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Customer-obsessed marketing

Learn The Emotional Language Of The Digital Era

Thomas Husson
Vice President, Principal Analyst
March 7, 2018

Building on the research “Emotions Fuel Your Brand Energy” from my colleagues James McQuivey and Dipanjan Chatterjee, I have done some research on the role of emotions on digital and especially mobile touchpoints.

Marketers need to rethink how their brand conveys emotion beyond the confines of TV advertising. Mobile touchpoints like messaging apps and conversational interfaces, such as intelligent agents and chatbots, are the perfect test bed for the new science of emotions.

Why? Because mobile powers a two-way conversational platform and enables real-time emotional measurement and activation, marketers should start upgrading their emotional approach with messaging apps and chatbots. To humanize and personalize conversations, understand the new emotional language your customers use and give your chatbot a personality. In parallel, embrace emotion detection technologies over time.

To master adding emotion to your mobile and conversational interfaces, you must understand how your consumers convey emotion within these mediums. Remember that every culture and era has developed its own norms for communicating emotion. Emojis, emoticons, smileys, stickers, and GIFs are not just a fad but part of the new emotional lexicon of the digital and mobile era. Originating on Japanese mobile phones in the late 1990s, emojis specifically have exploded in popularity worldwide, demonstrating the importance of this method of conveying emotion. Adding these emotional shortcuts to your own marketing is merely tactical compared to the strategic job of understanding how to integrate the science of emotions into your brand strategy, but using them properly is a manageable crash course in expressing emotions via digital channels. Emojis and other forms of emotional content will never replace language fully. Instead, their primary function is to fill in the emotional cues missing from typed conversations. Seventy percent of our emotional meaning is conveyed via nonverbal cues: tone of voice, body language, gestures, gaze, and facial expression. Emojis supplement those nonverbal cues and add nuance to the written word. By analyzing this type of emotional content on messaging apps in a particular moment, marketers can better understand consumers’ emotional intent — especially among younger generations.

To get started:

• Understand the importance of emotional shortcuts.
• Test how your audience reacts to the emotional content you activate.
• Make it easy for consumers to “speak your brand.”

Clients willing to know more can access my latest report here: Get Emotion Right In Your Brand’s Digital Marketing. Start With Mobile, Chatbots, And Conversational Interfaces.

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