People Need To Feel It To Buy It

The demographic transition relies on emotional data science more and more as Millennials surpass Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the USA. Motivating prospects by collecting and analyzing demographic and other data to influence us in future communications has become an art form.  

The top emotions that attract people’s attention are:

  • Curiosity
  • Amazement
  • Interest
  • Astonishment
  • Uncertainty

Firing Up The Base

The recent US Presidential campaign used emotional data causing voters to be invested and emotionally charged

During the recent US Presidential campaign, both parties used emotional data to fire up their base. Now everyone has become all-to-aware of the power of emotional data to convince different population segments to form a strong opinion and take action. It appears that somehow large groups of voters were deeply affected by the messaging and became emotionally charged.

You’re An Emotional Data Provider

Smartphones have become an ongoing psychological survey. Unknowingly, we are continually and unconsciously transmitting detailed data to be profiled by social media platforms and advertisers.

Smartphones have become an ongoing psychological survey where we unconsciously transmit data

As data is enhanced overtime, targeted messaging and rewards focused down to the individual level keep us more engaged.

As consumers become more accustomed to mobile and social media, the Consumer Decision Journey is more of a process than the traditional brand awareness campaign.

The behavior of connected consumers has become subject to many different social and other influences that may impact a decision, a sale and a customer’s loyalty.

Lessons learned from the analytics industry may also be helpful for small business. Taking the initial steps to identify and tap into your prospective customers emotions, on a consistent basis, can move the needle towards growth and profitability.

Demographic Transitional Populations

The millennial generation, born between 1982 and 2004 is expected to peak in 2036 with 81.1 living members. The other large generational surge, baby boomers born 1946 – 1964, peaked in 1999 with 78.8 million members.

The millennial population continues to grow well past the 2004 cutoff due to a continual influx of immigrants

That puts the numbers in perspective. The millennial population continues to grow well past the 2004 cutoff in the USA, due to a continual influx of immigrants within the age category.

This generational chasm presents a challenge for marketers. Currently baby boomers represent an astounding $3 Trillion in spending power, while millennials currently represent less with an estimated $600 billion.

Here are the dates and numbers for US Generations:

  • Baby Boomers – born between 1946-1964, population 75 million
  • Generation X – born between 1965 – 1980, population 66 million
  • Millennials – born between 1981 and 1997, population 79 million
  • Generation Z – born between 1998 and 2015, population 74 Million

 Seizing  Segments Today

When it comes to social media and tracking emotions, it’s important to note that 85% of Millennials and Gen X’’ers own a smartphone, while a lesser 68% of Boomers own a smartphone.

Large generations of highly connected and mobile consumers shift into the information economy

Similar to their high ownership numbers, usage of smartphones for everything they do is more prevalent among the Millennial and Gen X generations.

Boomers still prefer content marketing, email campaigns, informative videos and more traditional media such as direct mail.

Millennials are focused on their smartphone for everything. If you are not optimized for mobile, you are mostly invisible to this segment.

Digital video, FaceBook, Twitter and Blogging are how millennials get their information. User generated video is huge, as well. This is the first generation that equally consumes content and generates content using video and social media channels.

The top source of building trust for millennials is through recommendations from their social groups. The consumer driven journey on the way to a sale has many facets. Building an emotional connection needs a lot of TLC to influence them.

Reaching Between Generational Gaps

An important part of getting a message out using social media is knowing why people engage using the platform.

The NY Times Customer Insight Group did a study and the found that the following reasons are why people engage with social media:

  • 84% Support a Cause – supporting causes or issues they care about
  • 79% Relationships – stay connected with people
  • 69% Self Fulfillment – sharing information that makes them feel more involved
  • 68% Define Ourselves – give others a better sense of who we are
  • 49% Entertainment – sharing to inform others about products they care about in hopes of changing opinions.

Collecting Emotion Intelligence

Sentiment data, also known as opinion mining, refers to using ‘text analysis, computational linguistics and biometrics to identify, extract, quantify and study affective states and subjective information.’

In short, it is a computer program that seeks to identify the attitude of the individual towards a topic or product.

Emotion is hard-wired into our brains and crucial to our survival

Consider that everything we do, every interaction we have, generates an emotional response. Science has identified that emotion is hard-wired into our brains and crucial to our survival. As we grow, we use emotional cues to inform us. The way we react to any given situation comes from our past experiences and how we felt about them.

Somehow connecting with one’s instinctive emotional response creates a new memory. When a message, idea or fact is emotionally charged, a lasting memory is more likely to be established.

A Shift Toward Customer Connection

The baby boomer generation is still controlling the most disposable income. They have been raised on TV and Print. Traditional forms of collecting and analyzing these media channels are still relevant.

Create a positive emotional experience, while increasing connections and loyalty.

We are moving away from demographic segmentation to embracing social groups that connect us

As we all transition to online and mobile applications, for much of our shopping and purchase activity, a new marketing demographic transition model is developing among all demographic segments.

Demographic transition definition is the transition from high birth and death rates, to low birth and death rates as a country embraces an industrialized economic system. In the USA, we have a unique transition occurring, boomers passing the baton to large generations of highly connected and mobile ready consumers in an information economy.

As data is collected, we are gradually moving away from demographic segmentation to focusing on embracing social groups.  Consider how people follow celebrities or causes more than ever before. Social media makes it easy, and the social media tribe is often highly emotionally charged.

Engaging Social Tribes

When developing your marketing process, consider the Consumer Decision Journey. Consumers are shifting from being influenced by a brand awareness ad, to connecting with an ongoing story that continually reaches their deepest emotions.

Take into account the list of consumer insights about why people engage in social media. Identify your best customers. Find out what ignites them. Support causes and create content that touches your customer deeply. Use your brand as a platform for customers to get behind so they are encouraged to share.

Emotional data science is evolving. It can make people passionate, loyal and eager to buy your product or support a shared cause.

As we move forward, create a positive emotional experience, while increasing connections and loyalty. Penetrating deep into a consumer’s psyche, to tell an ongoing story and create a connection, is powerful stuff. Act responsibly.

Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More