Why Marketing To The Heart Beats Marketing To The Brain

29 Oct Why Marketing To The Heart Beats Marketing To The Brain

You know me by now. I’m always droning on about engaging people’s feelings, rather than making them think about logic. Dr. Eric Shoars sheds a different light on this concept in his blog “Marketing to the brain or to the heart?”. Let me paraphrase…

You are a business owner or marketer: you want people to know what you do and that you do it well. OK, but that’s not what your marketing message should be. Your marketing message should be about how your company is going to help your customer’s life become easier, more enjoyable, and less expensive.

The function of this message is twofold: become known before you’re needed, and be the go-to company when the prospect’s moment of need occurs. The two big mistakes most advertisers make are talking about themselves, and talking about a long laundry list of stuff they offer. But the prospect usually wants to know two other things: “how are you going to help me?”, and “why should I buy from your company instead of the other guys?”

Unfortunately, most messages sound just the way George Carlin said years ago: “Quality, value, style, service, selection, convenience, economy, savings, performance, experience, hospitality, low rates, easy terms, name brands, affordable rates, money-back guarantee, and free installation.” George keeps going for another three minutes, but you get the idea. And referring to his other monologue you may remember from the 70s, “who gives a $#!&?”

So don’t spout out features and advantages of your stuff; better to talk about your prospects lifestyle, what’s missing, and how they’ll be emotionally satisfied by what you offer. Look at Harley Davidson’s slogans over the years, and you’ll see it’s all about a lifestyle:

American by birth. Rebel by choice.

Live to ride, ride to live.

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

The road starts here… it never ends.

And lest we forget “Screw it, let’s ride”.

No mention of the word ‘motorcycle’ anywhere! Nothing about 883 cc’s, softtails or V-twin engines, because those phrases don’t sell to the heart.

Harley Davidson has always understood it’s not about motorcycles, it’s about the experience the people in the Harley Davidson family will have. How are you communicating the experience of your product or service to the end user? If you can sell to the emotions, your message goes from boring to compelling. And a compelling message aimed at the emotions will much more easily turn a prospect into a customer. So don’t aim for the brain, start with the heart.

Mike McCurlie
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