At its most basic, marketing is a conversation between you and your customers.

Sounds simple, right?

Not so fast.

You as a business owner have a goal—to make a sale. Your customer has the goal of bettering their life in some way. They want to relieve a pain point. No matter how convinced you are that your product or service can help someone, if they don’t believe it, they’ll never take the risk on your business.

So how do you get them to listen? By connecting your company to them through emotional marketing.

What is the end result your ideal customer wants to achieve?

People make decisions two ways: rationally and emotionally.

Rationally, someone may know saving for retirement or their children’s college fund is the best way to relieve worry about the future. But let’s be honest, talk about the numbers and IRAs and annuities, and you can watch their eyes glaze over. Yawn.

They don’t want to know (exactly) that this opportunity will increase their return on investment. They want to know that Investment A, which you can do for them pain free, means they can travel the French Riviera when they hang up the suit for good. They can look forward to their child’s acceptance letter for an Ivy League school without sweating the tuition.

It’s the emotion behind the logic, the relief of a pain point that means something to them that really gets them interested in what you have to say.

In Episode 71 of our Bright Planning Marketing Podcast, Catherine talked about the meaning behind what ideal customers want. What is the end result that your ideal customer wants to achieve?

On the surface, people are fulfilling a need. Someone trading in a car is generally doing so because the old car no longer fits their life. Maybe their old car has too many miles to be reliable anymore. Maybe it’s too small and they have a growing family. Maybe their job changed and low gas mileage is no longer sustainable on their new commute to work.

But what’s the deeper meaning?

  • The new car with fewer miles will relieve anxiety of imminent breakdown and expensive repairs on a tight budget.
  • A bigger car with four doors and a backseat is a tangible symbol of a new baby and they want the safest vehicle on the road for years to come.
  • More efficient gas mileage means saving money at the pump when their commute to the new job is twenty miles farther away, but this job is the stepping stone to greater things in their career.

Tapping into those deeper motivations means connecting with consumers on an emotional level, and this ad by Microsoft spells it out. They could talk about the speed of the processor, or the sleek style of the monitor, but that’s boring. Technology no longer wows us the way it once did. Instead, Microsoft illustrated ways in which their technology helps give people hope, or improves lives. It’s not about the 1s and 0s, but about the people using them.

We all have needs in our lives, some more dire than others. But what if the necessities aren’t enough? This ad by Pfizer shows the company knows sometimes it’s about more than the medication. Sometimes, the power of hope is what gets someone who’s sick through the day.

Beginning with assumptions about the boy and his motivations, we’re shown a surly-looking teen out later than he’s supposed to be, behaving furtively, and in general raising our suspicions. Then Pfizer lands the punch—the boy is not a hooligan; he’s supporting his sick sister in a creative, uplifting way. His motivation is to support her emotionally while Pfizer does what they can medically.

This last example is so powerful, so heart wrenching, that not only are we left with a lump in our throats, but a determination to do better, to be better for the ones we love. And MetLife can help. They can save us from the pain depicted in the commercial, as well as illustrate what’s important to most everyone: family.

Sure, the sacrifice for our loved ones is worth it, but what if we didn’t have to sacrifice so much? What if we could relax, tell the truth about the money and the fatigue and the effort not being so crushing? The relief of handing such a heavy burden over to professionals who can make it better is so palpable in this commercial, it kind of leaves you breathless.

These ads are powerful for a reason: They reach us emotionally.

  1. A new computer is great both for work and for play, but they can be so much more if Microsoft is to be believed—and they are. Just look at the people they’ve helped.
  2. Pharmacies and drug makers like Pfizer are doing their best to take away our worries with their medicines so we can focus on boosting our loved ones’ morale when they’re sick.
  3. Retirement or life savings matter because working so hard for so little payoff isn’t sustainable, especially when you’re providing for more than yourself. MetLife can help you alleviate that burden so you can be the sweetest dad in the world.

Sales are all good, but the end result for the customer isn’t just about fulfilling a need or want. It’s about them living their best life. If you can connect with them on that level, in their heart, they’ll know working with you is the right thing to do.