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Our Head of Strategy and Planning recently published a blog about how being ‘emotional’ and ‘not rational’ are not the same thing – how responding to brands on an intuitive level is a powerful part of B2B decision making, that can also be very rational at the same time. Emotion and rationality do not need to be mutually exclusive.

I share this view, but also wanted to share some specific insights from an account management perspective, on how to communicate the benefits of emotionally engaged customers to colleagues and internal stakeholders effectively. In a nutshell, how to get them on board with your customer engagement strategy, and avoid key people switching off at the mere mention of the ‘E’ word (Emotion).

So…

Customer engagement. Emotional engagement. Brand engagement.

Which 1 of these 4 words may jar more with your colleagues than perhaps the other 3?

Very few of us work in organisations that don’t have ‘customers’ of one kind or another. Some of our own clients now refer to their colleagues and internal stake-holders as their customers. So customers is an acceptable word.

As Marketers we all strive for effective engagement through a range of connected experiences – brand association, messaging, content, experiential. And mostly our colleagues in other lines of business can buy into that. But introduce the words Emotional Engagement and you may get the cold shoulder. And yet with the decline of genuine USPs for products and services, there is an ever growing need to create and promote ESPs, emotional selling propositions.

And those that get ESPs right will definitely win – a Gensler study last year wanted to test the return on investment that comes through emotional engagement with customers. They segmented respondents into levels of emotional engagement, based on their responses to specific questions with emotional triggers. The results were dramatic. Customers with a high level of emotional connection to their favourite brand were significantly more likely to make frequent purchases from that brand, and reported higher satisfaction in both in-person and online interactions too. And on the whole customers overwhelmingly chose brands who had successfully communicated the brand values that they could relate to emotionally – 87% more likely to ‘buy’.

Emotional engagement. Don’t let your colleagues turn away at the mention of it. Take them by the hand, sit them down gently, and explain the importance of understanding what makes people tick. Of tapping into their emotions. After all, clever people understand people, have empathy and foresight. And they know how to use it. As Marketers it could be one of the best cards we have to play with. But treat it wisely, emotions aren’t to be messed with.