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Looking ahead to 2019: 3 ways to stand out in the “Emotion Economy”

Recently, Billee Howard published her marketing trend projections for 2019, and, as always, she shared many salient and striking considerations. One intriguing observation was that now more than  ever, brands and companies must learn how to market themselves within the “Emotion Economy,” leveraging sentiment as currency.

First coined by Richard Yonck, the Emotion Economy is an overarching term used to describe the ecosystem customers and businesses are now engaged in that leverages incredible technological advancements beyond historical purchase patterns. As described by Sameet Gupte, “it’s always been important for businesses to understand their customers,” but now, more information and data can generate a more concrete and accurate snapshot of each consumer, down to anticipating what she may not just need, but feel. Think of the powerful data and insight Facebook can harness with the debut and implementation of their Reaction Buttons, and imagine the power of complementing a strong value proposition with an emotionally fulfilling message. The businesses that compete on this marketing plane are the ones winning in today’s competitive environment. For any company or brand seeking to further tap into existing and potential customers’ emotional banks, consider the following when developing a 2019 marketing plan:

1. On technology – be timeless, not timely. A race to leverage the newest digital marketing trend could be a poor fit for your organization. Flashy tech tools may cloud a more resonant connection (and potential path to purchase) with your customers. With any campaign, lead with your messaging and creative, and let the channels support that messaging – not the other way around.

2. Reinforce your brand’s mission. Clearly communicate your company’s mission. In the age of social media, consumers eagerly and expectantly share openly and transparently with each other and – increasingly – expect companies and brands to reciprocate.  This sharing builds trust. Trust builds influence. Influence dictates decisions.

3. Value-add your value-add: As efficient as technology makes many tasks, look for where your organization can re-infuse personal touches and messages to your current and future customers, including above and beyond customer service, and personalized marketing touchpoints on email or social media. As technology becomes a larger part of our daily work effort and product, an organization’s ability to communicate directly with individuals can strengthen its ability to compete in a more emotive ecosystem.

Whether your organization or brand is focused on B2B, B2C or somewhere in between, we predict 2019’s Emotion Economy can, and will, play a role in how you will market and message to your target audiences. If you’re interested in discussing how your organization’s branding and marketing efforts could be driven by sentimental support, drop me a line.

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