I read a couple of trade articles about emotions in messaging. Ad Age claims “debate over” when comparing the effectiveness of “facts and rational arguments” over “soft sell.” Margaret Steen of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Magazine Online writes about an upcoming book, The Dragonfly Effect, that suggests tapping into emotions is required to effectively use social media. I find it particularly interesting that it was proven with facts and rational arguments that emotional messaging is more effective that fact-filled rational argument messaging. Maybe that’s just me.
Okay emotional messaging wins. But what emotion: happy-funny, sad, angry and whatever else? A quick google search of “top 10 emotional messages” offers sites that provide sad, romantic, sorrow and love SMS messages. Not a single result offered a happy or funny message. Sad.
Because if this whole theory of emotional contagion I keep seeing pop up has any legs to it, I think society overall would be well served if more of our messaging – through public relations, advertising and marketing – was of a happy-funny storytelling nature.
In a perfect world, all our products and services would be developed by considering the end user and what he or she needs and then makes that product or service fit those needs. The tricky part is to have, and do that, without spouting facts and figures about how my needs are fulfilled. Instead, share with me a little awesome story that makes me feel good. Then it doesn’t matter what your product or service is, I’ll associate it with a happy-funny emotion and act accordingly.
The aforementioned articles contain the research numbers about successful campaigns that switched from “hard sell” to “soft sell”, but I don’t really need those.
I need a good emotional story.