Though most marketers understand the value of connecting with consumers on an emotional level, nearly two-thirds (62%) say their brand's messaging is focused on rational and functional elements rather than emotional benefits, according to a survey form the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).
Just 38% of surveyed marketers say their messaging conveys the emotional benefits of the brand—despite marketers' belief that brands should be more evenly balanced between rational/functional (48%) and emotional benefits (52%).
"The results are not surprising when we consider how focused consumers have been on getting value for their dollars," said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA. "For the average consumer, the emotional benefits took a back seat to understanding how a brand would deliver real value for themselves and their family during the recession. As we progress in the recovery, we expect greater use of emotional benefits by aspiring brands to drive long-term health."
Below, other findings from The Brand Management Survey, which surveyed 80 marketing professionals.
Websites Are Primary Touchpoints
Some 82% of marketers say their brand's website is their No. 1 touchpoint for building emotional connections with consumers. Other highly ranked, service-oriented touchpoints include the sales force (66%), CRM (64%), TV advertising (55%), and call centers/telemarketing (52%).
"While websites began as online catalogs showcasing products or brand objectives, many have evolved into online communities where consumers go to interact with a brand. Consumers see websites as the gateway where they go when they want to begin a brand relationship," said Liodice.
Asked about what constitutes an emotional connection, marketers cite the following:
- Customers telling others about the brand via word-of-mouth: 78%
- The values of the brand are similar to my own: 78%
- Using the brand makes me feel good: 75%
- Customers telling others about the brand via blogging and other online activities: 61%
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Newer Brand Metrics Eschewed in Favor of Traditional Metrics
Among the top metrics used to measure success in communicating the emotional benefits of a brand are more traditional metrics, such as advertising tracking (75%), brand equity scores (75%), and copy testing (54%).
Of lesser importance are newer metrics, such as the number of fans on a social media site (36%) and the number of people who provide their email address to a brand (21%).
About the data: Findings are based on an online survey of 80 marketing professionals conducted by the ANA from February to April 2010.