Advertising strategy

Know your customer’s emotional state

What is your customer’s emotional state? This is something to consider when you develop your ads and compare them in terms of effectiveness.

In the market I currently work there is a roller coaster of pricing. Pricing on energy is something that has real emotional impact on moms and dads as they make their monthly budgets. Like the internet itself negative emotion is generally the stronger of the two. We see often in politics today more about the negatives of the opponents and less about the positives of the one advertising themselves. Negative emotions just resonate better and often tend to be more viral in nature. With this comes the issue of staying out of the mud yourself. Just slinging mud gets everyone dirty, but positioning yourself as the solution to the mud is an effective and tasteful way to present yourself.

Now, this does not always have to be a plan with a scapegoat or enemy to be utilized.

An example would be you are selling items that are perceived as a Christmas or valentines gift.

Say you sell for a type of service, then the enemy can be “time”. As the week before a holiday approaches you can adjust your advertising message to reflect the changing emotions of the consumer. Your shoppers are no longer looking for the “best valentine’s gift ideas”, but more looking for “last minute” gift ideas. The negative emotion we are utilizing can be the anxiety of last minute needs. Our ads change from “the things she will love” to “delivery by Valentine’s day guaranteed”. We are solving the problem of the “husband who waited too long”, as opposed to the “husband with no good ideas” of what to get.

In the current situation I find one of my main ad accounts we have the competition with quickly rising prices. The main challenge is awareness of a solution to this. This means that millions of moms and dads will be opening bills that are considerably higher than expected. The emotional state will quickly go from no awareness of our service and product to actively “seeking a solution for the negative feelings” they now have.

The kinds of questions that people will be actively seeking a solution to are:

  • Is there another company I can use?
  • Why is this so expensive?
  • How do I send a message or dump those guys in response to my anger?
  • Can I take my business elsewhere?

In preparation for this impending emotional state I am changing some of the messaging. Thanks to the power of Adwords targeting I can direct my attention very specifically to only the people who will feel this pinch and be looking for a solution to their problem.

Re-marketing allows me to target the thousands of people who have seen my brand before and never pulled the trigger. Taking the sizable re-marketing list and narrowing it to only the list of people who had past interest in certain markets allows me to serve a message exactly in tune with the emotions they are about to feel. At the same time, text ads targeting very specific searches that a disgruntle customer may feel allow me to target at a city by city level with the messages that speak precisely to that person. When they seek “Brand X company rip-off”, they will get a way to send “brand X” a message and leaving them.

Does your product lack an emotional driver that changes? Then you should look for emotional drivers that you can run parallel to. Facebook advertisers do this with great success all the time. Nonprofits and activism campaigns can target members of other pages and groups that have a lot of common ground. A person in an emotional state to take action need only be convinced that your action will satisfy that need. We offer green energy options that offer a zero carbon footprint using offsets. So find the group that is currently in an emotional state from something that does just the opposite. While not actively pursuing my solution, they are actively seeking a way to make a statement in the short term.

In the end it is all about knowing who is the ideal customer, keeping an eye on what motivates them or stirs them, and using the verbiage to presents you product as a way to solve that need. This motivator can change for millions of reasons and maximizing your sales means segmenting your message so every person has a solution, and it is always what you sell.

About author

Todd Kron

of Sellaholics is a veteran of Analytics, PPC, Display, video, UX, conversion optimization, affiliate programs, web design and web programming since 2002. My background includes affiliate sales to 6 figures, director of a web design agency, and currently the digital manager for a leading energy company located in Huntersville, NC. From search to sale 1000 different ways is my background. Sellaholics is a Google Partner Agency.