What is the key ingredient to the perfect blend of marketing and sales? How do you leverage the buying power of targeted customers? As it turns out the answer goes back to the roots of what make us human. Connecting your product or service with customer emotions can make all the difference. Here is a personal example. Growing up, my dad bought C&H brown sugar and Adam’s crunchy peanut butter religiously. He always told me that those were the food items he would “splurge” on. My dad had an emotional connection to these brands.
A few months ago, ANS Insights shared an article on LinkedIn and Twitter from a Harvard Business Review case study entitled The New Science of Customer Emotions. Let me share a few highlights of what I learned.
The Science Behind Customer Emotions
Consumers are influenced by emotions. It isn’t the feature set or the bells and whistles that make a sell. Rather, it’s how well connected the customer is with your product emotionally. Businesses that can deliberately reach their customers on an emotional level are much better equipped to grow. Their customers will be happier and stay longer. So here is the question—how do you determine a valid way to center your business around the emotional motivators of your customers?
This is where the research from HBR comes in. To truly understand how specific customer segments are influenced by their emotional connection, the researchers needed to have a basis of unique emotions to pull from. After eight years of research, they created a lexicon of more than 300 emotional motivators. With this library of emotional motivators, the researchers then set out to apply what they found to brands and industries. They sent surveys out to over a million U.S. consumers. These surveys collected data on brand consideration, trial, repurchase, advocacy, customer satisfaction, brand differentiation, and emotional connection.
This research made it possible to put a number to the benefit of customer emotions and buying behaviors. Using big data analytics, market research has created a new science—customer emotions.
Why Emotional Motivators Work
Ultimately, the more emotionally connected a customer is to a particular brand, the more valuable that customer is to the brand. The study provides a customer value scale showing the average value of customers who are not emotionally connected, highly satisfied, perceive brand differentiation, and fully connected.
The amazing thing is that when you set your highly satisfied customers as a baseline, customers who are fully connected to your brand are on average 52% more valuable. Fully connected customers are satisfied, able to perceive brand differentiation, and frequently engage with your company.
So what does this mean? Converting customers from “highly satisfied” to both satisfied and “perceive brand differentiation” is a more profitable long-term strategy. In addition, if you build a list of “fully connected” customers, you will see a jump in customer lifetime value. Engaging on a more emotional level with your current customers will add greatly to their lifetime value. Think of it this way, you can obtain a few good customers by pursuing cold leads. Yet there is a big opportunity to find the fully connected customer.
Building Your Fully Connected Customer File
By taking the time to discover who your fully connected customers are through market research, you can gain strong insights into why your most raving fans care about you. Use this information to model and shape your future brand efforts and marketing campaigns, which may convert more customers who have similar emotional motivators as your fully connected customers. Customer emotions are front and center in the buying process. Learning how to harness market research to understand the emotional motivations of your customers is the key.
Send out a survey to your customer list and offer an incentive for a better survey response rate. Include questions in your survey that will help you discover what motivates your customers and how well connected they are with your brand. For example, you could ask something similar to this as a survey question: (See image left).
Once you have gathered the responses, analyze the data to see what motivates your most valuable customers. From there you will be able to better shape your marketing efforts and brand identity to coincide with the underlying motivations of your customers.
Utilizing market research techniques such as surveying requires effort and planning. As you begin planning your own market research, remember to keep the respondent in mind. Avoid leading questions that can skew your data or leave you with inaccurate results.
The Big Picture
Taking the time to learn what motivates your most valuable customers is a daunting task. The authors of the research said that In order to do the job right you need to have analytical capabilities and deep customer insight. More importantly, though you will need to have the managerial commitment to align your organization with the emotional-connection strategy. This is not just a marketing effort. The whole company should align the emotional motivators of the customers at every touch point.
If you are interested in expanding your customer base and connecting on a more personal level with your customers, American Name Services can help. With our database of thousands of consumer and business records, we can help you reach a more preferred audience and match your business with customers who resemble your most emotionally connected customers. We can also help you build up your customer list so that you can have a better starting point for discovering the emotional motivators of your customers.
Have you been using emotional motivators as a strategy in your business? Share your story in the comments below.
Article Review written by Michael Peterson, Content Marketer at American Name Services