The 'emotional connection with customers' - why is it important?
For brands to truly emotionally connect with their brand they need to understand their consumer, according to Vijay Solanki, renowned marketing leader, former CEO of IAB Australia and CEO and founder of ParentalEQ. And this is more critical than ever during and beyond the pandemic.
AZK Media speaks with Solanki on the importance of brands making a more authentic emotional connection with their consumers and how psychology is still an important tool within the marketing mix.
"It’s critical more than ever, and the pandemic’s effect has been like we've been going through this Maslovian Triangle,” he says. "There have been the hygiene factors, the challenge to get the shopp ing done or to find toilet roll, right through to brands that we feel are giving us comfort or making us feel good. The emotional connection couldn't be more important."
The power of psychology in marketing
Previous roles for Solanki include CEO of IAB, the chief digital officer of Southern Cross Austereo and senior director - digital marketing and social media - EMEA at Blackberry. With a background in psychology, Solanski now merges his two passions as the CEO and Founder of ParentalEQ, an innovative parent-child psychology platform that helps deliver emotionally nurturing outcomes for both parents and their kids.
Sitting at the intersection of marketing, digital and innovation for more than twenty years, Solanki says organisations need a holistic view of a customer and should be agile enough to evolve and thrive against the backdrop of changing consumer, technology and market forces.
Solanki says psychology is important in marketing for the simple reason that at the heart of psychology is understanding human behaviour.
“It’s important to always remember your customers are people, they have emotions and marketers need to consistently recognise that,” he explains. "Every marketer, B2B, B2C or otherwise should be thinking about why customers ‘do what they do’. As a person rather than as a robot.”
How to build an emotional connection in B2B marketing
When it comes to the human connection to the brand one of the common mistakes B2B brands make when selling the functional benefit of their service or technology, Solanki explains.
Often, B2B marketers don’t go deep enough to understand the customer's pain point, not simply their practical pain point but things that are causing them emotional pain. The B2B brand should figure out if they can help out in any way.
"There's a lot you can do to build an emotional connection across both B2B and B2C,” he adds. “B2B often rely on the salesperson to do that and obviously that chemistry is super key, but the communication can have an emotional value as well as a functional value."
Solanki uses the example of a B2B tech company who rather than try and sell its wares, run webinars where they were supporting the mindfulness of their customers because they were realising their customers were getting anxious and getting stressed.
Solanki also stresses a B2B company also needs to go deeper to understand “their customer's customer.”
"If you can provide an insight, particularly an emotional insight that your customer doesn't have about their own customer, then that can be super helpful in further strengthening that emotional connection,” he concludes.
Athina Mallis is a Senior Content and Communications Specialist at AZK Media