5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Emotional Intelligence for Marketing In addition to growing your business faster, using these emotionally intelligent strategies will ensure you are connecting with the right customers who will also help you grow faster.

By Bill Carmody

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Have you ever left your car for 15 minutes only to get back into the driver's seat and notice an annoying flyer shoved under your window wiper? Like most of us, you probably pull it out, crumple it up and curse the litter-inducing ad ninjas who targeted you.

Unfortunately, digital marketing is beginning to resemble this same irritating chain of events. With increased technology, many digital marketers are desperately targeting and re-targeting potential customers in all the wrong places -- and it's making them mad.

Indeed, a recent study showed almost 50 percent of consumers think their brands are clueless about how to reach them. Another study found that only one in three customers believe their favorite brands truly understand them.

I have found that the solution to this problem is emotional intelligence: it's about being real, authentic and intuitive. Emotional intelligence helps me run a more profitable business. And I believe it's time for marketing enterprises to implement these same skills.

Related: Here Are 12 Must-Use Apps for Marketers

I have found that deploying Emotional Intelligence in your digital marketing is a lot more intuitive than you might suspect. It's simple and most of the time, boils down to common sense. Here's how to implement this tactic: what works for me:

1. Listen deeply

Before investing in digital media, use any number of social listening tools such as Topsy, Hootsuite and Social Mention to understand what your audience is passionate about. You would never barge into a dinner party and hijack the conversation, so why would you want your brand to be perceived as doing the same thing via digital marketing? By listening to what people care about, you can formulate your strategy of how best to do the next four recommended steps below.

2. Add value first

Find ways to add value rather than simply pushing your own agenda. If you are coming from a place of giving rather than taking, then you will naturally be inclined to help the people you are looking to serve with your products or services. Adding value is about finding ways to enhance and improve the lives of the customers you'd like to acquire and retain. Sure, you can argue that this is the ultimate purpose of your product or service but before anyone wants to buy from you, they first need to understand who you are, what you represent and why they should invest in your brand. In order to accomplish this, they have to get to know you. Make it easy for them to want to get to know you by finding ways to add value before you ask for the sale.

Related: Effective Marketers Sell to Customers on Both the Product and the Brand

3. Attraction beats distraction

Focus on desire and the laws of attraction to draw your audience in rather than trying to interrupt and distract them. No one likes to be "sold" but everyone loves to buy. Become an expert storyteller. Think beyond the features and benefits of what you're selling. What does your company and brand stand for? How are you making the world a better place in some small but important way?

4. Don't be creepy

Yes, you can leverage big data to learn a lot about your audience but there is a fine line between insightful and creepy. If you feel you may be crossing the line, you probably are (even if it's not illegal to do so). Instead, think about the ways you can be insightful and surprise and delight your audience rather than creeping them out by how much you know about them and their habits.

For example, many people use Epicurious to seek out great cooking recipes and many of those people have downloaded their app. With big data and iBeacon technology, marketers can identify the best customers who might be interested in Mexican food, for example, and send them an alert while they are shopping at their favorite grocery store. As long as you've opted in to receive alerts from Epicurious and actually like the food that is being recommended, this should be a positive experience – especially if you are an "explorer" and like to discover new and interesting foods to prepare at home.

5. Respect when retargeting

Frequency is important, but you can go overboard with your retargeting. Balance awareness goals with annoyance risks. Think about retargeting in terms of dating. Just because someone went out on a date with you doesn't mean they want to marry you. No one likes being hounded. Respect the fact that not everyone you want to sell to is ready to buy from you.

In addition to growing your business faster, using these emotionally intelligent strategies will ensure you are connecting with the right emotionally intelligent customers who will, in turn, help you grow faster. After all, the right customers that buy from you for the right reasons will ensure right relations and attract more of the right customers in the future.

Related: 5 Ways Data Can Enhance Marketing Campaigns

Wavy Line
Bill Carmody

CEO of Trepoint

Bill Carmody is the CEO of Trepoint, a full-service digital agency.

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