Why human marketing matters more than ever (and how to implement it)
Lizzie Walker-Arnott

Lizzie Walker-Arnott

Published Monday 8th November 2021

How valuable is emotional, human to human marketing? In short, incredibly. So, we’ve decided to take a closer look at why emotional marketing is more relevant than ever.

As consumers, we may not necessarily be conscious of the emotions we experience when making a purchase. For example, we may notice that we’re having fun or feeling happy when we indulge in a little retail therapy, but it is easy to experience these emotions without explicitly linking them to the marketing of a product.

In recent years, it has become easy to detach ourselves from the world around us. While technology - especially during the Covid-19 pandemic - has allowed us to be closer to one another than ever before, it has also created a disconnect that can be difficult to overcome.

 

Communication is key, from start to finish

No matter what industry you work in, your customers and clients will undoubtedly expect a certain level of communication. This trickles through the foundations of your business, from stakeholders and supply chains, to employees and therefore, your customers.

If the last 18 months have taught businesses anything, it’s that investing in relationships and safeguarding that bond can encourage customer loyalty in even the toughest of times.

 

Emotional marketing strategies for the future

While the pandemic has certainly caused a knock-on effect for businesses of all sizes, the lessons learned will very much remain and mould marketing strategies that connect now, and in the future. When marketing becomes relatable and emotional, it naturally forms an immediate bond with its recipient. 

Carswell Gould’s Managing Director, Gareth Miller says, “really successful brands understand the world is populated by living, breathing humans who are governed by their emotions. If your brand doesn’t connect with your audience on an emotional level, you’re limiting its future success.”

 

How to connect more with your customers emotionally 

While we may be marketers at heart, we are also consumers in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, this two-sided understanding can often get lost when marketing creatives seek ways to connect a product or service with its intended audience.

During our #showsomelove campaign, we surveyed marketing managers in the industry to gain an insight into what marketers need to do better to incorporate emotion in their communications.

 

These were the top-voted answers during our research:

 

Understand their audience better from the outset

It’s easy to think we really know our audience and market certain products and services accordingly. Without thorough research into your chosen industry and demographic, you could be completely missing the mark. 

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Buyer personas help you to gain a great understanding of your customers (and prospective customers). This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to meet the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of the members of your target audience. 

For example, during content creation, picture yourself speaking directly to one or two people (your personas), which will ensure your language remains relevant and human. If you wouldn’t speak a certain way in a conversation with a member of your target audience, you’re not being human enough in your marketing efforts.

Additionally, if you have any pre-Covid-19 personas then you may need to re-assess these and make sure the characteristics are still accurate. The whole world has seen huge changes over the past 18 months and what may once have worked for your audience, may have changed and become a pain point. You don’t want to risk accidentally pushing your audience away or turning them off. 

 

Use data as a guide but not as a destination

In some instances, data can be pretty shocking and pull on the heartstrings. But this isn’t always the case. Instead of blasting your audience with statistics, use this data as a guide.

The same applies to your audience research, while data you may have sourced can pack a punch, carrying out your own market research can deliver greater insights.

 

Realise the person on the other end is a human being

Creating personas is one key step to creating a visual representation of your audience. What do they like to do? What do they do for work? Are they book worms or film buffs? 

Creating marketing strategies that truly connect goes beyond their age or occupation. Find imagery that best represents your target market and craft a picture of who you’re speaking to, turning your communications into a conversation that connects as easily as a chat on the sofa.

 

How to implement human to human marketing

Knowing who your customers are, forms the foundation of any marketing strategy, including emotional marketing. But how can you start to apply marketing with more emotion? Here are three top tips to bring a human approach to your marketing efforts.

 

1. Tell stories

Storytelling in marketing provides a relatable base for customers to connect with. One of the best times of the year that brands implement storytelling is at Christmas. From John Lewis’ popular Man on The Moon ad in 2015, to Aldi’s Kevin The Carrot in 2020, there’s nothing quite like family storytelling to bring a brand closer to its customers at Christmas.

Some 45% of our experts consider storytelling vital to their brand with a further 40% citing it as a key component of how they communicate with their audience.

 

2. Build communities

Social proof and storytelling mean everything to your customers, especially on social media. We are far more inclined to follow a brand if we notice our friends or favourite influencers trust them too.

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In recent years, social media channels such as TikTok and Instagram have blown up brands out of nowhere, through the power of community building. Social media content that is saveable, shareable and of course, relatable, can help to build awareness and spread your messaging at lightning speed. It’s all about engaging with your audience on social media, and building a loyal base of fans - also known as your community - that love what you stand for and engage frequently.

 

3. Empower your team

Emotional marketing cannot be faked, and it stems from a positive business ethos. Your beliefs and values need to be instilled within your team in order to project this messaging in your marketing.

It all starts from communicating with your team, valuing their work and listening to their ideas. Here are some great ways to ‘Show Some Love’ to your creative teams.

CTA Why being more human is at the heart of effective communications

 

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