With a saturation of marketing and advertising, companies rely more on consumer emotions to sell a product. Between television, radio and the Internet, there are a lot of mediums to lose a message. But these four emotions and strategies are key ways to engage new customers in 2016.
If you took the early Betty Crocker commercials of the 1950s and compared them to advertising in 2015, the differences would be night and day. Retro commercials were straight-forward and literal — here’s what we’re selling and what it can do for you. Ads back then didn’t tell a story, they just put the product in the spotlight.
Now look at the latest Christmas spot from Apple featuring musical legend Stevie Wonder. The company that creates iPhones, iPads and Mac computers is selling us its brand on a passive level, but at an emotional level. It’s telling us a story about a musician and a family on Christmas. Apple is no stranger to creating a sentimental connection to its products, and it’s a trend we see more often in today’s marketing.
Personalization isn’t an emotion, but offering a personalized service to customers does create an emotional connection of trust and satisfaction. Companies and business owners understood this in the mid-20th century, but the concept faded over times as customer service jobs were outsourced to cut spending and increase profits.
So what happened? Quality decreased, customer satisfaction tanked and profits were squandered. CEOs and business owners are finally trying to rectify the situation by re-investing in customer service, but still taking advantage of the cost savings associated with 21st century technology. Cloud contact center solutions, a centralized service to handle customer service, is one of the many ways companies are offering personalized service to customers while continuing to save on the bloated costs associated with high-quality service in the past.
Today’s ads are certainly funnier than they were in 1950 (or decades later, for that matter). And while humorous marketing doesn’t create a sentimental connection with a brand, it can help a company’s ad stand out from the rest of the field. When it comes to funny commercials, the Super Bowl is the king of humorous marketing.
So why do funny commercials work? In short, they keep our attention. Today’s consumer has a shorter attention span and will move on to the next thing in five seconds or less, so companies use humor to engage them the moment an ad begins. And they’re so good at it; Super Bowl commercials are now just as famous as the game.
In addition to short attention spans and emotional connections, today’s consumers are also more skeptical than customers of the 20th century. Now that we have access to the Internet and social media, companies can’t hide bad publicity behind their own media wall. So there is a new “go big or go home” approach some call anti-marketing.
This is done by companies looking to disrupt an industry by calling it out and offering a better alternative. Notable examples are Uber (against taxis), Airbnb (against expensive hotels) and Vanguard (against expensive financial institutions). These companies hold a fragile trust relationship with consumers that depends completely on transparency and consistency. The moment they sell out by going the way of the industry they mock, the effectiveness of anti-marketing is over.