I was reading the other day an online article on Huffington Post that stated that in the more developed parts of the world on average, consumers are exposed to a staggering 5000 products and services adverts per day got even more astounded by the glaring fact that among those 5000-plus advertisements, only about 12 will make an impression on the average consumer. While caught in that web of thoughts it reminded me of how modern warfare technology has rapidly advanced from the era of carpet bombing to more sophisticated and advanced tools like Tomahawk missiles and bunker busters. Enough of my limited warfare knowledge. The question I have is how can your business stand out among the clutter?
There is no grain of doubt that it is the goal of every business, institution, organization to stand out. Millions and billions of whatever currency is used where you live or operate from are spent in this endeavor. While not everyone succeeds in this sought after goal, it is imperative! Whether your company is listed on the stock exchange or not there is one KEY way for your business to stand out. The answer lies in building emotional connections with your audience. We often confuse emotions with moods but they are not quite the same.
While it is a common mistake of many businesses, there is a need to acknowledge that selling a product is no longer enough. Now it’s all about the experience you provide with it. I wrote on this blog about the value of creating and managing customer experiences. This experience is dependent on your ability to trigger the right emotions, from the right audience, at the right time. Basically, knowing times and seasons!
With that in mind, let us look at some well-known marketing concepts that I believe will help us to see how leveraging your audience’s emotions will increase engagement with your business, convert leads and drive sales, the so-called bottom line. It is about the bottom line right?
1. You have to establish deeper value
There’s one thing that is safe to assume about a majority of the audience reading this, and it’s that you are within arm’s reach of your smart phone (and perhaps reading this on it, they are only dumb because of the battery life unless you have an LG.lol) Why is that? It’s just a little piece of technology used to make calls and texting, right? Well, the truth is that it certainly wasn’t marketed to you that way. They made sure that you saw the value of having the gadget you use.Wether you are a Samsung fan like me, LG, Apple or whoever, the inescapable truth is that you were lured by some form of “we will add value to your phone ownership experience”
There are companies that have made this an art.We are just a week away from a scheduled Apple event on September 9 2015 where they are expected or rather rumored to announce the IPhone 6s and upgraded Apple TV and possibly a new IPad. This is one company in particular that has thrived on their ability to effectively market to emotions. A classic example is the 2013 Christmas iPhone advert. The advert tells the story of a young boy who used his iPhone to capture candid video clips of his family on Christmas day and then puts together a short video that leaves his mother in tears. Apple was not just selling a phone in this commercial. It was selling a feeling of love, belonging and connectedness.
So how does this translate to your marketing strategy? As a rule of thumb, which most miss: benefits first, features second. It’s important to explain to your audience what your product or service does, but it’s even more important to explain what it does for them. How well your product satisfies that intrinsic need is what will set you apart from the competition will not buy your product or service solely because it is cheap. What value is it going to add? If none,I have no need for it! Learn to communicate the value aspect!
2. Alleviating “psychological pain”.
It is a fact that people avoid what makes them unhappy. This desire to avoid pain, also referred to as the “psychology of pain” can be implemented into your marketing strategy and used to leverage your relationship with your audience.
What do your prospects want to avoid most? It could be walking long distances, anxiety, or any negative emotion you can think of. You can use the psychology of pain to your advantage. Industries like health and wellness or financial services typically use the psychology of pain to demonstrate their value to people by for example the need to obesity or how not to be caught up in debts etc. These are matters that appeal to the emotion and will surely resonate with prospective customers.
Keep in mind though, there is a fine line between motivation and manipulation. To remain ethical, avoid making unbacked claims and always make sure you are providing a genuine and effective solution to your audience. Customers are smart! It’s okay to hit them where it hurts, as long as you truly can provide a solution. Do not lie!
3. Can you eliminate regret?
Psychologist Barry Schwartz talks about a concept called “the paradox of choice.” Schwartz refutes the common misconception that more choices equates to more freedom. Instead, he says that “choice has made us not freer, but more paralyzed, not happier, but more dissatisfied. “While this is open to debate, and understandably so, there are things we can learn from this.
The paradox of choice is a concept that should be considered in conjunction with how you reduce regret for your customers. Too many product or service offerings at once risks overwhelming and frustrating your customers to the point that they regret their decision if you are not careful.
In some cases, more options can actually mean fewer sales and less satisfaction. Keep this in mind when launching promotions for your business. Rather than offering a promotion on a wide array of products or services, the paradox of choice suggests that narrowing down to one or two options will be able to drive more sales in the long-term.
This “let’s throw it all out there” approach adversely affects a lot of businesses who do not give heed to the effects of in-house cannibalism.eg an FMCG player that runs simultaneous cross promotions of let’s say washing powder A and B to fight competitor Z. At the end of the day, competitor Z can be the winner. Power in numbers concept does not work everywhere and in all things. Just be smart.
George Damson is a coat of many colours and can be reached on:
Cell: +265 997 416 972