may be subtle, they must still be taken into account by marketers and their agencies when determining the focus of their ad campaigns and the advertising platforms they select to deliver their messages.