An effective marketing campaign focuses on building customer relationships. If you want to attract and retain customers, you have to provide them with something that has meaning and value — something that makes them want to choose your brand over others.

To provide that value and build relationships, you must connect with customers on a personal and emotional level, which is not always easy. Today’s consumers are inundated with information from the news, media, and pop culture, all of which can easily influence their lives, how they think, and how they act. It can all get a bit overwhelming.

This means brands have to work much harder than they used to if they want to grab a customer’s attention and make them feel something. Thus, the key to connecting emotionally with your customers is to nurture and foster emotional intelligence in your marketing campaigns.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a person’s ability to understand their own emotions and empathize with the emotions of those around them. However, it’s not just about understanding but also being able to manage emotions.

People who have a high degree of emotional intelligence are often viewed as having a very high level of empathy. They are very aware of what they feel, what others feel, what these emotions mean, and even how their emotions can impact others. Some of the best leaders are emotionally intelligent. Managers and influencers, alike, with high levels of EI can connect with their audience on a deeper level in a way that others cannot.

In marketing, EI refers to a brand’s ability to understand its customers’ emotional needs. This means understanding their behaviors, moods, pain points, purchasing triggers, and so on. It’s the ability to connect with consumers on an emotional level to better understand what they want and need.

The Primary Components of Emotional Intelligence

All people are emotional beings, and everyone has some level of emotional intelligence. However, to truly exhibit a high level of EI, you must exhibit these five abilities:

  1. Self-awareness: People who are self-aware have a keen sense of their own emotions and emotional needs and how they affect others. In marketing, this means having an understanding of your brand’s identity or personality, what you have to offer, and how this affects your customers and what they think of you.

  2. Motivation: People who have a high degree of EI are often highly motivated. This is because they are not only aware of their emotions, but they are aware of what they want and what they need to do to achieve those goals. For marketing purposes, this requires having clear goals and motives and being upfront about them with your customers. This helps keep motivations ethical, such as doing things for the good of the customer as opposed to just doing things for more money.

  3. Empathy: To empathize means to have the ability to not only recognize the emotions of others but to understand them and see things from their perspective. This is critical for brands that want to connect with their customers and build relationships. Ask yourself:

    1. Do you know how your customers feel?

    2. Do you know what they want and need?

    3. Do you know how they will react to your marketing?

    4. Do you have their best interests in mind?

  1. Self-regulation: A person who is good at self-regulating is capable of keeping their emotions in check. They do not sink to the levels of others, and they think carefully before they react. In marketing, this means filtering out negative emotions that aren’t good for the customer, such as self-interest, insincerity, and passive aggression. You want to respond to customers from a place of genuine interest and care for their needs.

  2. Social skills: Those with a high level of emotional intelligence are good communicators. They are capable of both speaking and listening, whether the information is good or bad. For brands, this requires being able to convey your message in a thoughtful and authentic manner and being able to handle conflict resolution effectively without escalating the issue.

How Marketing Campaigns Can Benefit From Emotional Intelligence

As a brand, you should care about your customers. It is a marketing faux pas not to. Understandably, you want to succeed and do well as a business, but that should not automatically translate into only caring about making money.

If you care about your customers and work hard to connect with them emotionally to build relationships, you will naturally make more money. You will attract and retain more loyal customers. There are many benefits of emotionally intelligent marketing beyond monetary gain, including:

  • Creating a more memorable experience for customers, putting your brand top-of-mind;

  • Increasing brand awareness and loyalty;

  • Inspiring customers to engage and take action;

  • Enhancing brand reputation and helping you stand out from competitors;

  • Allowing you to provide more meaning and value to your customers;

  • Building better customer relationships;

  • Improving the customer experience.

Of course, all of these perks may lead to more sales. That’s okay if that’s your end goal because revenue is the end goal of all companies in order to stay afloat. However, it will be more palatable to your target audience when you put effort into caring about them as humans instead of as merely means to an end.

How To Foster Emotional Intelligence in Your Marketing

While EI has five primary components, there are also four pillars of EI that are specific to marketing:

  1. Brand Consciousness: This is your brand identity and how it connects you to your target consumer base. It includes your values, personality, tone of voice, attributes, and heritage. Brand consciousness is about knowing who your brand is and how it relates to your customers.

  2. Brand Management: This is about providing relevant, meaningful, and predictable experiences that delight your customer and address their needs to build loyalty. Where brand consciousness is about knowing who you are, brand management is about knowing the right thing to do.

  3. Customer Intimacy: This is about taking a genuine interest in your customers’ feelings, needs, perspectives, concerns, and challenges in an attempt to build an emotional connection. Customer intimacy shows your customers that you care about them and see them as more than a transaction or a dollar sign.

  4. Customer Engagement: This involves using all of the above and putting it into action to create marketing campaigns that are thoughtful, intentional, and transparent. Open the floor for engagement and dialogue with customers. It’s about building on that emotional connection and taking the next step to establish and grow customer relationships.

Now that you know all of the components and pillars that are required to be an emotionally intelligent brand, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. Let’s take a look at specific examples of how you can use EI in your marketing to connect more with customers and build better relationships.

Be Responsive

How you respond to your customers says a lot about your brand. If you don’t respond to them much at all or listen to their feedback, it shows that you don’t care and don’t have their best interests in mind. However, just because you do respond often does not automatically mean you are doing so in a valuable and meaningful way.

Thus, respond often and respond well. Engage with your customers and show them that you are listening, but also respond in a way that is thoughtful and shows that you genuinely care about their feelings, concerns, and perspectives.

Create Content With a Value Proposition

Remember, the customer and their needs are your focus. Your content needs to have an emotionally driven value proposition. This means you should create content not with the goal of selling as much as possible but with the goal of showing the customer what you can do for them.

Identify your unique selling point and why consumers should choose your brand over others. Your content needs to provide value to your customers if you want them to buy what you are selling. Instead of marketing your content in a way that says, “This is why you need us or why you should buy our product,” you should market it to say, “This is what we can do for you. We are here for your benefit.”

You can also add value by offering promotions, exclusive content, or educational content. However you choose to add value, the goal is to show the customer that you see them, understand them, and are going above and beyond to meet their needs.

Be Honest, Caring, and Authentic

Honesty and authenticity are important to today’s consumers. They want brands that are real with them and upfront about who they are and what they are trying to achieve. For example, don’t pretend to be an ethical brand if you aren’t. Don’t pretend to care about the environment if your products and processes aren’t sustainable.

Be upfront about your brand identity, what your values are, and what your goals are as a brand. This shows customers that you aren’t trying to hide anything from them and that you genuinely care about their values as well as having good values of your own.

Another way to be authentic and caring is to adopt a therapist mindset. There are a wide variety of therapy tools and methods that can help people, or brands in this case, better understand the emotions of others and how to connect with them. Use active listening skills, for example, or use emotional-based language that takes a person’s or a customer’s triggers into consideration.

Using methods like this in your marketing shows customers that you care and want to understand them so you can deliver them the best possible outcomes and experiences.

Get Rid of Organizational Silos

While organization is essential within a company, too much organization can cause information silos, which can hurt the customer experience. Organizational silos are a type of structure used to keep employees and teams in their lane and focused on their own tasks. While this can keep individual departments and teams productive, it limits collaboration and cross-communication between teams.

Different departments need to be able to easily communicate and collaborate to ensure everyone is on the same page. With marketing, for example, it won’t matter how emotionally intelligent your content is if your customer service team isn’t following suit. If your marketing says one thing but the way your customer service responds shows that you don’t care, then it will reduce the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Thus, your company as a whole needs to avoid organizational silos to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Final Thoughts

Brands that create emotionally-driven content are more likely to connect with their customers and build more meaningful relationships. Those relationships are necessary to help you grow as a company and achieve greater success. It’s important to put the effort into nurturing a marketing team, campaigns, and even an overall company culture that prioritizes emotional intelligence and better customer experiences.