Understanding the digital native's brain: How marketers can respond

Dr. Peter Steidl

Marketers are constantly bombarded with information on the latest digital opportunities, encouraged to allocate more of their budgets to digital media, and exposed to digital success stories. However, there is an important aspect that has been largely ignored: the digital environment has not only changed marketing practice, it has also changed the consumer at a neural level.

Extensive exposure to digital media changes the way the brain processes content, its receptiveness to different types of messages, and the general impact of marketing activities.

For brands targeting millennials, centennials or even much younger consumers, these fundamental differences are important to understand.

The science of brain plasticity

Digital marketing expenditures have grown significantly over the years, but in all the frenzy about digital media, we seem to have ignored a very important question: how has digital media changed the consumer? This is not referring to how consumers use digital media, but rather how the way they process and relate to advertising and other marketing exposures is changing.