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Not Just Clicks: Embracing Emotion in Digital Marketing

Not Just Clicks: Embracing Emotion in Digital Marketing

Written by Kenneth Mokgabudi

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, it’s easy to get swept up in the latest trends and chasing clicks. We’re constantly bombarded with AI, algorithms, and a never-ending stream of jargon, forgetting the core purpose: connecting with real people.  It’s a whirlwind of technical demands, and it’s tempting to fall into the trap of focusing solely on the next big tactic to get that click. But here’s a wake-up call: emotions drive a whopping 70% of consumer decisions.

This statistic struck a chord with me, revealing the limitations of technical skills alone. 

Sure, knowing how to optimise for search engines and craft compelling ad copy is important. But to forge genuine connections with my audience, to move them beyond a simple click and into a loyal customer base, I needed something more. That’s the moment I embraced the power of Emotional Intelligence (EQ).

Now, the question I asked myself: “Isn’t that just touchy-feely stuff?

EQ is far more than that. It’s about understanding and managing your own emotions, along with effectively navigating the emotions of others. By understanding the emotional drivers behind consumer behaviour, I could craft marketing messages that resonate on a deeper level, build trust, and ultimately, convert clicks into customers.

It’s the secret weapon for anyone who wants to master the digital landscape.

Before I embraced EQ, my marketing felt… distant.

I went through a phase where digital marketing felt robotic and impersonal. In my opinion, lots of marketers had failed to understand that behind every click lies a complex web of emotions waiting to be understood. In all honest, we all got caught up in data and targeting, forgetting that we’re trying to reach real people with real emotions – beyond clicks and algorithms.

This led to:

  • Inauthentic content: Ads and messages that feel generic and inauthentic, failing to resonate with viewers.
  • Missed connections: Failing to understand the emotional needs and desires of our audience, preventing us from building relationships.
  • Ineffective communication: Using the wrong tone or language, which can turn off potential customers.

EQ: Our Untapped Superpower

That’s how EQ became my antidote to these problems as it goes beyond just technical prowess, which we all believe that we have. While they are certainly important, technical skills can only get you so far. By understanding the emotional drivers behind consumer behaviour, we can understand and connect with the person behind the metrics: the actual human being.

Here are some of the ways EQ has transformed my approach:

  • Ditching the demographics: Targeting by age and interests paints a broad picture, but it misses the individual brushstrokes. EQ helps me recognise and respond to the unique emotions of each person.
  • Content with heart: Remember that funny ad that made you laugh until you cried? That’s the power of emotional connection. By understanding what evokes specific emotions, we can craft ideas that go beyond the content void but also spark action.
  • Leading with empathy: In a world where change is constant, people are navigating the internet with blinders on. With EQ, you can anticipate these concerns and address them head-on, fostering trust and transparency throughout the journey.
  • Building relationships, not just funnels: Our brand channels shouldn’t just be broadcast platforms; they should be communities. Recognising and responding to user emotions lets me turn fleeting interactions into loyal brand advocates.
  • Inspiring my team: Authenticity reigns supreme in the digital age. Focusing EQ has allowed my team and I to lead with open communication, build trust, and create a culture where change and experimentation is embraced, not feared.

Connect…Then Covert

Going from “meh” to memorable is a journey, not a destination. By embracing EQ, you can create marketing that is not only effective but also emotionally resonant. So, ditch the robots and start tapping into the power of human connection.

Remember, the digital world is ultimately made up of real people. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Start by reflecting on your own emotions. Think about the times you’ve been most engaged with a brand online. What emotions did the content evoke? Was it humour, inspiration, or a sense of belonging? By understanding your own emotional triggers, you can begin to identify what might resonate with your audience.
  2. Build empathy into your marketing. Step into your audience’s shoes. What are their pain points, aspirations, and fears? Craft messages that acknowledge their struggles and offer solutions that align with their desires.
  3. Understand that algorithms and AI can’t’ read minds, yet.   While they do play a significant role in digital marketing, they fall short in comprehending human emotions fully. Acknowledging this limitation can allow you to leverage EQ as a competitive advantage. By prioritising authentic human connection over robotic automation, you can stand out amidst digital clutter and leave a lasting impact on your audience. Therefore, use data to identify trends, but leverage EQ to craft the message that truly connects.

At Instinctif Partners, we invite you to embrace EQ as a cornerstone of your marketing strategy, empowering your team to connect authentically with your audience and thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

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