Marketing is a complex field that intersects business and psychology. Unfortunately, psychology isn’t always adequately utilized when considering marketing strategies. When you think about it, we are in the business of people and emotion. Everyone here at CompEdge is human, our clients and their clients are human. So why is it that everyone focuses more on numbers, metrics, and algorithms rather than the things that make us who we are?
Marketing + Psychology = Magic
That’s where I come in. Hi! I’m Kelsey, CompEdge’s resident psychology whiz. I’ve previously studied and worked with marketing before realizing my true academic calling was psychology. Part of this decision was fueled by the fact that I was fed up with and uninterested in the way marketing was being taught. I found myself more and more interested in the mechanics in how we are influenced in our everyday life to make the decisions that we do when it comes to purchases. Then the ball unraveled from there where I moved onto getting hungry to learn more about everything an education in psychology had to offer: emotions, motivation, personality types, behavior, needs, connection, etc. I’m here to combine my two educational tracks to help my clients and colleagues understand that people are our most crucial asset rather than just cold hard metrics.
So what are emotions actually and what do they do? Simply put, emotions are a complex set of feelings that produce physical and/or psychological changes, that in turn influence our thoughts and behavior. That’s a mouth full so I will give you an explanation. Research by behavioral economist George Loewenstein shows that 90% of decisions are based on emotions. Stay with me; this might get a bit dry, but, Darwinian theory says that emotions serve an evolutionary purpose. They aid us in the ability to make decisions quickly, which can help us in situations that can threaten our very lives. Think fight-or-flight, that’s usually fueled by threatening situations and helps us make a snap decision on what to do. From a marketing point-of-view, emotions help customers connect with the brand and make a decision on if they want to engage with your company (by making a purchase, connecting on social media, browsing your webpage, etc).
To be honest, I don’t have much experience in working at CompEdge just yet (at the time of writing, this is only my third full week on the job!) but what I do have experience in is the way CompEdge has made me feel. My very first impression of CompEdge was when I read the job listing for my position. It was written in such a unique way that I felt like the words jumped off of my screen and spoke to me in a personal manner. It invoked emotions in me such as excitement, enthusiasm, and eagerness. And from those emotions came motivation. The motivation to absorb every single piece of CompEdge content available in order to learn more, the motivation to apply to the open position and succeed in winning them over (spoiler alert, my endeavors were successful!).
That Time Gillette Made Me Cry
Emotions and their impact are easy to forget about when the focus is only on the numerical outcome. Think back to the last time a marketing or advertising campaign made you feel something. For me, this was the first time I saw the “The Best Men Can Be” campaign by Gillette. I was moved to tears and felt such relief that finally, somebody got it. I immediately shared it with my closest circle of friends, my mom, my sisters… and their general reaction to it was the same that I had: being moved and inspired to the point of being hopeful and enabling action to share it with their people. I also felt compelled to read through the comment section on various social media posts and other news sources to see if others perceived it in the same way, as well to read comments from those that felt “truffet” by it. I’ve been a Gillette customer for a while now, and have been wary of their Venus marketing campaigns (that’s an article for another day), but Gillette just might have gained an “ildsjel” in me to the point where I am going to evangelize the Gillette gospel.
I can’t really remember the last time a brand made such an impact to the point that I felt compelled to share and discuss, what is essentially a campaign geared toward men, with all of my closest female loved ones.
When I think of the dry and glossy campaigns that only focus on selling as much as possible, I think of the emotions they evoke, which is usually annoyance, irritation, or maybe the most damning of all: indifference. I won’t mention any specific companies here, but I see this in a lot of consumer goods retail chains that are so dry that I feel that gravy needs to be served with it. These campaigns have the consequence of making me as uninspired as possible to turn those flat emotions into actions. I, like most people, am less likely to connect with your brand and company when there isn’t some sort of emotional engagement made by your side.
To Conclude...People Aren’t Numbers
So, if we reflect and think over what this all means, where does it leave us?
When the sole focus and end goal are only numbers and metrics, the desired outcome just won't happen. But, if you have the opportunity to make a genuine and profound impression on someone by evoking emotions in them, that then turns into action by either them making a purchase, sharing your content with their loved ones, or even better, making them into an “ildjsel”, then you’ve won the marketing game.