ThinkOTB Agency

5 steps to creating your emotional marketing campaign

March 30, 2023

As marketers, we hear lots about creating emotion with our audiences and we know that the success of a marketing campaign is often down to the ability to build that connection. Powerful emotional marketing convinces consumers that the product is not only the right solution, but that they can also feel great using it. So what exactly do marketing agencies and marketers mean when we talk about emotional marketing? In this week’s blog we explore exactly that.

What is emotional marketing?

Emotional marketing is the use of messages that are deliberately persuasive and that tap into different types of human emotion. They often appeal to a single emotion such as fear, anger, joy, belonging etc. It is an emotion that is strong enough to influence the consumer to buy, rather than simply read more of the marketing material.

Why emotional marketing works

When you create an emotional impact with your consumers, your brand and content will stay in their hearts and minds long after they initially see the material. Plus, the content becomes more shareable, which helps to build customer loyalty and produce brand advocates. A study by Motista showed that customers with an emotional relationship to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value than those customers who say they are ‘highly satisfied’ with the brand. and are likely to recommend that brand 30.2% of the time (compared to just 7.6%). So, if customers are emotionally connected with your brand, they’ll reward you with their loyalty, and even their advocacy.

Consumers often believe that they make purchasing decisions based on rational logic about the alternatives available to them. But, studies show that people rely on emotions, rather than information, to make decisions. Analysis of 1400 ad campaigns which had been submitted to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) as entries for the Effectiveness Award showed that those with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content in generating very large profits for the advertiser. Ads which combined emotional and rational thinking came out mid-table with 26%.

Here is how to plan your emotional marketing campaign in five steps:

  1. Know your audience

To create a great emotional marketing campaign, start with your target audience research. Investigate which emotions will motivate them to buy/join/act now and then align those emotions to your brand. This is all about understanding exactly what it is they need, even if the customers don’t recognise it yet – like focusing on their wellbeing, or building a sense of belonging.

  1. Create a marketing campaign that engages customer emotions

Once you have these buyer personas you can start to create the marketing campaign that leverages these motivating emotions. At every stage of the customer journey, from product launches, to sales and service, we want to trigger an emotional response and that doesn’t always have to be happiness. Sadness, fear, surprise, disgust or anger and equally as powerful.

  1. Creative design

The research and buyer personas will help your creative team to get under the skin of each customer group and produce creative concepts that will resonate and trigger the desired emotions. Colour will play an important part in this by amplifying the appeal of the marketing content.

  1. Tell a story

One of the most powerful ways to create emotional connections with your audience is to tell a story. The art of storytelling in marketing in not new. Done well, using authenticity and acknowledging your brand’s core values, this technique is hugely powerful. It helps your audience feel like your brand is speaking to them individually.

  1. Create a movement or community

Successful emotional marketing often has the effect of establishing a sense of community around your brand. This can create a feeling of camaraderie, excitement and loyalty to your brand, which keeps people intrigued and engaged with the community. Social media is perfect for creating this buzz. Just look at Always’ emotional marketing #LikeAGirl campaign. The campaign video went viral with 76 million global YouTube views and was shared more than 1 million times. The campaign activity racked up 4.5 billion impressions around the globe, and 1,880+ earned media placements including with top US morning show, GMA, the BBC, Huffington Post, Mashable, Buzzfeed. The list goes on!

How to measure emotional marketing

Emotional marketing should be measured just like any other marketing campaign. Whether you run surveys or focus groups, it’s important to measure how their emotions turned into actions. Use clear, trackable and measurable calls to action in your campaigns, such as call, click or sign-up.

It’s clear that when marketers have the skill and deep understanding of their target audiences to create effective emotional marketing, then the results are powerful. You can read more about how ThinkOTB’s triggers emotions in target audiences by reading our case studies.