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Media360: Putting emotion into marketing

Emotive marketing, storytelling and native advertising were the hot intrinsic topics on day two of Media Week’s #Media360.  John Kingston, the “chief juicer” of market research agency Brainjuicer, delighted audiences with an animated presentation on his principles of emotive marketing. He brought these  to life with a series of colourful metaphors, which included describing the current model of marketing as “the fist of rational wrapped in a velvet emotional glove”!

Kingston spoke of the mix we should employ to impact on people’s emotional spectrum: framing (giving context) and copying (tapping into herd-mentality) were key and can enable us to maximise brand-recognition, increase the likelihood of sales and in effect ‘seduce’ our audiences. “How you feel is the single best predictor of what you will do,” he told delegates.

More than just a brand message

Netflix has recently stated that emotive marketing is pivotal to its returns and that focusing on its customers and what they truly want can drive conversion. This is how we operate more and more at Vizeum; understanding our audience’s true interests and passion-points –  identified through social listening and insights – and focusing our communications on these and not purely on the brand or product message.

It’s not just about the content though, as BAFTA-winning playwright Tony Marchant explained when he took us through the guiding principles of storytelling.  Marchant believes that the classic ‘three act structure’ of Crisis, Crisis Escalation and Resolution should shape and define “the complexity and emotional impact” of the content that we as marketers and advertisers produce and distribute.  He explained that “universal themes, characters we recognise and feelings we understand” are the essentials. Storytelling has long been among the industry’s buzzwords and taking guidance from the arts can help us build emotional connections with our audiences through outstanding meaningful media.

The three principles of Native Advertising

A panel encompassing TripAdvisor, Yahoo and Vibrant was next on stage to debate native advertising. The obvious comparison (or should that be renaming of?) with advertorials was a focal point of the session but it was the ingredients of great ‘native advertising’ – Value, Content and Context (through transparency and relevance) – that lay at the heart of the debate.

We now have to deliver our emotive messages – told through compelling story – across multiple channels and platforms, which are becoming rapidly more mobile. Targeting is paramount. PPC was held up as the “ultimate example of native advertising” and Facebook was described as the largest “performance display network”. The industry should stop thinking of native advertising as a format, channel or function, and simply consider how we can maximise efficient distribution of content and delivery of communications.

Hugh Reinbolt is Social Insights Manager at Vizeum

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