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Emotions Matter

Dan Hill, a pioneer in using facial coding to create emotional metrics, believes emotions matter. A fellow presenter at the Total Customer Experience Leaders Summit in Boston, Hill reinforced that the experience for a customer is a story—with a plot, tension and conflicts that need to be resolved and rationalized. In order to understand how to make the customer experience mean something to our customers, we must understand the impact of emotions on decision-making—what we feel, think and do as customers.

Medical science has proven that 95 percent of our mental activity is subconscious. Our actions are intuitive and we think more often in images, not words. We feel before we think, and we buy emotionally. In fact, feelings happen five times more quickly than our sensory or rational thinking brain. Our emotional brain sends ten times as much information to our rational brain for processing.

Charles Darwin started the study of human emotions in 1872 with the publication ofThe Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Dr. Paul Ekman in Emotions Revealed identified 43 facial muscles which express universal core emotions including happiness, surprise, disgust, contempt, sadness, anger and fear. Walt Disney was the first person who understood the importance of emotions in business. He leveraged the combination of emotions and the customer experience to create the happiest place on earth.

By recognizing and understanding the impact of emotions on the customer experience, companies can design more emotive marketing campaigns which have proven to be more successful than advertisements based on rational thinking.

The future of marketing will be centred on ensuring our messages are “on emotion”. Emotional appeal advertising messages are highly effective helping to create the story about the experience. Rolf Jenson, author of The Dream Society wrote “the story is the product—the rest is just production”.

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