“Be bold, get in their feelings”: How marketers should connect with their customers

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Multimedia Reporter

The world is changing at a rapid pace–and along with it, the average consumer. They are getting smarter and tech-savvier, able to research, compare products, and make informed purchasing decisions in a matter of minutes. Consumers are also getting more selective with the information that they’re consuming.

How can your fine-tuned, polished social media video campaign click with consumers when their fingers are already hovering the “skip ad” button before the ads even load? In short: it’s never been harder to connect with consumers.

During Endeavor’s Scale-Up F&B held last November 29, Craig Lonnee, chief development officer and COO of DDB Group Philippines, shared how marketers forge genuine relationships with their customers.

Gathering courage

When Effie Worldwide and Mark Ritson, marketing professor at Melbourne Business School, attempted to determine what makes for an effective campaign based on 6,000 case studies, they found that one of the key characteristics was bravery.

“If you want to stand out with consumers today, you simply can’t skimp on bravery,” said Traci Alfords, president and CEO of Effie Worldwide. “If you want to create effective work, your safest bet is to take the biggest risk.”


Unfortunately, marketers seem to hesitate in exploring out-of-the-box ideas. “A lot of clients demand when we sit through pitches, ‘We want some innovative work’ and then buy the same old stuff,” said Lonnee. “My encouragement is to disrupt the status quo.”

Consider “End Alienation”, one of three films under Max’s Restaurant’s “Every Kind of Family” campaign. It didn’t feature any glamorous food shots, a standard in their category’s advertising. And it promoted acceptance of different kinds of families, a concept that may still prove divisive amongst the general population.

While this may sound warning bells for any marketer, the ad was largely embraced, receiving 16 million views across its channels and tons of positive feedback.

“When you put brave work out there, rather than product and price, which is what normally happens, those are the results you get,” said Lonnee. “Brave work does have business applications.”

Thinking, but with feelings

Bravery doesn’t just stop with the creativity of the work. For most marketers, simple, tactical materials are the safest choice to communicate your product. And while these will serve their purpose in your campaign, it’s just important–if not more–to also appeal to your customers’ emotions.

Consumers primarily use their feelings and experiences when evaluating a brand over considering its attributes and features. They also open up better to emotional ads than those that take a more rational approach. Clearly, an effective campaign carries emotion with it. It’s now just a matter of matching your brand personality and objectives with the right feeling and technique.

However, marketers must keep in mind that emotional marketing is a long-term investment. Emotion isn’t confined to the narrative in your ads: It extends to the relationship that you create with your customers. And strong, genuine relationships are always built over time.

“Emotion builds long-term brands,” said Lonnee. “When you get that balance of emotional and rational thought, you get incredible results.”