Behavioral Science

Marketing: The Magic of Emotions

by . May 14th, 2014


People Are Irrational Beings and Your Social Media Marketing Should Account for It.

We act on things because they tickle our senses, not really because they improve our lives. We wake up every morning hoping the rest of the day will be happy. We go to the laundromat because having no clothes for the week angers us. We pledge to that online charity because it makes us sad.

These everyday encounters with something as abstract as emotion makes it indispensable when talking about marketing. With every successful Kickstarter comes an introduction video that pushes on how magnificent their product is.

Magazine models smile and pose and are Photoshopped to make us believe that buying the product will make us more satisfied. News articles and blog journals come up with fanciful names to catch our curiosity the moment we see them shared on social media. Logic is only there to let us believe we made the right decision.

Scientists understand this as well. Research shows that our brains translate emotions five times faster than rationality. That’s why we still get scared even if we know what to expect in that next scene of the Conjuring. Or why we still have to discipline ourselves to do work on taxes rather than look at photos of cats on the internet.

I stare into your soul…

In a world engulfed with advertisements, it can be quite a challenge to drive eyes towards your product. But take yourself for instance. Would you rather look at the presentation with loads of tech specs and charts, or the one that shows how this product makes ends meet? That’s why business-to-business presentations can become snore-fests. People take too much time talking about numbers and data that they forget they’re still talking to a human.

Despite my previous examples, happiness and hope aren’t the only emotions to use. Fear is a great motivator when your competitors miss out on things you don’t. Adding extra benefits to a purchase inspires greed and lust. Challenge assumptions your prospects grew up with and surprise them with new details.

I’m not saying you have to be a Jerry Springer or Maury Povich. That could actually grant negative effects on your company based on its model. I’m asking you to trickle your presentations and advertisements with a good serving of empathy. Know your customers, what they do, and why they do things. Try it out and discover the magic of emotions.

sources: Sitepoint; Harvard Business Review; Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success;;
photo credits: bibbit via photopin cc; xti via photopin cc; sergiu_bacioiu via photopin cc