Emotional Marketing: What Makes Buyers Buy

The Role of Emotions in Marketing

What’s more logical:

  • Option 1: Clearly stating the facts about your product/service offering and touting the benefits OR
  • Option 2: Providing an illustration of your product/service offering with a killer tagline that elicits anxious excitement?

Not sure? Let’s dissect it more.

Option 1 may sound something like this: “Hey, world…we’ve just developed this great new marketing_emotionzingerblang that will save you 1.25 hours per load of laundry and rid you of the need to waste real estate on a clunky clothes dryer! No longer do you have to stand by and wait for your laundry to dry, just use zingerblang, with new patented air-sucking technology. Within 30 seconds of inserting an article of clothing, zingerblag sucks every molecule of moisture right out it…Bam! Laundry’s dry and ready to wear!

Option 2 goes something like this: scene 1 shows clothes dryer being dumped out of a second-story window. scene 2, complete with dramatic music shows attractive young female with serious look on her face as she inserts her periwinkle pullover into the zingerblanger…30 seconds later, as it pops out, her face beams with delight, as she twirls (in slow-motion, of course) holding the sweater above her head, eyes never leaving it, deep breath in through her nose smelling the freshness of the sweater, anticipation rising as she puts on the sweater with her best skirt and completes the outfit with a finishing touch as she clasps an earring on her ear with a look of pleasure and enthusiasm. Music builds as the doorbell rings, she spritzes a bit of perfume and containing her nervous excitement, she casually opens the door with a smile, greeting Mr. Right as he gently brushes his hand across the perfectly dried and soft sweater. The two stroll out, door closing behind them, ready for a night of romance, perhaps signaling the pivotal point in relationship and across the screen flashes “When you’re serious about making sure you don’t miss those perfect moments…”

AND CUT!! Having fun yet? Well, that’s the point, but to bring it back to the subject at hand…

According to research, option 2 is the type of marketing that makes buyers buy. (The example above may not be the best illustration or totally hit the emotive mark, but don’t miss the point.) Research has proven that we are not designed to listen to reason. Our emotions are the driver when it comes to our purchase decisions.

We are wired for emotional response.

The Neo-Cortex is the portion of our brain that deals with rational thought. This is where data and information processing occurs. Traditional marketing persuasion is based around product features, facts and figures. This data is designed to appeal to a rational intellectual decision thought process.

The Limbic System is where emotional processing, like trust and loyalty, occurs. Interestingly this system has no capacity for processing language. Yet this region drives our motivation – it governs our call to action response. It’s more powerful than neo-cortex rational brain.

Our typical modus operandi: Being the simplistic creatures that we are, we quickly decide on a course of action based on an emotional response. Once the decision is made, we then find substantiating facts.

Marketing Emotions

Marketing emotions aren’t all that new, advertisers have sought to create emotional connections, especially in visual media. What is changing is the marketing landscape. Empowered hyper-connected consumers are rapidly raising the stakes for brands.

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With the increasing noise level created by unprecedented content creation, connecting with your audience will require tailored content that will engage and illicit an emotional response.

Emotional Marketing Value

Connecting emotionally is equally important for B2B and B2c audiences because you are always marketing to humans. Telling compelling stories, connecting emotionally with the B2B segment may be more challenging, but it is possible.

Emotional Marketing Strategies

The list that follows are techniques and tactics marketers should include when developing marketing materials.

  • When using text, remember to use words to create image-rich stories.
  • Adapt stories to different media
    • Tailor message to channel
    • Deliver unique information
  • Leverage story telling techniques
    • Exchange telling suggestions for telling stories
    • Don’t have to be personal stories
    • Simple is better than complicated
  • Visuals are important. Adapt story to visual channels where appropriate. Use pictures/animations to bring otherwise mundane facts and figures to life.
    • Video (most engaging, as we are sensory driven)
      • Video can be high quality production of story or consumers telling their stories using their devices.
    • Photos
      • Possible to leverage consumer photos (think Instagram or Pinterest platforms)

Out of curiousity, did you enjoy reading the first half of this blog post, or the latter half? Which do you remember more? Did one evoke more emotion, using the Limbic System, and the other part use the Neo-cortex part of the brain that is more rational? Which would you choose to re-read?

Any work that we do that is designed to communicate or appeal to human beings with an appeal to act would benefit from being analyzed in this way. Understanding how your audience physiologically processes information is necessary to creating great marketing.

In a future post, I’ll cover more emotional marketing strategies and discuss ways to make your messages memorable.

So how does your marketing stack-up? Do you get stuck in the rut of listing facts and figures, or are you appealing to the emotional side of your target? I’d love to hear from you.

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