- No, we don’t base our purchasing decisions on rational reasoning
- How brands are using sound to appeal to clients
- Neuromarketing makes use of wearables that pick up vital stats
- Haptic suits to improve inclusivity and appeal to the hearing impaired
We’ve all been moved by an advertisement, perhaps more than once or twice. We may have shared it with friends and family or even purchased something because of it. That’s emotional marketing at work. Brands that elicit emotions are much more successful in their marketing efforts, with content created with the aim to trigger an emotional response performing twice as well as ‘traditional’ marketing. According to marketing platform Marketing360, out of 1,400 advertising campaigns, the ones with predominantly emotional content performed better (31 per cent) than those with only rational content (16 per cent).
Emotional responses to marketing have a greater impact on our intent and decision to purchase than traditional advertising or marketing content. Out of 1,400 advertising campaigns, the ones with predominantly emotional content performed better (31 per cent) than those with only rational content (16 per cent).Marketing360
No, we don’t base our purchasing decisions on rational reasoning
Although we might feel that our buying decisions are solely based on clear, rational reasoning, you’d be surprised to hear that, actually, many of these decisions are largely influenced by the emotions we experience when we’re about to buy something. These emotions may include a range of feelings, such as feeling sad and needing a pick-me-up, or be based on strong brand loyalty or liking a certain influencer connected to a brand. Brands are obviously aware of these processes and increasingly focus on eliciting emotions in their advertising efforts – also known as ‘emotional advertising’. Storytelling is used in marketing to elicit emotional responses, such as happiness, anger, or fear to maximise the chance of customers remembering the advertisement. And as customers place increasingly greater value on brands understanding their needs and addressing specific pain points, emotional advertising is more effective than any other marketing technique. To gain the very best results, more and more marketing departments are making use of advanced technology as well, including artificial intelligence (AI), and more specifically, marketing AI, that is specifically designed to assist in capturing – and keeping – an audience’s attention and get people to buy. Other ways companies are trying to really get inside a customer’s mind and activate certain impulses are by making use of sound to trigger emotions and memories. Some even go so far as to use haptic devices to cater to people with a hearing impairment in an effort to improve inclusivity, which is high on today’s customers’ lists of ‘must-haves’.
How brands are using sound to appeal to clients
As we generally think about what we see, but feel what we hear, one of the most effective ways for a company to express itself and connect to customers is to make use of sound. Gen Z-ers are particularly responsive to sound, as music is an important way to connect with others and their surroundings. This generation has adopted ‘audio-first’ behaviours much faster than previous generations – think audio streaming, podcasts, TikTok… the list goes on. In fact, according to the US Media Consumption Report, almost 60 per cent of Gen Z-ers say they stream music daily. Using audio in marketing is also referred to as sonic branding.
“The world is really marching toward a sonic audio environment, and it is so important that we stand out”.Elizabeth Rutledge – American Express
According to neuro-research company Sentient Decision Science, sound can influence a person’s desire to either avoid or engage with a brand by over 85 per cent. And when used strategically, sound can be a valuable brand asset. One example of a brand that uses sound to improve the brand experience is American Express. Its Centurion Airport Lounges, for instance, not only offer food designed by renowned local chefs and specially curated wine lists and spa services, but the lounges are also fitted with branded soundscapes. “We created ambient music [for American Express] to achieve the same goal as their signature scent. The scent is calming, peaceful and relaxing so we created the same feelings with ambient sounds to draw people from the busy airport into a relaxing lounge where they can slow down”, says Kristen Lueck, vice president and director of business development at sonic branding agency Made Music Studio. The finance giant wanted to create an iconic global sonic logo and and intuitive sound to elevate their clients’ experience, enhance its emotional appeal, future proof the brand across Amex sponsored event access points – from the US Open to Coachella – and also create a reassuring and positive ‘sound of pay’ that is recognisable to consumers across the globe.
Made Music Studio’s website says: “With contactless payments quickly becoming the de facto method for payments and experiencing the American Express brand, they needed an ownable suite of sounds that also communicated security, speed, and confirmation. The required suite of sounds would need to work hard across the brand’s ecosystem from mobile payments to music festivals. They needed an iconic sound that day-to-day customers would come to know, trust, and recognize for years to come. As a truly global brand, American Express needed a sonic identity that performed consistently and positively across international markets”.
Neuromarketing makes use of wearables that pick up vital stats
With customers receiving thousands of marketing messages every day – via various channels, such as radio, tv, the internet, advertisements, and apps – it’s never been more complicated for brands to find ways to catch consumers’ attention. One way more and more brands are attempting to accomplish this is by implementing neuromarketing techniques. Neuromarketing is all about tapping into the subconscious behaviours that drive 95 per cent of buying decisions in order to get ‘nice, deep resonance’ with customers. Combining sensory and behavioural data that can be collected from wearables, brands can hyper-personalise and significantly enhance physical as well as digital client experiences.
Mobile and wearable technology can be used to determine people’s emotional and rational responses to marketing content by analysing voice patterns, monitoring eye movements, decoding facial expressions, and measuring neurological immersion levels.
Using machine learning algorithms, the data collected is analysed by data scientists, behavioural experts, and marketing professionals in order to develop marketing strategies that can help brands grow their customer base. Neuroscience principles are applied to the data collected by the wearables to evaluate both the conscious and unconscious reactions and provide valuable insights on attention, preference, and behaviour. Eye tracking technology helps determine what the user is looking at and for how long, facial recognition technology can provide detailed information on emotions, EEG data can help measure interest, focus, excitement, stress, relaxation, and so on, and wristbands can monitor physiological signals such as heart rate. Emotion AI technologies and neuromarketing can help brands connect with their customers on ever deeper levels, offering a myriad of unprecedented opportunities to deliver authentic and hyper-personalised marketing.
“Vodafone found the ideal combination. It definitely helps when a brand has emotionally intelligent activations that match its core purpose or mission. As a company that’s focused on connecting for a better future, Vodafone certainly hit the right note”.Rosh Singh – Unit 9
Haptic suits improve inclusivity and appeal to the hearing impaired
Another interesting example of emotionally intelligent marketing is Vodafone’s haptic suit experience at the Hoopla music festival in Brockwell Park, south London last summer. First, the telecommunications giant determined the area in which they felt they could have significant impact as a brand – which is accessibility and inclusivity. And in a bid to make the music event as inclusive as possible, Vodafone provided hearing-impaired visitors of the festival with the experience of feeling live music like they never had before – through innovative 5G-enabled suits with haptic technology that translated sounds into physical sensations using machine learning technology. Festival-goers wearing the suits were able to literally feel the music through vibrations delivered to various touchpoints, such as the ankles, wrists, shoulders, and torso, conveying the artists’ performance as well as the crowd’s energy – the noise of which was also translated and transmitted to the suits in real time, using 5G receptors.
Rosh Singh, managing director of brand innovation consultancy Unit 9, says: “Vodafone found the ideal combination. It definitely helps when a brand has emotionally intelligent activations that match its core purpose or mission. As a company that’s focused on connecting for a better future, Vodafone certainly hit the right note. Inclusivity has become a huge topic – and rightly so. It’s important for firms to consider how to connect with their entire audience. Digital technology can often offer them the solution”.
It is an established fact that emotions play a critical role in the decisions we make. And one of various reasons why ‘traditional’ marketing campaigns often turn out unsuccessful is the fact that customers are tired of the irrelevance of the marketing content they come across. They feel that many brands don’t understand their true needs and emotions. In order to truly connect and engage with audiences on a much deeper and more meaningful level, today’s marketing companies are increasingly looking to tap into human emotions and reach their customers at the right place, at the right time. Todays’ customers are increasingly aligning themselves with the brands that most effectively speak to their emotions and most accurately reflect their values. There is no doubt that adding emotional marketing campaigns to your strategy will lead to happier customers, improved brand loyalty, and increased revenues.