In a recent post, I mentioned how emotion plays a strong role in a person’s decision to buy a product or service.
Let’s take a look at this in more detail.
In advertising, it’s about more than eliciting an emotional response in the sense of say, an author of the Victorian Age might have done. It needs to be personal and real to the prospect. There’s an old saw from Madison Avenue: “If you can’t touch their hearts, you’ll never touch their money.”And in order to touch a prospective customer’s heart, you need to really understand who s/he is. (If you have ever watched the popular TV series Madmen, you know that there are certain people working in the advertising industry who are paid quite well in order to help executives and creative directors to understand just who those prospective customers are.)
To start, you need to consider exactly who your customers are. How old are they? What do they look like? What demographic(s) are you attempting to appeal to? How do these people think and what books and periodicals are they likely read? What type of entertainment do they enjoy? Where do they get their news?
Next, we need to delve into the most important issues: namely, what excites, frighten, disgusts or pleases them?
Obviously, you cannot know all of this, although there are many Internet resources today that can make learning about this much easier and faster than ever before. (It’s why there are so many companies devoted to collecting, buying and selling personal information.) Depending on who you are writing for, obtaining and analyzing such information can be a very worthwhile investment.
Once you have identified your prospective customers and have gotten to know who they are, you’ll want to think about the emotions that drive them. Now, if you have been paying any attention to what has been going on in society for the past ten years or so, you understand that Fear and Greed are right at the top of that list. Think back to the Y2K scare: how much commerce was generated through fear of our entire cyber network coming to a crashing halt at midnight, 1 January 2000?
At one time in America, Greed was something to be ashamed and embarrassed about. No longer: in the words of Gordon Gekko in The Street, “Greed is good.” Everyone wants more, more – and more. They’re afraid that someone else is getting their share. They’re afraid of being left behind. And they want – more.
There are more emotions that can be used in appealing to prospective customers, which I’ll get into next week.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President, Frame Destination
President & Founder, Family Travel Association