How To Use Emotion In Your Marketing To Attract Customers

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Emotion is a powerful marketing tool.

When used in advertising, it increases retention and motivation to buy, as it is more effective in communicating product benefits to the customer. But, if you look at most small business marketing, there is very little emotion used, and that’s a shame because businesses are leaving money on the table.

So how does a small business use emotion to improve their marketing? And how does a small business find what emotion to focus on? Here are a few tips:

Solve the emotional problem

At their core, businesses are problem solvers. Underlying many problems are emotional triggers that will make customers stand up and take notice of a marketing message.

Think of a hairdresser. They solve problems with people’s appearances.  They solve bad hair days, they solve home hair colouring gone wrong, and the list goes on… But have you ever seen a hairdresser use any of these emotional appeals in advertising? All hairdressers usually do is promote the service offering and not the emotion behind it.

By solving the ‘emotional’ problem, you have a much more powerful hook to convert a prospect into a customer.

Uncover the secret desires

Behind most purchase decisions is an emotional desire. It might be to fit in, to look cool or to impress the person you are buying for.

To improve your marketing effectiveness, uncover those desires and appeal to them with your marketing messages. Tell customers that buying your product will impress the opposite sex or tell them that buying your product will turn them from nerdy to cool.

A great example of this was the social media focused campaign for Old Spice launched last year. The emotional desire used was “make your man smell like a man”. The campaign was targeted at women and hooked into the secret desire to make their men smell more masculine. The campaign went gangbusters. It completely repositioned an old-fashioned brand that smelled the same and looked the same, all by using an emotional message. It was also helped by outstanding creative and copywriting which brought the idea to life. The product was no different – but the message was.

Talk to your customers

Finding the emotional appeals is hard. Often businesses are too close to their product to have any perspective on the emotions that will make people buy. That’s why it’s important to talk to your customers and find out why they buy your product. Whilst you may think it’s because of the tangible benefit, more often than not, there will be an emotion behind it for you to discover.

It’s time to get emotional in small business. Solve the emotional problem, uncover those secret desires, and talk to your customers to uncover the hidden emotional treasures to take your marketing to a new level.

About the author

Chris Dale Chris Dale is the founder and Managing Director of MarketingHQ. He is a Certified Practising Marketer with over 15 years senior marketing experience. He helps small and medium sized businesses create great marketing strategies and systems that grow their businesses. You can connect with him on or on LinkedIn.

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