What does “emotional marketing” mean, and how does it increase sales opportunities for your dealership?

These are important questions, and ARI would like to borrow a few minutes of your day to properly credit the power of emotional marketing.

Emotional marketing refers to the sales strategy of leveraging persuasive messaging to connect with your audience on a more personal level and motivate them to take a specific action. The use of emotional marketing is not a new tactic—over the years, studies have shown that emotions evoked by an ad are more powerful than the ad itself.

Recently, brands gained new appreciation for the power of emotional marketing. Following the turmoil and uncertainty of 2020, consumers began paying much closer attention to the sensitivity and emotional response that brands have displayed over the last year. The brands that adjusted their messaging to be more empathetic, informative and transparent have seen better business over brands that continued to push overt sales tactics.

In fact, the strong shift toward prioritizing emotional marketing over other tactics is one of many 2020-inspired changes that will extend well into the future. This leaves many OPE dealers wondering, “How can I best connect with prospects in 2021?” While our nation is slowly settling back into a sense of normalcy, consumers still want to see brands make an effort to form personal connections with their audiences.

Claim Your Community
Whether you’re the longest-running OPE dealership in the area or your store recently opened, it’s important to acknowledge your community ties. Local shoppers want to know that they’re engaging with a business that values its neighbors. When creating copy for your website and social media posts, incorporate messaging that assures your future customers that they are being welcomed in as part of your extended family.

Highlight Your Team & Your Customers
It’s true that shoppers visit your website for the inventory, but they stick around because of the sense of personal connection they experience from friendly, authentic content. If you want your prospects to feel like they know you before they even visit your dealership, cozy up your website and social media with images and even biographies of your friendly sales team. You can also expound on that sense of community by asking current customers if you can share their feedback and personal experiences with your dealership on your digital platforms.

Go Visual
What better way to have a lasting impact on your sales leads than to provide them with visual content? Forbes reports that people who watch a video retain 95% of its message as a result of the emotions and reactions they experience. Funny, exciting and happy videos are the most likely to be re-shared. No matter the tone you’re aiming for, make sure it encourages your audience to follow through on an action such as contacting your store or clicking on a special promotion.

Create End-to-End Convenience
So far, we have been discussing emotional marketing only in terms of words and images, and now we want to dive into some more subliminal options. Did you know that the layout and navigation of your website can inform your shoppers that you value their experience with your dealership? A website that’s well-designed, easy to navigate and helps shoppers move quickly down the path to purchase clearly communicate the brand’s investment in the user experience. This caliber of website assures online shoppers that they are interacting with a reputable and empathetic business who will continue to support their needs throughout the buying process.

Broaden Your Customer Service Reach
And of course, there is no method more classic to emotional marketing than that of person-to-person communication. There are many options to chat with a prospect, including on your sales floor or through text, phone, email, direct messaging and live chat. All these options are appreciated by online prospects, who value multi-channel communication. Prospects who have experienced a real social interaction with your business will then feel closer to your brand and more willing to commit to a purchase.

Remember that sage piece of wisdom, “It’s not what you say, but how you make them feel”? This basically sums up emotional marketing! Though, if we could add to the phrase, we would suggest that it’s “how you make them feel WELCOME, HEARD and APPRECIATED” that truly leaves an impression upon your audience.

Want more tips on leveraging emotional marketing to its fullest potential? Connect with ARI today!