Welcome to the first in a four-part series in which we'll be exploring major trends in communications for 2022. In this initial installment, we're examining the concept of emotional marketing
, its traditional definition, and its current state.
People have been appealing to emotions to motivate others for millennia. Aristotle himself established techniques for emotional appeals that were quite persuasive. While appealing to emotions may seem manipulative, it's usually not nefarious. Emotional marketing connects people with the things they want and need on a deeply personal level. True, some marketing and advertising campaigns play on negative feelings of fear or greed. Here, however, we're looking at how emotional marketing can elicit positive results, and why it's a major trend in communications with tremendous staying power.
What is emotional marketing?
Emotional marketing identifies and builds on an audience's emotions to market to them more successfully. Rooted in current best practices in research and behavioral psychology, today's emotional marketing requires a deep understanding of the feelings a specific audience has toward a product or service and its competitors. To work, emotional marketing has to get a good handle on an audience's vibe, and how it affects their view of the entire product genre.
A very simple example is marketing campaigns for online talk therapy providers where emotional marketing is essential to conversion. The target audience naturally includes anyone who's experiencing distressing emotions and could benefit from online mental health counseling. You don't have to look far on Twitter to see people tweeting about their struggles with mental wellbeing - and you also don't have to look far to see ads for these therapy providers in the same places.
Is it ethical?