The Surprising Power of the Ear


Jack Trout and Roy Williams, marketing consultants and best-selling authors, came to the same conclusion neurologists have when it comes to information retention. Which is more powerful – the eye, or the ear?

These two marketing experts evaluated the impact of the eye and the ear on both consumers and advertisers. Roy Williams in his book “Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads” states that ear-based memory is trustworthy, and eye-based memory is not.

The ear long remembers what the eye soon forgets.

Jack Trout, in his work, highlights that the ear is faster than the eye, based on the work that two psychologists did on ear-based and eye-based memory. Repeated tests have shown that the mind is able to understand a spoken word faster than a printed word. Jack Trout concluded, “Not only do you hear faster than you see, your hearing lasts longer than your seeing. A visual image, whether picture or words, fades away in one second. Hearing, on the other hand, lasts four or five times as long.”

What are the implications for your marketing?

According to Trout, in many ways they call for a complete reorientation from visual to verbal communication.

For most companies, a mix of eye-based and ear-based marketing is important – but ear-based marketing is vastly under-represented. That presents a great opportunity for companies that recognize the power of the ear and include it in their marketing mix.




Owner/CEO at Macdonald Broadcasting
Michigan Association of Broadcasters Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Past President of Saginaw Club. Member of SVSU Stevens Family Business Program.

1 Comment

  1. absolutely great information! Very clean, concise and compelling.

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