Psychology Series: The Role of Emotions in Driving Marketing Success

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Katie Thom Marketing Executive | Sales and Marketing

By connecting with customers on an emotional level, marketers can evoke a greater sense of trust and connection with a customer, leading to increased customer loyalty and longer-lasting impressions. 

This article will discuss the role of emotions in driving marketing success and provide insights on how to connect emotionally with your target audience.

 

Defining Emotional Marketing

Emotional marketing is a strategy that focuses on creating an emotional connection between a customer and a brand to drive engagement and conversions. It is based on the idea that customers are more likely to be loyal to a brand if they feel an emotional connection to it. 

Rather than focusing solely on a product's features, benefits, and functional aspects of a product or service, emotional marketing aims to create a deeper connection with the target audience through the use of storytelling, evocative imagery and persuasive language. By leveraging emotions such as happiness, nostalgia, fear and pride, marketers can create a powerful connection with their customers leading to increased sales and brand loyalty.

 

Understanding the Impact of Emotional Marketing on Consumer Decision-Making

Emotion plays a significant role in shaping consumer decisions, with many studies demonstrating the influence emotions have on how consumers perceive products and services, and ultimately, their purchasing behaviours. 

For example, research by Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman found that feeling rather than logic drives "purchasing behaviours, and also, decision making in general.". Similarly, The Harvard Business Review, states that emotional motivators "provide a better gauge of customers' future value to a firm than any other metric, including brand awareness and customer satisfaction."

These studies demonstrate the powerful impact emotions have on consumer behaviour and the importance of understanding how to tap into these emotions when creating marketing campaigns. 

 

How can businesses connect emotionally with their target audience? 

 

1. Using Storytelling to Forge Stronger Connections 

The power of storytelling in marketing is undeniable; by weaving a compelling narrative around your brand or product, you can make an impression that will resonate long after the initial encounter, helping your brand stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

The right story can develop a sense of trust and familiarity, encouraging people to take desired actions and purchase your product. By thinking about how your brand's story intersects with your audience's values, beliefs, and desires, you can craft a story that will resonate with them and make them want to be a part of it.

Just think about the 2022 John Lewis Christmas Advert, this campaign centred around children in care and emphasised how small acts of kindness can make a big difference. The use of emotive storytelling within this advert tugs on consumers' emotions, encouraging them to emotionally connect with the brand and develop brand loyalty.

 

2. Harnessing the Power of the Stress Hierarchy

Another way to drive sales and increase customer engagement is to create a sense of urgency or scarcity of a product. According to the stress hierarchy theory, consumers are more likely to take action when they perceive a high level of urgency. This can be achieved in a variety of ways from offering limited-time discounts, creating a countdown to an event or sale or offering a limited quantity of a product. 

By displaying a countdown timer on your website or in an advertisement, customers will be encouraged to act quickly before the offer expires and make decisions without overthinking their purchase, driving website conversions and revenue. This is reflected in our work with SockShop where we found the introduction of a next-day delivery countdown timer on the SockShop site lead to not only an increase in users converting with a supplemented delivery method but also an increased average order value (AOV). 

 

3. Understanding the Meaning Behind Different Colours

Colour is a key tool in marketing, and understanding its impact can help businesses create more effective campaigns. Colour has the ability to influence consumer behaviour, create an emotional connection, and even influence how people perceive a brand. 

Different colours evoke different emotions and associations, and businesses can use this to their advantage. For example, the bright red of Coca-Cola is associated with energy and excitement, while the blue of Bottomline is associated with trust and reliability. By using colour strategically, a company can create a strong and consistent brand identity that resonates with customers. 

Colour can be used to create a visual identity for brands, setting them apart from competitors and helping create a recognisable brand image that customers easily identify. This is especially important for businesses that have multiple products or services as it creates a unified look and feel across all offerings.

 

Summary

Understanding the importance of emotional marketing is essential in driving your business’s success and research has proven that connecting with your target audience at a deeper level and using a strategy that appeals to their emotions is necessary to drive sales and conversions effectively.