With countless options available to a modern consumer – from food to fashion, technology to transport – emotional marketing is vital for driving customer loyalty. Building a deeper connection with a customer helps brands deliver memorable experiences and strongly influence consumer choices.
The expansive freedom of choice can be overwhelming for consumers, leaving them confused and indecisive. A result of this is increased brand inertia, driving consumers to simply choose the same brands time after time without considering alternatives. A recent report from Grayling showed that 61% of consumers often find themselves overwhelmed by choices, which causes apathy and a desire to stick with what they know. 43% say that they often repurchase a product even if they aren’t happy with it, just because it’s familiar.
Emotional marketing is a powerful tool to connect with consumers, tap into emotionally driven purchasing decisions, and build customer loyalty. However, not all brands utilise this technique. A significant 56% of consumers can’t recall a single brand that they feel connected to or that truly understands them.
As a means for brands to connect with their customers on a deeper, more emotional level, communication channels such as SMS, messaging apps, and AI chatbots have ushered in a new era of customer engagement.
Let’s explore how these tools can be harnessed to build meaningful emotional connections, drive conversions, and enable long-term success.
Examples of Emotional Marketing
Sparking emotion with marketing campaigns is a technique used to spark authentic feelings towards a product or brand. These are usually joy, anticipation and trust, but companies will sometimes tap into other emotions, such as anger or sadness, to convey a message.
The value of emotional connection for business is crucial in attracting, converting, and retaining customers. The Harvard Business Review found that across nine industries, fully connected customers are 52% more valuable than those who are highly satisfied.
A company known for extensively using this strategy is Coca-Cola. In 2020, Coca-Cola crafted a feel-good message for the “Open to Better” campaign in the UK. The brand temporarily ditched its logo for a customisable design with phrases like “I will never take my friends for granted” or “I promise to listen more, just for you.” Online personalisation allowed consumers to write custom messages and send them to their loved ones. Not only did this heartfelt campaign help consumers to connect with friends and family, but it also led to the distribution of 150,000 Coca-Cola cans during the lifetime of the campaign, driving higher revenues.
Using Seasonality for Deeper Engagements
Another way to entice emotion is to add seasonality to your campaign concepts. Using the holiday season to spark joy is a great way to humanise a business, as well as deliver a cheerful message or a joyful story. Boots recently launched its 2023 Christmas advert encouraging people to show their appreciation to others under the slogan #GiveJoy. The more a company connects with consumers, the more trust it will inspire.
How to Build the Emotional Consumer Connections
Developing emotional marketing doesn’t have to be overly complicated. For example, in the retail and e-commerce space, anticipation can be built by sending a pre-launch email to excite and intrigue customers. Brands can then follow up by sending an SMS with an exclusive coupon code on the first day of the launch to show they value and care for existing relationships.
A well-crafted SMS can be a powerful tool for forging emotional connections. For example, sending personalised text messages thanking customers for their recent purchase and offering an exclusive discount on their next order is a great way to make customers feel valued and engaged with the brand. Sharing these deals can boost conversion rates and, ultimately, success.
SMS allows businesses to cut through the digital noise and speak directly to their customers. From order confirmations to shipping updates, each message becomes an opportunity to infuse personality into the brand. A well-timed SMS can make customers feel valued, fostering a sense of loyalty that extends beyond a mere transaction.
Bridging the Gap with Personalised Communications
With consumers increasingly turning to messaging apps for communication, businesses have followed suit. Platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Viber have become integral parts of our daily lives, both in a personal and business sense.
Messaging apps can also integrate with AI chatbots, allowing businesses to offer instant assistance for commonly asked questions before routing the conversation to an agent.
While AI chatbots excel in automating routine tasks, injecting a human touch is crucial. Grayling reported that a remarkable 75% of respondents feel that brands within the same sector are indistinguishable, and 64% of those surveyed engage more with brands that possess a personality and stand for something.
The bot should be programmed with a knowledgeable yet friendly and helpful tone. This can add a human touch to the digital interaction, making customers feel heard and understood. Empathy and cultural awareness must also be considered to ensure that the customer experience is respectful, positive, and efficient.
Using banking as an example, AI chatbots can assist with balance enquiries and transaction history, and even offer financial advice. What sets these bots apart is their ability to learn and adapt, creating a personalised experience for each user. For instance, a banking chatbot may notice a customer frequently checking their savings account and proactively suggest investment options tailored to their financial goals. The chatbot must also be able to understand and address a customer’s financial concerns with empathy to build trust and loyalty.
Taking the time to improve communications can greatly impact conversions, with McKinsey finding that personalization can drive a 10-15% increase in revenue as a result.
Prioritising Security for Building Trust
Building emotional connections through digital channels is not only about convenience and personalization but also about security and trust. In banking, where sensitive information is exchanged, ensuring customer data safety is paramount. Clearly communicating security measures and proactively addressing concerns through text messages or AI chatbots can instil confidence in users.
Similarly, in retail and e-commerce, where customers share personal details during transactions, prioritising data security is essential. Messaging apps and SMS, when used responsibly, can be powerful tools to keep customers informed about security measures, creating a sense of trust that is vital for long-term relationships.
Five Steps for Building Emotional Connections
There are various practical ways brands can use personalized communications to build stronger emotional connections and improve customer service across the board:
1. Provide value – Communicate how your product can improve specific aspects of your consumers’ lifestyles or careers, rather than listing out its features.
2. Add a personal touch – Show that you understand your customers by personalising the content you send to them. This could be a discount code for a product they have purchased before, or a ‘back in stock’ notification for something in their wish list.
3. Embrace conversational support – Show you care by providing immediate and convenient support conversations. These can be via SMS, AI chatbots, or messaging apps like WhatsApp.
4. Show empathy – Doing qualitative or quantitative research on your audience will help you understand their current challenges and how your brand can help. This is particularly important within banking due to many customers struggling to navigate the current financial climate.
Personal Connections for Long-Term Success
By combining the efficiency of mobile messaging and AI automation with the warmth of human-like interactions, brands can create lasting emotional connections that translate into improved conversions and customer loyalty. Refined communications help strengthen emotional connections, leading to profitable businesses and happy customers.
To find out more about providing emotional and personalised communication to customers across industry verticals, speak to GMS today!