You've likely read about the role of emotions in marketing before, but what does it mean for your overall strategy? Business 2 Community explains their impact in great detail. However, an article in Annual Review of Psychology went even further, finding that "emotions constitute potent, pervasive ... drivers of decision making," which means that customers will assess how they feel before debating the pros and cons of doing business with you.
Let's face it: In today's hypercompetitive market, you need to connect with your customers and make them fall in love with your product or service. This prevents them from leaving you for a competitor. So how can you add a wow factor to your website that's sure to affect customers' emotionally driven buying decisions? Here are a few ways.
Keep It Simple
Customers don't want to feel like a lab rat in a maze, desperately navigating the terrain to get a reward. Make sure your website sends a clear message: You know what your clients want, where they want to go and how easily they want to get there. Dispose of the clutter and implement an intuitive navigation system. You'll be all the more popular with your customers if you do.
Have a Conscience
According to Marketing Land, psychologists have found that, especially in marketing, certain rewards trigger positive feelings in consumers. People want to feel good about themselves by doing good things, which is why customers of socially conscious companies such as Lululemon and the Body Shop are prepared to pay a little more for what they want. Generate positive feelings and align yourself with a cause, then add content, particularly videos, about your charitable and good neighborly work. You could also place a spotlight on employees, like GE did in it's popular "What My Mom Does at GE" campaign. Pull on the heartstrings of consumers while highlighting the value your employees bring to the company. Don't be afraid to toot your own horn a little - just do it in a humble way.
Psychologists have long advocated that rewards activate the pleasure center in the brain. So make sure you reward customer loyalty. Use discount codes and coupons. If you're selling online, offer free trials, downloads and samples. These latter options often demonstrate the merits of your products while displaying your company's confidence in its offerings.
Have a Heart
Marketing Land reports that a recent Deloitte study found that three of the top five factors that influence consumer purchasing decisions involve word of mouth or personal recommendations. So while you may not have the opportunity to have face-to-face encounters to bond with your customer, you can use social media to bridge the gap. Product reviews, blog comments, shares and likes give you the opportunity to extend a friendly hand and show that you're willing to listen to clients' needs while delivering the information and quality they want. "Sell the problem" as Seth Godin says, or at least sell your understanding of their problem and your empathy for their needs. By the time you promote your product as the solution, customers will know you get them.
Every relationship that's worth having takes work. Recognize the role of emotions in marketing by being consistent, responsive and trustworthy. Delivering a dependable product or service will likely enhance your customers' loyalty. Once emotional connections are made, foster them. Your customers will not only stick by you, but will also be likely to evangelize on your behalf.