Emotional Marketing- Definition, Importance, and Strategy

Emotional Marketing- Definition, Importance, and Strategies

Like its name suggests, emotional marketing is marketing and advertising efforts that primarily employ emotion to let your audience notice, learn, share, and buy. Emotional marketing typically touches on a singular emotion, like happiness, sadness, anger, or fear, to evoke a consumer response.

what is emotional marketing

Before we dive into why emotional marketing is powerful and how you can incorporate it into your marketing efforts, we need to understand emotions. 

Emotions aren’t exactly related to how your body is feeling. They’re more indicative of your state of mind.

Every emotion is different; they are just like colours. There are some predefined notions, but for the most part, emotions are on a spectrum. A small change on the spectrum can lead to a different kind of happiness, a different kind of sadness, and a different kind of anger, just like different colour shades.

You can evoke different emotions depending upon your product and industry. It will impact your marketing strategies— your copywriting, media, graphics choices, etc. — and help it be as powerful as possible.

Why Emotional Marketing Works

People feel. Whenever we watch a movie, we feel certain emotions. It’s human nature.

That’s the reason why emotional marketing works. Let’s move forward to know more about it.

a) Emotional marketing leads to great first impressions.

Suppose there are two kinds of products available in the market and both advertise to attract more customers. One advertisement just talks about products, and another makes you laugh or cry, then which would “overwhelm” you? The second one, right?

When it comes to the first impression, it is just a matter of seconds. The same rule applies to the first impression of a product or brand, and channelizing emotion can help you shape that impression and let the brand or product stand out in your customers’ minds.

b) Emotional marketing inspires people to act

While emotional marketing is a robust tool for extracting a purchase or two, emotions also encourage other activities that help grow your business and brand.

Here’s a categorization of that activity per emotion:

  • Happiness makes us share and sharing leads to enhanced brand awareness. If bad news sells, then good news travels fast. Studies prove that good news and positive content spread quicker on social media than any other content type. When someone is smiling, we tend to reflect that emotion, which leads us to share any content that made us happy in the first place
  • Sadness makes us empathize and connect and empathy drives to improved giving. A 2007 study showed that feelings of empathy generate altruism and the motivation to act on others’ behalf. There is no surprise that organizations like the ASPCA feature sad photos and a touching song while asking for donations. Emotions of sadness urge us to act and help people, which typically manifests in financial giving.
  • Surprise and fear make us cling to what’s comfortable and encompassing what’s comfortable leads to enhanced brand loyalty. Marketers are typically hesitant about leveraging fear in their advertisements because consumers will tend to associate negative feelings with their brand. But that’s not true. Studies reveal that evoking fear allows your brand to be perceived as the one good thing in a dark world, indicating your consumers will lean on you more when things take a turn for the worse.
  • Anger and passion make us stubborn and stubbornness drives viral content and loyal followers. Think of any Facebook video about a local tragedy or political issue with tons of likes and thousands of more comments. Like happiness, strong emotions like anger and passion encourage people to share content. Studies reveal that building content that purposely evokes anger and anxiety will lead to virality and increased views.
  • Emotional marketing encourages people to decide with their hearts Studies reveal that people rely primarily on emotions rather than information while making decisions. The emotional reaction towards marketing impacts a person’s intention and determination to buy more than the content of an ad or marketing stuff.

    It also shows that out of 1,400 prosperous advertising campaigns, those with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only intellectual content.

Emotional marketing supports people to choose with their hearts, which influences purchasing than their minds. Dove’s marketing is an excellent example of this. Their comprehensive, down-to-earth advertisements focus on ensuring every woman feels beautiful, making their product seem like a source of many emotions — acceptance, serenity, confidence, self-love. 

Now that you understand why emotional marketing works let’s discuss how you can include it in your current strategy or a new campaign.

Emotional Marketing Strategies

Emotional Marketing Strategies

There are a number of ways to market your business by employing emotion. There are a few strategies that can be combined and employed to elicit all kinds of emotion. We urge you to start with the first one, though, as what particular emotions you target will depend on who you’re marketing to.

1. First, know your audience

This is an important step before starting any marketing, much less emotional marketing. If you don’t understand your audience, how will you understand what kind of content they’ll react to best? How will you identify which emotion to target to evoke the best, most valuable response for both them and you? Creating a content hub on varied topics can be one way to achieve that.

Before determining which emotion to create in your marketing, conduct some serious target audience research. Like any marketing effort, you require to excite an emotion that resonates with their pain points or common desires and dreams. Studying your audience will thoroughly inform your marketing decisions and save you valuable time and resources.

2. Lead with colour

This might look like a simple strategy, but it carries more influence than you think. Like we have mentioned earlier colour and emotion are closely tied.

Colour acts as a major player while evoking emotion. Have you ever stepped into a room and instantly (and inexplicably) felt some way? This is known as colour psychology, and an extensive range of businesses and organizations use it. Therapists paint their offices to calm their patients. Football teams prefer jersey colours that stimulate their players and audiences, and movie producers outline the colour scheme for posters and trailers that evoke feelings of fear or surprise.

The same works for brands. For example, Coca-Cola red or Starbucks green. The colour red elicits strong feelings such as love, excitement, and joy (as well as anger and warning). In the case of Coca-Cola, red represents positive, friendly energy.

On the other hand, the colour green is usually associated with harmony, balance, nature, growth, and health — all Starbucks brand and “green” movement components.

3. Tell a story

Storytelling is a great approach to connect with your audience. Whether through sadness, anger, passion, or excitement, stories are simply relatable and shareable, regardless of your audience’s makeup.

Proctor & Gamble’s advertisement titled “Thank You Mom” was displayed before the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. It stars many famous Olympians and the stories of how their mothers encouraged them throughout their athletic careers. Since mothers are a significant part of P&G’s target audience, the commercial is perfectly put to tell a resonating story and market their products. 

4. Build a movement or community

Using emotional marketing to build a movement or community throughout your brand taps into a few different psychological triggers. The bandwagon impact it creates keeps people fascinated by what the crowd is doing. Also, feelings of friendship, acceptance, and excitement can generate a sense of loyalty to your brand.

TOMS does a fabulous job of crafting this sense of community. When you buy a TOMS pair, you not only support someone in need, but you also join the TOMS community. You now belong. The marketers at TOMS magnify this community by stimulating activities like “One Day Without Shoes” and encouraging their customers to use hashtags when sharing images.

5. Inspire the impossible

Aspiration isn’t quite an emotion, but the method of feeling inspired many emotions: delight, joy, excitement, hope, etc. Aspirational campaigns are influential because they tap into a dream, goal, or vision that your audience longs to reach. To strongly target aspiration as a marketing approach businesses should know how their product helps their consumers attain those lofty dreams and desires.

Red Bull performs this approach well through their “Red Bull Gives You Wings” campaign. Their advertisements feature intense moments where real athletes are accomplishing their goals and dreams. These ads also connect Red Bull with feelings of joy, excitement, and hope that one day, you can achieve your dreams, too.

6. Project an ideal image

While some commercials tap into how we’re currently feeling, others evoke emotions we’d love to feel. That’s the purpose behind projecting an ideal image through your marketing. Excellent marketing describes how a certain product or service can resolve a pressing problem. Great emotional marketing relates emotion to persuade consumers that your product is not only the best solution but that you can also feel great using it.

Brands like Old Spice practice the “ideal image” to their account when marketing their sanitation products. Their iconic “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” uses humor to insinuate that you (or your man, ladies) could be as attractive, accomplished, and sophisticated as the actor in the commercial all by buying and using the Old Spice product. 

How to Measure Emotional Marketing

How to Measure Emotional Marketing

Emotional marketing can be measured just like any other marketing effort except for measuring the emotional response itself. If you’re interested in how your audience responds to your advertisements (outside of a click-through, subscription, or purchase), you might require to do a little manual analysis.

To understand your audience’s reaction, consider running surveys or giving space for feedback during your initial campaign launch. This open-ended, quantitative approach will give room for honest, real-time audience reactions and give you thoughts on where you can change. Another way of manually analyzing audience feedback is to have a focus group.

The next way is to measure your audience’s emotional response to your marketing is to interpret how their emotions manifest as actions. As we have mentioned earlier, happiness typically leads to sharing, sadness leads to giving, fear leads to loyalty, and anger leads to virality. Depending on the emotion evoked through your marketing, you might anticipate seeing a bump in activity surrounding one (or more than one) of these activities.

Covering it up

Creating emotion into your marketing and advertising is a sure shot to attract, resonate with, and inspire your audience to act. Consider emotional marketing as the secret weapon you never recognized you had.

To favorably put emotion in your marketing, all you have to do is understand your audience and identify which emotions would resonate most. Adjust these with your overall marketing goals, and your emotional marketing attempts will be some of your most productive.


Shivani is a content writer at InviteReferrals. She writes SEO articles, blogs, and guest posts for businesses to improve website ranking on SERP. She follows a balanced approach for the quality of content and its marketing. She loves to do creativity, although she had an English major in her graduation.