Effective Marketing Appeals to Emotions Instead of Reason
On average, consumers are exposed to more than 5000 advertisements per day. Among those 5000-plus advertisements, only about 12 will make an impression on the average consumer. How can your business stand out among the clutter?
Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a recently funded startup, the best way for your business to stand out is by building emotional connections with your audience. Your business needs to acknowledge that selling a product is no longer enough. Now it's all about the experience you provide with it. This experience is dependent on your ability to trigger the right emotions, from the right audience, at the right time.
1. Establishing deeper value.
There's one thing that is safe to assume about a majority of the audience reading this, and it's that you are within arm's reach of your smart phone (and perhaps reading this on it). Why is that? It's just a little piece of technology used to make calls, right? Well, it certainly wasn't marketed to you that way.
Apple is one company in particular that has thrived on their ability to effectively market to emotions. Apple's 2013 Christmas commercial for the iPhone tells the story of a young boy who used his iPhone to capture candid video clips of his family on Christmas day and then puts together a short video that leaves his mother in tears. Apple was not just selling a phone in this commercial. It was selling a feeling of love, belonging and connectedness.
So how does this translate to your marketing strategy? As a rule of thumb, keep this methodology in mind: benefits first, features second. It's important to explain to your audience what your product or service does, but it's even more important to explain what it does for them. How well your product satisfies that intrinsic need is what will set you apart from the competition.
2. Alleviating psychological pain.
People avoid what makes them unhappy. This desire to avoid pain, also referred to as the psychology of pain, can be implemented into your marketing strategy and used to leverage your relationship with your audience.
What do your prospects want to avoid most? Whether it be embarrassment, anxiety, fear or any other negative emotion, you can use the psychology of pain to your advantage. Industries like health and wellness or financial services typically use the psychology of pain to demonstrate their value to people by directly addressing obesity or debt in their copy.
Keep in mind, there is a fine line between motivation and manipulation. To remain ethical, avoid making unbacked claims and always make sure you are providing a genuine and effective solution to your audience. It's okay to hit them where it hurts, as long as you truly can provide a solution.
3. Eliminating regret.
In a Ted Talk by psychologist Barry Schwartz, he talks about a concept called "the paradox of choice." Schwartz refutes the common misconception that more choices equates to more freedom. Instead, he says that "choice has made us not freer, but more paralyzed, not happier, but more dissatisfied."
The paradox of choice is a concept that should be considered in conjunction with how you reduce regret for your customers. Too many product or service offerings at once risks overwhelming and frustrating your customers to the point that they regret their decision.
In some cases, more options can actually mean fewer sales and less satisfaction. Keep this in mind when launching promotions for your business. Rather than offering a promotion on a wide array of products or services, the paradox of choice suggests that narrowing down to one or two options will be drive more sales in the long-term and decrease return rates.
Keeping in mind the concepts presented above, you can establish value for your audience, sell your solution and minimize post-purchase regret. From there, you can continue strengthening your emotional connection with your audience to build long-term, profitable relationships.
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