Again and again, science supports the power of emotion in marketing with studies of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measure brain activity, revealing that people primarily use emotion when evaluating a brand, like personal feelings and experiences, over information. And while perhaps overused, the saying “people buy on emotion and justify with logic” is a critical reminder of the necessity of eliciting an emotional connection between brands and consumers. As the future of marketing continues to center around the customer experience, emotion can elevate marketing campaigns and deliver memorable experiences throughout the customer journey via technology solutions.
Understanding the Target Audience
Businesses must think deeply about what their customer wants to get in touch with their emotions. Whether a brand targets a more niche or broad audience, it’s vital to leverage any data collected from customer surveys, call recordings, etc. Unfortunately, the issue is that people don’t always articulate exactly what they need, which is where research and analysis come in. Likewise, it’s crucial to determine consumer motivators, such as standing out, well-being or social causes. After establishing the basic needs and motivations of one’s customers, companies must find an emotional connection between their product or service and the customer’s core challenges. People want to be told how one’s product or service is solving their challenges– otherwise, they won’t be interested. Once the emotional connection does get established, consumers will associate the brand and its product with the resolution it brings.
How to Ensure That the Emotional Connection Lasts
Getting people to buy a product is one thing – turning them into loyal customers that will make repeat purchases and tell their friends is a much more involved process that requires a meaningful and memorable customer experience. Companies must thoroughly understand the various buyer touchpoints and structure their tactics accordingly. Notably, in today’s era of convenience, customers want access to multiple self-service options, whether tracking package status or checking account balances. Businesses can ensure 24/7 communication across channels through live chat, chatbots and virtual agents. Of course, these interactions don’t garner as many emotional connections as face-to-face ones – nevertheless, the ease of use will satisfy the consumer’s desire for speed.
Businesses can also foster brand intimacy, how a customer feels about a particular brand, through personalized customer experiences. An example is phone calls vs. SMS, as older generations prefer the first, while younger people like text messaging. Likewise, by sending personalized and more targeted communication via channels like SMS or emails based on the customer’s point in the journey or expressed preferences, brands can help pre-established emotional connections endure. Moreover, the customer experience needs to be seamless, especially regarding communication. Consider that when a client calls a business, that company needs access to all relevant data on that person to smoothly route them to the appropriate department, rather than having the caller go through three different departments repeating their problem because the company had siloed data.
Leading Technology Solutions to Create Meaningful Experiences
Some of the most powerful communication technology solutions for creating emotional connections between brands and customers are CRM software and CPaaS platforms. Leading CRM solutions can automatically track customer data, interactions and buying habits, allowing businesses to segment their customers for more tailored efforts as described above. And while automation might sound non-personal – if used correctly – it can empower brands to deliver a more individualized customer experience. Still, many businesses may not have enough developers or resources to build these highly-specific flows, channels and systems. Industry-leading CPaaS offerings, however, come with pre-packaged, low-code, no-code applications enabling companies to easily build communication workflows, like a virtual assistant or an interactive voice response, in a matter of minutes.
Human Emotion and the Role of Storytelling
A classic rule in marketing is to tell a story, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be about the product itself as long as the story is engaging and connects with people’s emotions. The stories of everyday interactions between customers and businesses are equally as compelling and are just as sharable as any commercial. Every time a consumer interacts with a brand, it is an opportunity to create an emotional connection and a memorable experience they will share with a family member or friend. With this in mind, organizations can turn their customers into enthusiastic promoters by using emotional-focused communication solutions to enhance even the most mundane touchpoint in the customer journey.