To boost sales, to grow brand awareness, to increase customer loyalty are some of the ways emotional marketing can be used.
How can emotional marketing help companies build better relationships with their target audience over time? Some answers will be provided by us.
Emotional marketing: a definition
Specific emotional responses are the focus of emotional marketing. The enhanced responses can be used to help target audiences identify with the brand and to help guide them to purchase a product or service.
Emotions in marketing give meaning and depth to the experience of a brand, product, or service, and if cultivated consistently, this bond can lead to long-term engagement.
The goal of emotional marketing is to become entrenched in people's lives. They want to settle over time by working on the collective imagination and by acting on the most popular trends at a given time. An increase in product prices that can be attributed to efforts to convert production equipment to something more sustainable is just one of the possible actions where you can connect with customers.
The level of connection established, which is more intense than in other forms of marketing, helps to create a feeling of customer loyalty in the long run and over the short term.
The origins of emotional marketing: emotional motivators
If you want to talk about emotional marketing, Harvard Business Review's "The New Science of Customer Emotions" is a good place to start. According to the authors, if an organization can connect with customers' emotions, it has the potential for enormous competitive advantage.
Building that kind of connection is often a matter of supposition rather than logic. The almost 300 emotional motivators that the article proposes represent an attempt to remedy the situation. The motivators can be linked to specific behaviors, each of which is distinguished by an expected degree of profitability. The analysis of these indicators would allow companies to identify and exploit the motivators that drive customers to buy a product or service.
The process can be divided into three separate phases.
- Companies conduct both market research and in-depth analysis on the data they already have. The goal is to discover what motivates their customers: desire for adventure, desire for security, striving for success, and so on (further investigation increases knowledge and understanding of the target audience). At this point, the results are interpreted to identify emotional motivators.
- Companies focus on their best customers to find out which of the newly identified motivators are specific or relevant in terms of the value produced. In particular, key motivators are identified, usually two or three, that show a strong association with the brand more than others. In this way, a sort of “emotion guide” can be developed to select those that need to be invested in to grow awareness and engagement in the segment of customers considered most valuable.
- Companies make structural efforts to make emotional connection one of the main levers of growth, not only in marketing but in every business function.
How emotional marketing works: emotions
We will highlight the emotions that fit best into the strategies of the company. Most of the time, these are not primary, innate and universal emotions, but rather secondary emotions that are linked to the specific experience of the individual.
1. Nostalgia storytelling
Nostalgia stories focus on a happy moment in the past but can be recreated through brand intervention. The emotion of reminiscence or nostalgia can be very successful with younger consumers if it is triggered correctly.
There are two Emotions being channeled.
It is possible for a brand to make a clear position on a sensitive issue. It should try to channel emotions like anger and a sense of revenge in order to push its target audience to become more aware. The risk of an epic fail is always around the corner, and being associated with a strong awareness can be risky.
There are three. It is important to amplify the fear of missing out.
The fear of missing out is caused by the fact that we are socialized from millions of years of tribal life. This ancient emotion is amplified out of proportion in the instant communication of social networks to push its audience to make timely purchasing decisions. It creates a sense of urgency in the consumers it targets, who begin to think that they can't afford to lose what they've already bought or experienced, on pain of social exclusion.
There are four. Aspirations are created.
In today's performance society, joy is an emotion characterized by a state of well-being and a sense of possibility, and it is often the result of a goal. Emotional marketing stages the potential for others to see that they feel a sense of fulfillment through the use of a product. They are not quite like us, but they are nice.
How emotional marketing works: tactics
What actions can we take to channel our feelings? How can emotions be enhanced by incorporating them into marketing processes?
A good emotional marketing strategy can't show itself to be disrespectful or aggressive, but it can show it's understanding and empathizing.
There are many emotional marketing techniques. Some of the best ones will be reported here.
1. Use powerful images
The most effective and immediate way to translate something invisible into a perceived and recognizable reality is to use images.
Emotional marketing can use images to channel the anxiety of the audience into a desired action such as participating in a conversation with the brand. Parallel realities in which a product or service enables something long desired can help nurture hopes and aspiration.
For a long time, companies have been exploiting our tendency to be drawn to visual stories. To hit a number of strategically crucial targets, including communicating the quality of a product or service more effectively, to building and promoting brand identity, to initiate and consolidate conversation with leads or customers, marketers and communication professionals are systematically using video.
Companies can improve their relationship with their audience by using visual storytellers.
There are two User generated content can be used to build social proof.
Increasing the engagement of its target audience is what emotional marketing is all about. Sharing testimony, social proof spontaneously shown by those who have already purchased a particular product or service, is one of the best ways to achieve this goal.
User-generated content is perceived as trustworthy because it is genuine and authentic.
People prefer to get advice from a real consumer than from a brand. Online reviews and words of mouth have an influence on purchase decisions.
Customers want to be listened to. Content that addresses their pain points is what they want. They are looking for marketing that can help them. They would like to be recognized. Increasingly personalized communication is the only way to establish a relationship with the public. If the consumer experience has improved over the past 10 years, it is because of personalization.
Without accurate surveys of the emotional landscape of consumers, emotional marketing wouldn't exist. Technology supports emotional marketing. It is possible to track the entire human emotional spectrum with the help of computer systems. They give marketers the ability to identify the various emotional manifestations that can occur in brand- user interactions and to make data-supported hypotheses about engagement, mood, attitudes, and personality.
What is behind (and within) the emotions?
Two different and hugely successful entertainment products, one aimed at younger audiences but designed, as is often the case, for more adult audiences as well, have helped popularize a theory of emotions that we might call deterministic. Our behavior would be the result of a complicated interaction of biochemical processes and there wouldn't be enough room for free will.
The chapter "And They Lived happily ever after" is from Yuval Noah Harari's book "Sapiens" The hypothesis is that our mental and emotional states are governed by biochemical mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years of evolution. Our well-being would not be dependent on external agents but on a complex system of nerves, cells, and substances called the endocannabinoid system.
Yuval Noah Harari's reflections on "chemical happiness" contained in "Sapiens" provide a vision that is at once interesting and disturbing, returning us to a reality where we wouldn't be able to control our emotions or behavior.
The reality may be more complex than we think. In her book, "How Emotions are Made," Lisa FeldmanBarrett argues that emotions are created through the interplay of our brain's internal processes, memories, and experience.
The debate is compelling and open, but it is not covered in this post. The unbreakable link between emotions and stories is something that we would like to highlight here.
The most powerful weapon of emotional marketing is stories
Stories are part of deep-rooted processes and are so effective that they are used in any area of human creativity. They would have a biological basis for the emotional connection they create. Each one of us would be programmed to have the same responses to the stories we hear, read, and watch.
There is a story or die. A sequence of three closely connected elements that through specific neurotransmitters would achieve the amazing result of propelling us into the fictional universe is what Lisa Cron writes about in either tell or you're out.
The stories that compel us to pay attention and engage us emotionally are the stories that drive us to action. Marketing has always used narrative content because they produce concrete consequences.
It's all nice and easy. Not quite, isn't it?
Jonathan Gottschall, an expert on the science of stories sheds light on the other side of the coin, on the dark side of stories, by tapping into a specific segment of the spectrum of human emotions.
A "mind-disordering story" is a story that does not distinguish true from false, and uses emotional tensions to manipulate the audience.
The real problem is not the manipulation but the gradual dissolution of the structures that allow us to distinguish reality from fiction. The greatest evils that afflict human beings are being amplified by new technologies that undermine the historical and factual knowledge on which civilized living is based.
If misinformation campaigns, conspiracy theories, and fake news are not foreign to the world of consumption, emotional marketing needs to take on an additional burden of responsibility.