How to Use Emotional Marketing to Attract Customers

Last week, we had a long conversation about digital signage, what it is and why it’s effective.  This week we’re going to focus on a different way to appeal to your customers: emotional marketing.

Crazy  Businessman

Getting foot traffic into your store is more important than ever before. eCommerce has become so widespread that, according to Forrester Research, sales are projected to hit $370 billion by 2017. There’s a lot of revenue at stake (to put it lightly) and these days, brick-and-mortar stores face a unique set of challenges – including showrooming, competitive price matching policies online, rising overhead costs and more.

These challenges are inspiring retailers to revamp their marketing strategies. Have you reviewed yours recently? It might be due for a refresh. If the traditional approach of sales and coupons isn’t getting the job done, you could consider trying an emotional marketing campaign.

Emotional marketing appeals to a customer’s feelings, needs and dreams.  These marketing messages should trigger a response: for example, the Chevy Silverado’s message of patriotic pride or sad-looking puppies in an ASPCA advertisement. The goal is two-fold—to make your customers feel the desired emotion, which then leads them to take action.

There are several commonly used emotions in creating marketing messages. Keep reading to learn how you can leverage them to spruce up your marketing strategy:

Fear:  One of the most commonly used feelings in emotional marketing, fear is used to plant the seed that something bad could happen if you don’t make a certain purchase or act in a certain way. It can also be used to convey the idea that you are taking care of things that matter (proper vehicle maintenance, purchasing insurance, etc.) to keep problems at bay.

Greed: Who, me?  No one likes to admit they are greedy. But appealing to someone with a large discount for a group of products or services may make it seem like they are getting more for less. Companies who offer bonus products with a purchase or a “two for the price of one” promotion attract many customers who may have been on the fence.

Guilt: We can practically guarantee that if you’re breathing, you feel guilty about something at some point — and marketing professionals know how to capitalize on this. For example, a recent advertisement from a fast food restaurant targeted busy parents. The ad showed a mom who admitted she didn’t have time to cook but could count on this restaurant for take-out that was just like home cooking.

Love: Unless you are stone-cold, we can guarantee you love someone or something—a significant other, your children, your pets or your home. Practically anything can be construed using love—from diapers to dog biscuits. This is an emotion that can be leveraged over and over to pull on your target audience’s heart strings. For example, a pet food company might market their product as a way for customers to show love and care for their dogs.

Marketing campaigns that use one or more of these messages can be powerful and effective. But a word of caution: emotional triggers should never be used in place of factual information or set up unrealistic expectations. 

After all of that work is done, it’s time to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. This can be accomplished with a people counting system that counts the number of people who enter your brick-and-mortar store. Advanced systems can also measure the effectiveness of your in-store displays, mapping their movements throughout the store. These systems work in conjunction with your in-store POS system, helping you to help establish a purchasing pattern.

Proper measurement of a campaign’s effectiveness ensures that you are not just throwing your marketing dollars into the wind. On the most basic level, if you see an increase in the number of people who are purchasing a certain product you are promoting, you know your campaign is working. However, if sales and foot traffic stay the same or decline, it’s a sign that your emotional appeal isn’t ringing true with your target audience and it’s time to reevaluate the messaging.