There is a growing place for emotion in business and marketing strategies. After years of being relegated to the wimpy and unsophisticated, the concept of feeling is being recognized as the way to engage those individual human beings who make up your target audience. Tapping into the emotion quotient requires skill in key areas. Among them are how to measure success, use design wisely, and when to balance the evocative with data.
Thanks to technology and burgeoning digital channels, individuals can express delight or disgust with a brand in a multitude of ways. In ROI is Dead, author and Epsilon CEO, Andy Frawley, drills into the behaviors that constitute brand engagement and why we need to retire the push strategy’s ROI and gauge success with a pull strategy’s ROE2: Return on Experience x Engagement. Says Mr. Frawley, “Experience creates emotion, emotion fuels engagement and both together impact brand and business outcomes.”
If brand message and position provide a platform for the relationship, creative strategies provide the staging. Imagery, color, and user experience strike emotional chords that can make or break both nascent and existing connections. Jacqui Jewell, of We Are Social, discusses visceral, behavioral, and reflective design in her article Emotional Design: What Marketers Can Learn from a Weather App. The impact of these components is subtle but very real. Do they work in harmony with content to convey the intended brand experience or has a gap been created between perception and reality?
Everything in Moderation
If all this is a little je ne sais quoi for the sales team strategy, Michael D. Harris, CEO of Insight Demand, offers a balanced approached in When to Sell with Facts and Figures, and When to Appeal to Emotions. “We can’t imagine that serious executives would make decisions based on emotion, because we view our emotional decisions as irrational and irresponsible,” states Mr. Harris. In fact, decisions are frequently made based on emotion and justified with intellect.
How do you want prospects and clients to feel about working with your company? What might the impact on revenues be if they felt like they were savvy and smart business people because they chose your firm? What if they felt relieved that their challenges were in good hands? The evocative is not only for the feint of heart, puppies, and babies. It is a growing business marketing tool that adds important levels of meaning to brand, digital, and social strategies.