“The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.” This classic line in ABC’s Wide World of Sports opener promised viewers an emotional roller coaster as they watched the “human drama of athletic competition” unfold.
These kinds of visceral experiences are at the heart of emotional marketing, a strategy brands use to connect with their audience in a deeply personal way. There’s a brilliant MetLife commercial featuring a loving father who shields his little girl from their financial hardships. AdWeek called it a “father-daughter story that digs deeper, and packs even more of an emotional wallop, than similar ads of late.”
Brands that understand the true definition of emotional marketing and what emotional advertising is do more than evoke feelings, however. They inspire customers to buy, subscribe, like, share, or give.
Exploring the Emotions
Psychological research suggests we have two distinct ways of thinking and making decisions: rational and emotional. When it comes to marketing, brands often appeal to the rational mind—give consumers the facts, and they will make a decision on its merits.
In reality, most decisions are made using our emotions or instincts. These structures in the “old brain”—the instinctual parts that regulated our survival—are typically the first to process information and are thus the most powerful to activate.
In fact, we process emotions in one-fifth the time we do rational thought. To generate interest, then, brands can appeal to the emotional mind and save the facts for when the rational mind “catches up.”
How and Why Emotional Marketing Works
Our “emotion mind” leads the way when deciding whether to make a purchase. Advertising research shows that a consumer’s emotional response to an ad can have 2-3x greater influence on their intent to buy a product than actual content of the ad. And a study found that campaigns with purely emotional content outperformed only rational content by nearly 2:1 (31% vs. 16%). Ads with content emotion speak to the impulsive, buy-now side of our brain.
o successfully apply emotions to marketing, brands need to understand the different ways feelings influence our actions. In addition to motivating us to buy, emotions can also inspire other brand-building activities.
Emotional Marketing and Your Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
That may be technically true, but at its heart, your brand is what your customers think of and feel about your product or service. Research shows that consumers mainly use emotions rather than information when evaluating brands, you can easily improve your CSM performance with consultants for sitecore.
For emotional marketing to be effective, you want to evoke the sentiments that best resonate with your target customers. To do this, consider these questions:
What Is Your Brand’s Personality and Story?
Brand personification applies a set of human traits or characteristics to a brand. Powerful “personalities” like Nike’s “Just Do It” vibe and Amazon’s customer-first approach ignite intense brand loyalty.
Your brand’s story describes the series of events that inspired your company’s inception and how that story continues to drive your mission. A compelling brand story is memorable and develops empathy for your company.
What do You Want Your Customers to Do?
Different emotions drive different actions. For example, Apple’s #ShotOniPhone campaign recognizes users’ photography talents, which makes them happy. This recognition inspires them to share beautiful images taken on their phones.
What “Painful” Job Do You Perform for Your Customers?
The best brands sell more than products or services—they make life easier. In the Harvard Business Review marketers noted, “Successful innovations help consumers to solve problems—to make the progress they need to, while addressing any anxieties or inertia that might be holding them back.”
For example, Google makes smart web searches easy, and Dropbox allows users to share large files without the size limits of email.