What prompts people to buy a product? Is it based on pure need, or is there an emotional tug that often influences our purchasing behavior?
By now it's pretty clear that we often purchase based on the desire for the feeling we imagine we'll have once we own a product.
But what gets us to that point? What evokes that desire for the product? It's not typically a reation to the product itself, but rather the messanging around the product. This is how emotional marketing works.
Graeme Newell of 602 Communications explains,
"Emotional Marketing is messaging that builds your ego. It makes you feel smarter, bolder, more sophisticated, or just about any other emotion that is fundamental to your self-esteem. By making you feel better about yourself, the brand transcends mere product status and becomes a friend. This is what gives your brand that special something that builds life-long attachment."
This life-long attachment is the holy grail for most businesses. But how do you start?
Know Your Customers!
To be truly effective at appealing to the right emotions in your business's marketing, you have to understand your buyer’s emotions. In other words, you need to know your buyer personas well enough to create marketing messages that are tied to their emotions and nurtures them on the path to the purchase.
Here are a few ways to better understand your customers:
- Talk to Them! This is exactly what Alex Turnbull, Founder of Groove does, in order to understand his customers more. He schedules regular calls so he can fully understand what they love or dislike about his product.
- Survey Customers. As you work to keep your customers engaged during the first stages of the customer journey, think of your budding relationship as a two-way street. Encourage customers to share their thoughts and opinions by including a customer satisfaction survey into your email drip.
- Create Customer Personas. Built from the real words of real buyers, a buyer persona tells you what prospective customers are thinking and doing as they weigh their options to address a problem that your company resolves. Much more than a one-dimensional profile of the people you need to influence, or a map of their journey, actionable buyer personas reveal insights about your buyers’ decisions — the specific attitudes, concerns and criteria that drive prospective customers to choose you, your competitor or the status quo.
- Use Data to Understand Who They Are. Many businesses make the mistake of using generic demographics like age, profession, and location to develop their customer personas.These data points simply don’t provide enough information to create messaging that resonates with your audience on an emotional level. One way to dig deeper into customer preferences is to use the Acquisitions tab on Google Analytics to see which social media outlets, industry blogs and professional forums your site traffic comes from. Then, apply this information to your personas so you can find out where and when to reach them more effectively.
Once you've done your homework on your customer base, you can really start communicating on a level that your target customer will be much more likely to respond to. Here are a few examples of how to do so.
10 Ways to Use Emotions in Marketing
Here are ten creative ways to use emotion in your business's marketing. Use these as a jumping point to think about different ways you can introduce more emotions in your marketing activities.
- Share or create a story about how your product or service saved or can save the day for a client. Narratives and storytelling engage consumers’ subconscious and create an emotional connection with the brand and the story.
- Create emotional connections through your website and landing page design. There is scientific evidence that focusing on human faces and exhibiting images of real employees creates a sense of trustworthiness with the brand. Furthermore, smiling faces have proven to increase conversions.
- Use a current event to stoke fear (i.e. the recent hacks on the Illinois Department of Employment Security, “If this can happen to the big guys, it can happen to you…”).
- Make sure that your ads evoke an emotion. Research on advertising shows that the emotional response to an ad influences consumers’ intention to buy much greater than the ad’s content itself. We saw this phenomenon with the 2016 Rio Olympics ads. The most-shared ads utilized emotion and universal experiences to foster a sense of connection with viewers.
- Make your service feel essential and the payoff so big that your potential clients have a guilt-free reaction to saying “yes”.
- Show some emotion yourself by speaking from the heart and letting your passion and enthusiasm come through in your marketing copy, prospect calls, customer service, etc.
- Build credibility with social proof. Socially-minded services such as Yelp and Airbnb are popular because they utilize the simple yet powerful word-of-mouth recommendation in our modern-day social media dominated world. Companies that highlight word-of-mouth recommendations from clients as part of their marketing strategy, are saying, “Trust us, because many others do.” In turn, our gut-level emotional response says, “If others trust them, I should, too.” Social proof can take many forms: testimonials, customer reviews, company logos, or real customer stories.
- Go dramatic by making a video that shares a story that is touching, eye-opening or fear-inducing.
- Be inspirational and talk to your prospects one-on-one, walking them through the process of working with you and outlining all they have to gain.
- Create a character that mirrors your target customer persona and use it/him/her as your business mascot, providing a familiar touch point, answering questions, and solidifying your brand.
Gaining New Customers With Emotional Marketing
Anyone who is already familiar with your brand will likely respond positively to your emotional pitches, but the true test of your emotional marketing will be whether it lures in new customers and inspires them to make purchases. It's easy to feel admiration for a business when the organization participates in a charitable endeavor or uses emotional marketing to boost customer connections.
However, it requires more thought and some savvy marketing to encourage people to actually make a purchase from a company they've never dealt with in the past. For example, imagine you sell hiking apparel, and your advertisements target outdoorsy customers who appreciate the value of nature and the environment.
Your emotional plea to "save the environment" will probably please your long-time customers, but will it be enough to inspire new customers to make a purchase? Not only is it important to make sure your emotional advertisement or marketing pitch hits the viewer "right in the feels," but it's also important that the advertisement reminds the customer that they need something you sell.
Build Your Brand with New Packaging from Howard Packaging
Is it time to rethink your company's branding? Have you been using the same packaging for years? Perhaps it's time to consider the innovative and environmentally-friendly packaging options from Howard Packaging. Let us show you how our sustainable packaging options can benefit your business, save money, increase brand notoriety, and build positive reputation. Contact us today to request a Free Catalog and Sample Kit*!
*We only sell to the retail, food service and professional products trade. We do not sell products to or ship sample kits to individuals.