Don’t take the emotion out of business

You may recall that, Rob Gorby, our Marketing Director recently discussed the merits of businesses having a Value Proposition and the need to consider the power of emotional buying when targeting customers.

As a small business, there are many mistakes that can be made along the way when looking to gain customers – there is a real desire to cast the net far and wide to reach more people; however, it isn’t necessarily the right way. It’s important to make sure you lay solid foundations to your business acquisition model. Rather than taking an in-depth  look at what you are currently doing, identifying problem areas and fixing these issues – for example, sorting technology solutions in-house to track customer data, or  testing reporting tools to see what works well and what doesn’t – many small business owners look towards the next goal or milestone and often end up neglecting the fundamentals.

To run a business and make it grow, you need to be a quick decision maker – you need to be able to look at the facts, the market and the situation and react swiftly to make sure your business is keeping up with trends and competitors. But, the danger here is that whilst you are so focused with moving your business forward, you may end up losing sight of what your customers really want. The majority of people don’t make purchase decisions in this way. On the most part, UK consumers aren’t concerned with the features and benefits of a product or service, but more by the contribution to psychological benefits such as identity, desirability and association of having or using that product or service.

If you think about a company that consumers love and get excited about – Apple for example – they understand and use within their strategy the emotional pull that consumers have when deciding to buy a product or service.

The problem that SMEs often have is that they look to solve marketing (and ultimately business) problems with quantity (hits, clicks, likes, impressions, followers) instead of quality of customers where decisions are based on emotion, connection and identity. Developing a statistical spreadsheet that all the data fits nicely into isn’t necessarily the right way to engage customers.

The problem with this approach to marketing is that a customer’s interaction with a company is relatively short-lived. There is no vested interest or loyalty. Customers are fickle nowadays where markets are saturated – there doesn’t need to be loyalty to get the best deals – so what is the best way to retain customers? Give them the emotional connection that makes your service or product more desirable than any other– create the emotional experience that is so engaging and so loving that your customers will never want to leave.

So how do you do this? Well, you are going to have to move out of your comfort zone to find the answers. Talk to customers, engage with them – don’t be afraid of what they might tell you. To compete in a saturated and tough market, you are going to have to make your customers feel something and you can’t do that unless you speak to them about what they want.

We evoke a lot of reaction from customers, across our advertising, welcome packs and CRM programmes. Some of the reactions are good and some not, but taking such feedback from customers into account is what keeps a business on its toes; use this opportunity to review what your business is doing so you can positively interact with your customers in the future.