Is it better marketing to emotions or intellect? This debate has raged for a long time, and won’t abate anytime soon.
Proponents of both fact-based and emotionally-laden information daily saturate cyberspace, the airwaves and print publications. Some of us decry the lack of objective presentation of “just the facts,” while others prefer to dwell in a highly emotionally-charged environment.
So, how does this translate to your marketing appeals? Should you attempt to sway through emotional engagement, or present a factually bullet-proof case? The answer is “yes.” While some argue passionately for one or the other, the obvious reality is that different people are swayed by different arguments in different situations. There is no one-size-fits-all solution on one side or the other.
Truth is, both are valuable and important tools. Where and how to use them is where it gets tricky. More often than not, both merit inclusion in your marketing strategy. So, where do you start? By knowing your audiences, their buying preferences and decision-making criteria, and (so important) their turnoffs. Put another way, know buyer “personas” inside and out. Then appeal to them accordingly.
Avoid “know-it-alls.” For example, socialmediaexaminer.com published an article that advocates emotional marketing as the solution. An excerpt from the article notes, “Did you know using facts and figures instead of images can lower interaction? Do you appeal to your audience’s emotions to drive sales? Our brains are hardwired to base decisions on emotion and familiarity… When you use facts and figures or list features and benefits, it has little impact on someone’s behavior or buying decisions.”
Okay, adopting this argument means that all marketing should be emotional and visual to appeal to everybody. When I’m looking for information that drives medical care choices, I want as many facts (generally unencumbered by graphics, videos and emoticons) as possible. But that’s me. And everybody is different. Account for this in your marketing strategy and messaging.
A more reasoned report in business2community.com frames the debate somewhat differently, noting, “If you’re anything like me, you’re getting sick and tired with people posting pictures of small animals doing cutesy things on social media…The lesson though, is that content that connects with us emotionally works.”
Later, the report notes, “It’s easier to write with emotional language when you consider your audience…Great content begins with creating that powerful connection between you and your audience.”
This brings up a critical point: Marketing has many layers and levels, and a hybrid of emotional and analytical references may be optimal to your efforts. In many situations, there is a case to be made for initiating a discussion with an emotional trigger, then supporting it with facts and figures. In others, start factually then support with persuasive, emotional language.
Make sense? Not sure where to go next with this mix? Let’s talk about it: 303-607-9424; firstname.lastname@example.org