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Don’t Push Products – Stimulate Emotions and be a Gateway to Meaningful Experiences

What’s the main reason why you advertise? You advertise to get the interest of a prospective customer resulting in some action, e.g., a sale. So far marketing 101, right? Nevertheless, think for a moment, do you use emotional marketing techniques in your advertising right now or are you pushing product? If you’re not, then you’re losing possible sales and profits.

The next time you see a television commercial, stop and look at it from an advertiser’s standpoint. I think you’ll begin to see what I’m talking about. These companies are paying millions of dollars for their advertising and are not just throwing this money down the drain, they’re paying for advertising that works because it relates to their target markets by appealing to their emotions and helping them visualize themselves owning that particular product, using a service or taking a desired action. So, to achieve your primary goal of getting a response from prospective customers and produce a sale, when you advertise you need to titillate Baby Boomer and senior Purchase Motivators (see The Origins of Ageless Marketing).

Throughout your entire business career your underlying goal is to produce a buying desire through the prospect’s emotions (or should be). Every one of your prospects has one thing in common: They’re all human beings! There are many other tools and techniques will help you in achieving this goal, however, to produce this desire, you’ll need to make an emotional connection with your prospect.

When was the last time you made a purchase that you didn’t have an emotional state involved in the decision process? You haven’t! Sure, you might think back and remember the reasons why you made the purchase, but that’s your analytical mind working to make sure you feel good about the buying decision. However, the simple fact remains, we all make buying decisions based on our emotional needs and wants.

Why did you buy the particular house you’re living in or car you’re currently driving? A house is a house as it provides shelter. The same holds true for your car, its purpose is to provide transportation. Now you can get the very same shelter when you buy a house for $100,000 or $300,000, or you can get the very same transportation need filled if you purchase a car for $20,000 or $50,000. So why would you spend twice as much to buy a particular house or car when the lower priced version would fill the need? You can bet it’s because of the emotional benefits you receive when you buy the $300,000 house or the $50,000 car! Smart marketers know this and that’s why the luxury business is booming, their marketing appeals to emotions!

Therefore, with that in mind, you need to make your advertisements produce those very emotions in order to get a Baby Boomer or senior to make a buying decision. Information processing refers to the process by which a stimulus is received, interpreted, stored in memory and later retrieved. Knowing this is only part of the equation, now let’s move to the hard part:  How do we do this in an advertisement? It’s only in the last decade that most of the literature has been written on how the brain functions and how we process communications. Because consumer reactions to marketing communications will depend on the manner in which it’s processed, an understanding of how the brain processes information can be very useful (see Go with the Grain of the Brain).

An appreciation of information-processing principles and findings can yield some important lessons for those interested in influencing consumer behavior. Although marketing communications is perhaps the greatest beneficiary of what we know about how people process information, these lessons can be applied to many other areas including personal selling, package design, branding, and training of salespeople.

Finally, ads and sales approaches should be should be experiential in nature. They should reflect empathy for the values of this demo in terms of your company products/services being perceived of as a gateway to meaningful experiences. If a company ad or sales presentation fails to connect with a Baby Boomer and senior’s idealized image of self, it is more likely to be ignored. Remember; don’t focus upon selling the product. Instead focus upon selling your knowledge of the Baby Boomer and senior’s values, motivators and needs and how your product is a gateway to helping them to reach their goals and encounter meaningful experiences.

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