When it comes to the design and marketing of educational experiences—particularly those from trade and professional associations—there is an emotional element that is often lacking. But tapping into people’s emotions is perhaps one of the best and most effective ways to convey your brand and your mission.
Graeme Newell, an expert in emotional marketing, helps guide organizations in finding and implementing their authentic business purpose. He is co-author of Red Goldfish: Motivating Sales and Loyalty Through Shared Passion and Purpose and his company, 602 Communications, has done research and consulting for some of the world’s most purpose-driven companies including GE, CNN, Sony, Disney, Metlife, CBS, News Corp, CNBC, and Madison Square Garden.
In this episode of the Leading Learning podcast, Jeff talks with Graeme about emotional marketing including what it is, why it’s important, and ways to implement it.
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[00:18] – Thank you to YourMembership, the podcast sponsor for the third quarter of 2017. YourMembership’s learning management system is specifically designed for professional education with a highly flexible and intuitive system that customizes the learning experience. YourMembership’s LMS seamlessly integrates with key systems to manage all of your educational content formats in one central location while providing powerful tools to create and deliver assessments, evaluations, and learning communities.
[01:09] – Highlighted Resource of the Week – A series of 3-minute emotional marketing lessons from Graeme Newell – there are more than 40 videos and they are a great way to learn what emotional marketing is all about and how to do it. While you are at it, be sure to also check out the Red Goldfish resource library.
[01:37] – A preview of what will be covered in this podcast where Jeff interviews emotional marketing expert, Graeme Newell.
[03:46] – Introduction to Graeme.
[04:33] – To start off with, could you explain to listeners what emotional marketing is? Graeme explains that research has shown that so much of our decision-making is subconscious. We often feel something, make a decision, and then go out and find the facts that verify what we already believe. Because of this, the most powerful thing we have when it comes to making decisions is human emotion.
[07:17] – What are some examples of companies or organizations (other than Apple which you previously mentioned) that are really getting this right and connecting with their audience on that emotional level? Graeme shares there are so many and that for his book, Red Goldfish: Motivating Sales and Loyalty Through Shared Passion and Purpose, they looked at over 300 companies that were doing an exemplary job of this. Examples he highlights include, Google, Ben and Jerry’s, Costco and Disney.
[10:43] – What steps would you take as an organization to figure out if you are making an emotional connection and how would you then make a deeper emotional connection? Graeme points out that we get so internally focused on the things important to us that we forget the reasons why customers tend to buy our products. Companies are often hyper focused on a competitor instead of fully understanding how customers are using their products in new and innovative ways. He shares that a lot of work they do is with the education industry to illustrate that organizations tend to focus on product features but what they haven’t done is taken that leap to the next level to see how those product features make your customers feel. Graeme suggests querying your customers about this to get feedback—and listen not necessarily to what they say, but watch their face to see when they light up—those are the things you need to push for your customers.
[15:27] – You mentioned actually talking to customers (in the case of most our listeners, that would be members) and most trade and professional associations tend to be very fond of surveying. Is part of the core of this having true human interaction in person or on the phone? Graeme emphasizes that it is critically important to find out the product features that customers/members love/hate about your product, however this is only a first step. The next step is to really listen and find the emotions that are between the lines and he points out this isn’t just about appealing to the conscious brain but rather testing factors like reaction times, which are part of the unconscious mind. Graeme shares an example of this.
[19:09] – Most membership-type organizations who hold conferences tend to get feedback that it’s the networking that matters—how could you find out what people are really getting out of networking so you can try to connect with them more? What kind of questions would you ask or what might you go through to try to figure out what networking means to them, emotionally? Graeme explains that it’s really a process that begins with getting away from your own product/service. He says when it comes to conferences, there’s a tendency to have a script (in the conscious mind) of what we’re looking for at the conference, which is based on how it was marketed. However the true reason why we may be something else, such as being better at our job, or competition, etc. What you want to do is sit down with the people who are going and don’t talk about your product at all. Ask them to tell you about their job and then just listen (not necessarily what they say but their emotions. Give them about 10-15 minutes to unload and do your best not to interrupt, which allows for honesty. Then market the conference based on the needs that surface from those conversations.
[23:56] – What is purpose-driven business and what’s the connection between that and emotional marketing? Graeme explains that when writing his recent book, they looked at lots of incredible brands and what they found was that you need to give people a very clear glimpse of what the company stands for, particularly with Millenials who want to buy products that match their ethics and values. So brands that are good at this lead with their ethics and what they believe in (ex: Method, Zappos, Starbucks). Graeme points out that now more than ever, we are doubting advertising because it seems inauthentic. Instead, companies are now saying what they stand for and showing their products demonstrate that (ex: LL Bean, Lego, Kashi, Tom’s, Chipotle).
[27:37] – How do you approach trying to teach people about this message? What’s your philosophy as a teacher, a facilitator of learning, as you’re trying to get this message out to the audiences you’re serving? Graeme admits that it’s pretty wonderful and people are so receptive to this because it’s something all of us crave—they want to work for companies that really stand for something. And we’ve become so sophisticated when it comes to advertising and selling that in-authenticity is sniffed out instantly. He says it’s not ok for companies not to have a viral video page where they talk about what they stand for and companies like this are the ones that are lifelong brands and those that people want to stick with.
[29:54] – What are your key lifelong learning habits and practices? Graeme describes himself as one of the world’s most amazing inhalers of scattered knowledge. He’s really into Twitter and hangs out on RSS all day with 6 monitors that surround him all day that just have Twitter and RSS feeds. He has 30-40 feeds all arranged by key words and he changes them up all the time, which keeps him constantly fascinated.
[32:24] – How to connect with Graeme and/or learn more:
Website: 602communications.com – Here you will find more than 100 training videos that show very specifically how to implement emotional marketing (all free). Also be sure to check out the series of case studies from the 300 brands researched for the Red Goldfish book as well as the free training videos in the Red Goldfish resource library.
[33:55] – Graeme asks Jeff what he would say is his most favorite brand in the world and the most emotional brand for him. As a guitarist, Jeff says that Fender Stratocaster is what gets his emotional chords going.
[35:40] – Wrap Up
Thanks again to YourMembership for sponsoring this episode of the Leading Learning podcast.
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[37:21] – Sign off