What is emotional marketing and how does it work?
Emotional marketing is based on the recognition that purchasing decisions are generally not just rational, but are based on unconscious emotions.
Our mind is divided into conscious and unconscious thought. We tend to prioritize the conscious mind, but in reality its functionality is limited, as it takes a lot of energy to process stimuli in this way. Therefore, in order for decisions to be made as quickly and efficiently as possible, our body limits conscious thought.
The vast majority of the information we receive through the senses is processed implicitly and unconsciously. For example, through the view, implicit processes can receive 10,000,000 bits of information per second, while explicit processes only receive 40.
All of these implicit processes are controlled by the limbic system, sometimes referred to as the “emotional brain”. And the result of this is that a lot of our decisions are made subconsciously based on emotions.
The bottom line is that when a customer decides to buy your product, they often make that decision before their mind even realizes it, based on thousands of implied signals. Therefore, our marketing is doomed to failure if we do not take into account the irrational and emotional factors which are at the origin of purchasing decisions.
How to Optimize Your Emotional Marketing Experiences
To create emotional marketing experiences that increase commitment of the user, we must be able to identify the emotional needs of the users and integrate them into our marketing actions. Let’s see how we can do this using a model proposed by the German research group Gruppe Nymphenburg and based on different disciplines such as neuroanatomy, evolutionary biology, neurochemistry and psychology: the limbic model.
The 3 emotional systems
The limbic model is based on a classification into three major emotional systems that influence the behavior of the consumer and cause him to seek or avoid different sensations. These three systems are:
the system of stimulation, who seeks to discover new things and acquire skills. This part of our brain loves novelty, curiosity, change, surprise, and excitement. This system shuns boredom, but is drawn to new sensations.
the domination system, which focuses on results, assertiveness, elimination of competition, status, power and autonomy. This system seeks out feelings of pride and victory and shuns anger and helplessness.
the system of Balanced, which seeks to avoid risks and generate stability. Your primary goals are harmony, compliance, and safety, and you try to avoid feeling fearful or anxious.
Domination and stimulation systems seek to broaden horizons, while the equilibrium system serves as a counterweight to avoid undue risk.
The 7 limbic types
The next big idea of the limbic model is that all three emotional systems are present in all people, but not in the same proportion. Some of us are more prone to certain types of stimuli than others. Based on our individual tendencies, we can identify 7 limbic types:
the adventurous: their predominant systems are stimulation and domination. He is impulsive, autonomous and rebellious and he likes a challenge.
the productive: it moves mainly through the system of domination. He has a results-oriented personality, is focused on success and status, and is ambitious.
the disciplined: moves in the zone between domination and balance. He is frugal, reasonable, precise, applied and logical and prefers to have clear structures.
the traditionalist: very oriented towards balance, with certain traits of domination. He is a modest, decent and structured person, who seeks above all to protect himself from threats.
the harmonizerBalance is its predominant system, with some stimulating traits. Family and harmony are very important to this guy. You care about others, you are kind, and you need to feel safe.
the open minded: moves between balance and stimulation. You are optimistic, open to new ideas, dreamy and flexible, and you like to enjoy life with all of your senses.
the hedonistic: stimulation is your star system. He is a curious, spontaneous, creative, fun, individualistic and outgoing person and likes to be diverse.
How to adapt your emotional marketing according to the limbic model
The limbic model teaches us that different people respond to different types of stimuli. In the world of marketing, this means that we have to employ different strategies to reach consumers.
For example, we’ll see a basic correspondence between emotional systems and marketing tactics:
Stimulation system: This system is attracted to the novel and the strange. To interest you in our product, we may launch a special edition with limited stocks.
System of domination: this system seeks to take advantage of the opportunities of the environment to gain an advantage over others. Therefore, a classic discount strategy can be a very good way to attract you.
Balance system: People with a dominant equilibrium system seek social consensus and know they are making the right decision to avoid risks. What works best to convince them is showing positive reviews from other customers to generate social proof.