We need to start by understanding how people measure marketing messages in general. Just think how you react to any marketing on the TV, do you hear yourself saying words like, “I love that ad” or “I can’t stand that advert?” What about when those local newspapers arrive and as you pick them up, all those flyers fall out all over the floor, have you ever said, “I am sick and tired, of all this junk mail they send!” All these words we use are almost always emotive words, so how often as a business leader or marketing person, do you think about how the audience you are targeting will react emotionally to the message you are sending out?
I believe that we measure marketing on the perception it creates within us and this perception is determined by the experiences of marketing messages we have seen and read, both past and current.
So how do we go about creating the emotional reaction in our marketing that will make our target audience contact us first or see us as their solution?
The starting place is in depth and effective market research, not market surveys. To understand more about the difference, please read my article titled, ‘Marketing, The Forgotten Piece’ (See below). The key difference between market research and a market survey is that market research is all about finding out and then truly understanding the emotional reasons why people choose your business over others that offer the same or similar services, whereas a marketing survey is about evaluating and measuring your customer service or product offering. Marketing surveys are ideal to measure the processes and ways you communicate with your customers, but they do not unlock the emotional reasons why people choose your business over another.
Once you understand the emotional reasons why people buy from you rather than others, we can tailor the marketing message to hit those key emotions within your target audience. In many cases, it’s not your product or service, or what it specifically does that makes people choose it, but rather the way it is positioned to them and the way that the positioning connects emotionally to them that makes the difference.
Here is an example of this point. I worked with an Independent Financial Advisor who had dealt with my investments and pensions in an incredible way, completely different to any other advisor I had worked with in the past. His ability to listen to my concerns and what I wanted to achieve really gave me the wow factor, but what was even better, was that the results and level of follow up communication he had with me were exactly how he had said they would be. Based on my feedback, he decided to start a marketing campaign to attract more customers for his pension service. He created a flyer which he sent out to his database of contacts with the following headline; “Is your current pension plan going to deliver what you are looking for?” Now I am sure that many of you who understand marketing may be thinking, “Looks like a good headline at first glance, what is wrong with that?”
The problem with the headline on this flyer was all about timing, at this time, the press was full of numerous reports about how badly pension schemes were performing and that many people were losing money by investing in a pension scheme. When we did some market research around the flyer, we found that many people were reacting very negatively to the “pension” word and as such, as soon as they saw the word, they just stopped reading. The fact that this persons pension investments were performing incredibly well just did not matter as the target audience’s emotional reaction to the pension word in the flyer just stopped them reading the details.
So in addition to researching the emotional reasons why your clients choose to buy from you over your competitors, you need to also be very aware of the emotional feelings that are happening in your market sector as well as being aware of any press or TV coverage that may have an emotional impact on your target audience.
Understanding the emotional factors in your target market and ideal prospects can help you position your marketing message in a very effective way and help you differentiate yourself against your competitors in the market place. When your marketing message creates the correct emotional response amongst your target audience, you may be amazed with the change in perception people will have about your product or service.