Marketing is all about creating an emotion – causing consumers to feel something that makes them connect with a brand on a deeper level. It’s creating an experience whether through a live event, an ad campaign, a brand story, or social media engagement. When you can clearly communicate your brand story in a way that resonates with your audience and leaves a lasting impression – that’s marketing magic.
Mad Men’s Peggy Olson created a campaign for a lipstick brand that tapped into women’s emotions, desires, and insecurities. “Mark Your Man” became a tagline that worked because it did just that.
In the movie What Women Want, a fictitious ad campaign for Nike became about what women feel when they run. Not how they run, or how they dress, or how much money they make. No Games tapped into the reason a woman runs and the feeling of being in a moment that’s just about her.
Both of these are Hollywood examples of what every real brand dreams of doing – connecting on a deeper level with their audience.
Don’t mistake this technique as purely B2C. Appealing to emotions is a tactic that works just as well for B2B brands. And while TV magic might make it look easy, the truth is that it takes skill and intuition, and requires leaving your comfort zone. Here are a few marketing tactics that can help you create deeper connections that lead to sales wins.
#1 Look at your brand from a different perspective
Let’s say you’re creating a campaign for pepper spray. Who’s your target audience? Women are probably at the top of your list, right? They’re the ones who buy it. They’re the ones who need to protect themselves (no comment). Hell, it even comes in a pink container (no comment). But what if we stepped outside of that perspective? What if we target men instead? Not the men we’d spray (although that might be interesting), but the men who love our core demographic. Husbands, fathers, boyfriends and brothers? What if you could tap into the way these men feel worrying about the women they love? And how would they feel if they could protect her – even when they’re not with her? Now that taps into some pretty strong emotions.
#2 Create an experience.
These days it’s not just about creating an event where you can connect with your audience face to face. Your brand has countless opportunities to create an incredible Customer Experience (CX) across every touchpoint along the path to purchase, from social media engagement to customer service chats to ecommerce sites and automated emails post-purchase. Find out where your core demographic lives/works/plays and go to them. Online and off, you can give your customers and prospects something to remember. With the right tools, you can make this process oh-so-much easier. Do your customers ask the same questions via social media channels or your website (i.e. what are your hours? Are you open on Sundays, What’s your return policy)? Here are two ways you can provide your customers with a better experience:
- Create an FAQ page on your website written with voice search in mind. FAQ pages are typically written with SEO keywords, but for modern consumers who use tools such as Siri and Alexa to search for answers online, you’ll do better to write the questions just as someone might speak them into a smartphone.
- Consider AI. Chatbots are a simple, affordable way to take advantage of the latest technology and tools to provide better customer experiences. Chatbots can provide immediate answers to customers’ most common questions. Not sure how they work or how to get started? We can help – reach out and we’ll chat (see what we did there?) about how to get your first chatbot set-up and working in just a few days!
#3 Listen to your customers
– and help them out, even when it doesn’t immediately benefit you. True Story: an executive who was loyal to a particular hotel chain had been trying to book arrangements for an upcoming business trip. Unfortunately, his favorite hotel was booked. He mentioned it on Twitter. The hotel saw the tweet, and what do you think they did? They could have “liked” his tweet, re-tweeted it, and even replied to him apologizing for being booked. Instead (and this is where the magic comes in…), they replied to him on Twitter with recommendations for a nearby hotel. And that’s not all. The also took the liberty of booking the room for him – compliments of them. Now that’s customer service. Yes, they handed him over to a competitor, but who do you think that customer remembered – and appreciated – most?
#4 Let generosity drive you.
Think about how your brand can do something to help others. And not just donating funds or jumping on the pro bono bandwagon. But what ties in with your unique brand that will do good, without asking for anything in return? How do we give our consumers JLo’s famous “goosies” every time they think of our brand? One great example: Years ago, Lands’ End partnered with the Big Boston Warm Up to provide gently used coats to every homeless person in Boston. It was a smart decision, and one that helped thousands. Tapping into consumers’ authentic desires and emotions is key to creating an authentic experience for which your brand will be remembered.
#5 Leverage professional-level technology and know-how.
If there’s one thing that all our clients have in common, it’s a maxed-out marketing department. These folks work hard to get the job done, but oftentimes lack the resources and person-power to accomplish all of their goals. That’s why finding an agency partner to work with can make a difference in the success of your marketing campaigns. Your budget doesn’t need to double in order to take advantage of the social media tools that enterprise-level companies are using. In fact, as an agency partner, we’re able to offer all the benefits of the Sprout Social dashboard to our clients across the board – whether mid-sized company or small start-up. And with full access to a proprietary approval work flow process, you can get immediate feedback on your social media efforts, and start to see improvements from the get-go.
Every brand has the ability to create magic. It simply requires some clever thinking, the right tools, and a healthy dose of marketing know-how. When your brand communicates clearly, you’re able to show your audience what you’re about, make them feel an emotion, and drive them to act. Everything you do as a brand communicates something to your audience. What are you communicating?