Ros Weadman (main image) is the author of Improve your reputation – how to create a brand that people want to work for, buy and invest in and a communication and brand reputation specialist. In this guest post, Weadman offers five tips to ensure your marketing message has a deeper emotional IQ…
If you’re not connecting with your target market on a deep emotional level, you’re probably wasting your time, effort, and resources. Although communicating the tangible/rational elements of a brand or product, such as quality, capability, price, and service support, is an important part of marketing, connecting on a deep level with target markets requires communicating the intangible/emotional elements, such as brand purpose and values, and how someone will feel when their life improves or their problem is solved through the use or the experience of your product/service.
Here are five ways to inject emotional intelligence into your marketing program to build a deeper connection with target markets.
- Define your “why”
You can connect emotionally with people by highlighting the company’s purpose to answer the “why” question – why you do what you do and why it matters. According to PwC, Millennials are 5.3 times more likely to stay with an employer when they have a strong connection to their employer’s goal and non-Millennials are 2.3 times more likely to stay.
Some of the most powerful brand stories contain compelling statements about the cause they believe in. For example, the electric vehicle manufacturer You’re here believes that “the sooner the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emissions future, the better”. This belief drives its mission to accelerate the global transition to sustainable energy. A brand that evokes emotion through a strong sense of purpose becomes a beacon to potential employees and customers who believe what you believe.
- Understand what company you work for
How you think and talk about what you do for business can have a profound impact on the relevance of your marketing message. As business owners, we need to think and speak through the lens of the customer (brand promise) rather than through the lens of the business (brand profit). Your marketing messages will be more engaging when they tap into the look, feel, and life people want when they buy your product. Charles Revlon, former owner of Revlon International Corporation, said it perfectly when he said, “In the factory, we make cosmetics. In the department store, we sell hope”. Mr. Revlon knew what business he was “really” working in and it was not cosmetics.
- Satisfy basic needs
There are several models of human needs that help us understand the emotional triggers that cause people to seek out particular products/experiences in order to evoke specific feelings. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, for example, suggests that people are motivated to meet particular needs, beginning with basic physiological needs such as the need for food, shelter, and water, and working your way up. to satisfy more complex psychological needs such as security, love/belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization. Similarly, world-renowned trainer Tony Robbins believes that humans have six basic needs that determine behavior: Certainty, Variety, Belonging, Importance, Growth, and Contribution.
A useful way to identify the basic need your target market is trying to satisfy is to ask yourself, “What does my target market want to feel as a result of using/experienced my product/service?”. For example, a need for uncertainty/variety (to feel excitement, drama, euphoria) could translate to “I want to feel adventurous.” Or a need for importance (to feel important, valued, desired) could translate to “I want to feel worthy”.
Once you understand the basic need(s) your target market is looking to satisfy, you can craft powerful marketing messages that will resonate on a much deeper level. For example, an adventure travel business might address a person’s need for variety/uncertainty and their desire to experience excitement or euphoria. Or a prestige watchmaker might appeal to a person’s need for importance and their desire to feel important or worthy.
- Tap into the five senses
We experience the world through our senses – visual (seeing); auditory (hearing); kinesthetic (touch/feel); gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) – this is why using sensory language and creating sensory experiences are common marketing tactics. In tourist brochures, for example, it is common to read statements referring to the sights, sounds and sensations of the holiday destination to create desire and trigger action. Likewise, sensory stimulation is often used to elicit the emotions of potential buyers, such as the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through rooms in a home open for inspection or the burning of scented candles in a gift shop. .
- Speak your brand language
Successful brands communicate with words and tone aligned with their beliefs and values. Mercedes-Benz, for example, as a prestige brand, speaks the language of excellence and distinction with an assured tone, consistent with a culture that values status and importance. When you use words and tone that align with your brand beliefs and values, you build brand trust and credibility through consistency of voice across marketing channels and customer touchpoints.
When you focus on the emotional intangibles in your marketing – the things that connect humans to a brand, such as purpose, beliefs, values, and feelings – you’ll not only make your brand more relevant, the logical tangibles of business, such as sales, productivity and retention, will take better care of themselves.