I try and avoid the amount of sugar I put in my body. But that doesn't stop me from spending hours and hours just browsing the various dessert options I could get delivered at the most ungodly hours. Most times I save them in my cart and forget about them (takes everything I have). But then there's days when that food delivery app I use sends a notification with that blueberry cheesecake, with the caption "Your cheat meal is due now at 50% off!"(I know right!!).
Here's what the app is doing - it's addressing two things : both my pain and my pleasure. Pleasure : the blueberry cheesecake and pain: being unhealthy.
As a human being, all of our needs are centered behind our emotions or a subset of them. Further, a research from the University of Glasgow suggests that all our emotions stem from 4 core feelings: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, angry/disgusted. Now, time for a quick psychology lesson. In 1943, American psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced the world to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs that consisted of five vital human needs, with the most basic one at the bottom of the pyramid.
The reason this is important is because it is essential to address each of these needs when we're selling a product or a service.
For example, let's talk about the "Share a Coke" campaign. Coke had seen a decline in sales for almost ten years. But with this new campaign the following happened:
- More than 500,000 photos were posted with #shareacoke
- Increased customer base by 28%
- Gained 25 million Facebook followers
What made this campaign so unique? This campaign addressed the "Esteem" aspect making every user feeling important by personalizing their experience.
As marketers there's a plethora of ways we try to reach our "ideal" buyer. But often times, the emotional aspect that drives purchases remains untapped. Data analysis is and will always remain one of the most important aspect of an inbound marketing strategy, but what good is that analysis if it's ignoring the whole picture? All the keyword research, buyer persona study, SEO also needs to address the psychology of a consumer.
The goal of every product/service is usually to ultimately impact an individual's lifestyle. We don't always convey that in the way we market products. For example, the marketing strategy for a maintenance management software, surrounds all the benefits that automating maintenance management can bring to work.
Great, right? Wrong.
While work and staff accountability is definitely important to said buyer persona, it's really how much more time he saves for himself that'll attract him to an offer. Buying that software can potentially reduce his work hours from ten to eight on a daily basis, which means more time family time or just fishing time. It's important for the buyer to believe that a product or service can potentially better their overall lifestyle.
Let's take an example. Following are examples of two products that help with acidity.
Both ads are trying to sell a remedy to acidity. But which one is more appealing? I think we'd agree the "Diwali samosa" ad on the right! It directly talks about a real problem and how it can solve the same and therefore impact the buyer's lifestyle. I mean who doesn't like more samosas?
Make your audience laugh (or cry)
Life is too short to not be entertained every chance you get. The following post by the New Yorker got double the number of shares than any of their other posts in 2015.
Image Source : www.newyorker.com
Here's another ad by the California Milk processor board captioned - "I may have adamentium fused to my bones, but I still need the calcium in milk to keep my bones strong to support all of that metal."
Image Source : Broward Palm Beach New Times
The "Got Milk?" campaign led to milk sales going up in California by 7%. X-men combined with humor? What more could you ask for? I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, who doesn't appreciate a sense of humor? I mean don't we all like someone that can make us laugh a little?Let's take another example. I've never really bought a song from iTunes. But while browsing Youtube one day I came across a video that went into explaining how this song was written by a man for his wife of 75 years. I bought it without a second thought. This purchasing activity was driven by pure emotion.Now think about the last purchase you made? Was there any element of emotion that drove that buying decision? Hunger? Validation? Happiness? Chances are pretty high there was.
Include relevant social themes
The following #sharetheload campaign from Ariel Matic addressed the issue of gender inequality. According to the WARC press release, "Ariel Matic generated a 42% increase in unaided brand awareness, $12.3 million in earned media coverage, and conversations on social media and sales growth in excess of previous campaigns."
Another brand that leveraged social impact in their marketing strategies was Unilever. Unilever made it to the top 100 campaigns with the following: Lifebuoy's #HelpAChildReach5,' Knorr’s ‘Love At First Taste,' ‘The Vaseline Healing Project,’ and ‘The Radicalization of Persil.
’While not always possible, try and include a cause that audiences can relate with on a more global level. Create a meaningful hashtag to promote it even further. Positive emotions towards a brand are known to have a far greater influence in consumer buying decision's versus other external factors. Research conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation concluded that “likeability” is the measure most predictive of whether an advertisement will increase a brand’s sales.As marketers, we can't help but look at the analytical aspect and the features of a product/service. But what's also important is to market based on the lifestyle, feeling and overall emotion that comes along with the product. No wonder having a psychologist on your inbound marketing team might be the next best idea. But then again, you don't always have to have a P.H.D in psychology to gauge what your buyer is looking for. It's important to read between the lines and understand your consumer to the core. Try and answer the following questions about your consumer as far as possible:
Who are they?
What are they looking for?
Why are they looking for it?
What do they struggle with?
What makes them happy?
What matters to them the most?
The list is endless. Just keep in mind what Plato said:
"Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge"