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Shaping Customer Experiences through Emotional Connections
Teddy Roosevelt once said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." This couldn't be more relevant for the trade show and event marketing industry. Today, event marketers have to take a different approach to reaching and earning loyal customers. Customers like to feel valued before trusting companies with their business. This phenomenon can be seen in the vast amount of loyalty programs offered to every customer and found in nearly every industry. Because emotionally connected customers move the bottom line.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review "The New Science of Customer Emotions," authors Alan Zorfas and Scott Magids state that, "fully connected customers are 52% more valuable, on average, than those who are just highly satisfied." 1
What differentiates a fully connected customer from a highly satisfied one is they get you and you get them. They buy more from YOU, visit YOU more, are less price sensitive, more engaged in communication, and recommend YOU more. Bottom line, they are loyal to your brand.
So, what does this mean for us as trade show and event marketers? Well, it means everything because emotions matter. Knowing how to create meaningful experiences driven by emotional motivators will help you connect with your customer.
But identifying what aspects of an experience resonate with customers isn't easy. You need to know your customers, do your research, and know what is relevant to them before you can emotionally connect.
Start with searching for emotional connections that impact the audiences you are trying to woo, and build your experience around those. Here are five examples of emotional drivers that you can build into the narrative of your next tradeshow or event to make an impact on your attendees:
1. STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD: BE SEEN AS SPECIAL. People often select events and experiences specifically to stand out from, or commune with, peers.
2. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE: HAVE A POSITIVE MENTAL PICTURE OF WHAT'S TO COME. Attendance at B2B events, trade shows, or user conferences, is fueled by curiosity about learning, the promise of new ideas, solutions and tools.
3. FEEL A SENSE OF THRILL: PARTICIPATE IN EXCITING, FUN, EVENTS. The best events and experiences intentionally invest in creating signature moments.
4. FEEL A SENSE OF BELONGING: FEEL PART OF A GROUP. The premise of any live event or experience (whether B2B or consumer) is to gather people who share similar interests.
5. BE THE PERSON I WANT TO BE: FULFILL A DESIRE FOR ONGOING SELF IMPROVEMENT. People are intrinsically motivated to seek solutions to better themselves, their jobs, or their circumstances.
Shaping a customer experience by being purposeful about the emotional connection you're trying to build and investing in the touch points that evoke emotion increases customer value, and ultimately helps build loyal and engaged fans of your brand.
Interested in more research and thoughts on emotionally connected customers? Visit Derse.com to read our white paper, The Value of the Fully Connected Customer.
About the Author
Pete Riddell, Executive Creative Director, is a true storyteller at Derse. He masterfully pulls together the importance of emotional behavior from some super smart people that on the surface have nothing to do with the event industry, yet may have EVERYTHING to do with the event industry.
1 hbr.org, Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon
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