Should my marketing appeal to logic or emotion?

The answer is both, but at different times of the sales process.

When we start talking about logical and emotional messaging in marketing, it’s imperative to understand where in the buyer journey your customer is at the moment that they encounter your message. 

Why you need both emotional and logical messaging

While people are making a buying decision, they’re using two parts of their brain – the emotional part (the “limbic brain” – Google it if you’re interested in the psychology) and the logical part (the “frontal lobe”).

Different products, services and industries will affect how much of the decision is emotional and how much is logical, but you will find that in every single buying decision*, there will be an element of both emotional and logical motivations.

If you know what is driving your buyer’s thinking at the stage they are at right now, then you can make sure your messages are telling them exactly what they need to hear at exactly the right time.

Start with emotion...

As soon as people see something new, they instantly make a judgement on it. And because the subconscious, emotional part of our brains works faster than our conscious, logical part, we end up making that judgement with a very emotional bias.

Have you ever seen a product or a company and wanted to find out more just because “got a good feeling about it”. That’s what’s happening there.

… Then move into logic…

Now, quite quickly, the logical part of your brain kicks in and starts to work out if the offering you’ve seen ticks all your the boxes.
  • Does this product or service do what I want or need it to?
  • Does it have all the features I need?
  • Does it have a proven track-record?
  • Is it independently recommended?
  • Do I know anyone who’s got it who can vouch for it?

… And back to emotion

Once your brain is satisfied that it’s a viable option, the emotional part of the brain takes over again.

Have you ever thought to yourself “I know it’s the right decision because it feels right”? That’s what’s happening. 

How to apply this in your business

Now that’s all very well, and it’s nice to know what our potential customers are thinking and everything, but how do you apply this in your business?

Answer: make sure your customers always hear exactly what they need to hear at the stage they’re at in the sales process.
  1. At the beginning of a sales conversation, when they’ve only just heard of you, use empathetic, emotional messaging as in, “Do you feel like this?”
  2. As the conversation continues, start to bring in logic: “This is what you could do about it.”
  3. When the prospect is seriously considering whether to buy from you, give them lots of logical information and reasons to buy.
  4. Prove how it’s worked for others and help your customers by making that first buying decision as easy as possible.
  5. At the point of purchase, bring emotion back into your messaging: “imagine how great it will be…”
  6. And when customers have reached loyalty, continue to be consistently friendly, helpful and reassuring so that they will feel familiar and trusting of your company.
NOTE: Tenders are occasionally an exception to this rule. However, even in a tendering process, how the tender is written and scored can be subtly influenced by the emotional motivations of the person behind it. But that’s a discussion for another blog post!
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Ros Conkie


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