Do Your Customers "Feel" You?
It’s worth noting when an urban colloquialism slides into the mainstream. ‘Do you feel me’ has become the “word-stingy” way to find out if the listener can truly empathize with what you’re saying; the abbreviated form of “do you really understand where I’m at?” It’s being asked more and more often when someone wants to connect on a deeper level. It’s what we all desire... proof that we’re being considered. We forget the conversations that are surface but remember the ones that made us feel something. It’s also a question that customers are asking today’s businesses... and likewise, a question we should be asking our customers.
Throughout the retail marketplace, whether brick-and-mortar or e-commerce, we see a pervasively copycat marketing strategy that’s been employed for as long as advertising has existed. One major business has a breakthrough moment that stirs the stagnant marketing pond... and everyone follows suit. The results are wonderful for the innovator but generally result in only a temporary boost for the businesses that tries to clone the idea. One company that did the research develops the innovation... and everyone else tries desperately to duplicate it. A foundational understanding of sensory marketing explains why prolonged consumer engagement requires more than a corporate face-lift... and why sensory marketing experts are worth their weight in gold.
The Connection Correction
In her research review published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Aradhna Krishna defines sensory marketing as “marketing that engages the consumers’ senses and affects their perception, judgment and behavior.” She explains that sensory marketing “can be used to create subconscious triggers.”
When considering the overwhelming amount of commercials, billboards, radio and TV ads, YouTube videos, internet pop-ups, etc., the idea of a subconscious appeal that reaches customers on a whole other level is more than exciting... and it’s happening right now! It’s more than new paint, fresh carpeting and increased efficiency. It’s carefully crafting a total experience that engages sight, sound and scent. More than this, sensory marketing melds these triggers, making each complimentary to the other. It transcends presentation, creating a performance that customers connect to on a subconscious level. And once they’ve experienced your business, they want to relive that experience again and again. They feel you.
There are businesses that specialize in sight, sound and scent marketing…Innovators who continue to push beyond tradition to connect with consumers in an intimate and effective way. Many of them are members of the Experience Marketing Association, a group dedicated to the research, development and employment of sensory marketing throughout the world. From the US to the UK, Australia to Columbia, EMA members are growing together to change the face of marketing.