“How do you really feel about me?”
It’s an awkward question in a relationship. It’s also a difficult one for most brands to answer, but it can be key to a successful campaign. The problem is most brands don’t even bother to ask. Research has shown that as much as 95% of purchasing decisions are made based on fast, intuitive thinking as opposed to a slower, rationale process. In other words, emotion.
Emotion provides a pathway to activation. Recognizing this, market leaders are starting to move some resources in the direction of the upper funnel, e.g. brand building. This acknowledges that increasing marketing efficiency isn’t just about activation and sales; it’s about understanding and measuring brand and brand impact on ROI across channels. It’s about establishing an emotional beachhead in the consumer’s mind early in the decision-making process. Missing that window can mean missing the sale and, just as important, forgoing the chance to start a long-term relationship.
We live in an omnichannel world where customers search for product information and make buying decisions when and wherever it suits them. Tracking the path to purchase provides insight on key inflection points but it doesn’t always go to the emotional core of the decision-making process. In spite of this, advertisers continue to invest more in activation focused communication than in building brands. One major reason: technology makes it increasingly possible to optimize and follow-up the short-term effects of communication.
Understanding activation is great, but it’s not enough. Differentiating your brand from the competition and creating the kind of unique and compelling experience that drives customer loyalty and sales requires building an emotional connection, too. To achieve this, you have to adopt an omnichannel perspective, measuring brand performance across all media. And you need to bring a similar view to measuring KPIs, seeing them in context, using data and analysis to understand not just what the consumer does but why.
If consumers walked a completely logical path to purchase, there would be no need to analyze the emotions that define the upper funnel (consideration for purchase). But they don’t, and there is. If you’re not asking (and answering), how do you really feel about me, you’re missing an opportunity to build brand and boost ROI.