A growing number of consumers are placing a higher priority on experiences than things, as Simon Usborne shared in The Guardian. This trend, writes Susan Fulczynski in The Arabian Marketer, offers brands an outstanding opportunity.
As she explains, this preference for experience “is a valuable prompt for brands to remember that consumers are humans, with real emotions and a craving for personal interaction and engagement.”
She believes this accounts for the interesting in virtual and augmented reality in marketing sectors, as a way to immerse customers with the brand. Yet she points out something deeper going on here – that truly effective marketing makes an emotional connection.
“Most marketing professionals instinctively understand this, but the message may have been clouded by a decade of digital ‘marketing by numbers’ with its obsession with immediacy and measurability, and the assumption that more conventional marketing channels, such as print, provide less calculable metrics,” she writes.
“… in a world where consumers are overwhelmed by marketing channels and messages, the tactile power of print, combined with intelligent personalization founded on real customer insight, may be precisely what’s needed to overcome digital overload and trigger emotional responses to brands.”
“You may wonder why, in today’s digital world, marketing communicators should care about haptics,” writes Pat Friesen, a multi-channel direct response copywriter, in Target Marketing.
“As it turns out, there are plenty of reasons starting with this: According to neuroscientist/haptics hotshot Dr. David Eagleman, ‘Human touch represents a powerful form of non-verbal communication,’” Friesen explains.”
As humans, we place on a higher value on what we can physically touch – from CDs to books to marketing materials. Our human senses naturally play a large role in the marketing experience.
“As a sensory marketing tool, print can trump digital too, thanks to its ability to trigger emotions using touch, sight and smell, overlaid with individualized messages and delivered when consumers are most receptive,” Fulczynski writes. “This trio of senses may be all-important in increasing marketing effectiveness; consider research commissioned by branding expert Martin Lindstrom, which shows that media that appeal to more than three senses can increase brand impact and engagement by more than 70 percent.”
“Print is like a relationship, we keep going back to it for one reason only: the way it makes us feel,” wrote Andy Rogers on LinkedIn. “Every relationship we have, we are in because of some emotional connection. When done well, your print media can evoke almost every emotion, which in turn increases your advertising effectiveness.”
For brands, the takeaway is this – your audience craves an experience, an emotional connection to your brand. If you aren’t doing at least some of your marketing in print, you are missing out on the very real opportunity to engage their senses, and their emotions.