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Applying Emotional Intelligence to Your Marketing

Applying Emotional Intelligence to Your Marketing

Marketing is not just about highlighting product or service features and benefits; it’s about making a strong emotional connection with a prospect based on how they want to feel as result of using a product or service.

When we understand that people buy our solution because of how it makes them feel (in the context of solving their problem) – we are able to craft powerful marketing messages which resonate deeply with prospective customers, thereby stimulating a strong desire to experience the feeling being promised.  

There are several human needs models that help us to understand the emotional triggers that drive people to seek out particular experiences in order to evoke specific feelings.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, for example, suggests that people are motivated to satisfy particular needs, starting with basic physiological needs such as the need for food, shelter and water, and progressing to satisfy more complex psychological needs such as safety, love/belonging, self-esteem and self-actualisation. All of these needs are linked to emotional wellbeing.

Similarly, world-renowned coach Tony Robbins believes that humans have six core needs that drive behaviour – certainty, variety, belonging, significance, growth and contribution. The first four are described as needs of the personality and the final two are more about the ‘spirit’. All of these needs are linked to emotional wellbeing.

A useful way of identifying which particular core need or combination of core needs your prospect is seeking to satisfy is to ask yourself, ‘what is it that my prospect wants to feel as a result of using my product or service?’.

The following provides a guide to linking core needs with feelings:

  • A need for certainty (eg., security, stability, comfort, order, control, consistency) could translate to ‘I want to feel safe’.
  • A need for variety (eg., challenge, risk-taking, excitement, change, drama) could translate to ‘I want to feel adventurous’.
  • A need for love/connection (eg., approval, social acceptance, intimacy, validation) could translate to ‘I want to feel like I belong’.
  • A need for significance (eg., pride, sense of importance, valued, wanted) could translate to ‘I want to feel worthy’.
  • A need for growth (eg., intellectual, emotional or spiritual development) could translate to ‘I want to feel empowered’.
  • A need for contribution (eg., giving, caring, protecting, serving for the greater good) could translate to ‘I want to feel like I make a difference’.

Conveying the emotional experience your product or service delivers by articulating the specific feelings evoked as a result of satisfying particular core needs, is a highly emotionally-intelligent way of marketing. Not only does it demonstrate empathy based on a deep understanding of the prospect’s problem, it also gives the promise of redemption for a brighter future.


©Ros Weadman 2018.   Ros Weadman is the creator of the BRANDcode® Marketing Method for Lead Generation, founder of Melbourne PR & Marketing Group and author of BRANDcode®, a marketing guide for small business.


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