Using Emotional Targeting In Your Event Marketing Materials

Darts

Logic makes people think. Emotions make people act.

Often our event marketing simply over-intellectualizes everything. It emphasizes the number of education sessions, the number of qualified attendees, the hours of continuing education credit, the technology applications available, the years of experience of the speakers, the economic data of the attendees and the like.

But are those the right things to emphasize in your conference marketing materials?

It’s An Emotional Choice

Why do you buy a new car?

Is it because of the features in the brochure? No.
Is it because of the cool advertising on TV? No.
Is it because it’s the newest and greatest model? Not usually.

You typically buy a new car because you need one. Then you have to make a choice.

No matter what your economic status, you pick a car because it feels good…and you look good in it.

Sure some analytical people might make their car choice strictly on objective comparisons like gas mileage or price. However, when faced with a choice of two or more equal vehicles, the decision becomes visceral. It’s an emotional choice.

Finding Out The Why

If you want to reach an emotional connection with a potential event registrant, you need to find out why they want to attend. You need to uncover why attending is personally important to them. Then you market your materials aimed at their “Why.”

Reporter and blogger Sue Pelletier recently wrote about Hugh Macleod’s thoughts on How To Make The Internet Squeal Like A Pig. Pelletier discusses that often conferences that have been around for a long time may have “lost their why.”

“As with any human endeavor, WHY you do something is ALWAYS more interesting than WHAT you actually do…The ‘Why’ is not your mission statement, it is not about ‘Best Practices’ – it is about the heart and soul of what you do – As Simon Sinak says, the ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’” ~ Hugh Macleod

When you as a meeting professional market why you are holding an event, then potential attendees can see if your “Why” aligns with their personal “Why.” Marketing the “what” of your conference is marketing the end result, the product. Sure you’ll have to give out some of the details about the event but the “Why” is more important for an emotional connection.

Segmenting Your Prospects Based On Why

You as a meeting professional need to get to know your audience better.

So many meeting and event professionals spend their time at their desks, closed off from the real world, handling the details. I’ve even heard them say, “I don’t really like people. That’s why I manage the logistics.” They have lost “Why” they are planning the event…it’s for the people.

You need to get out of your office and start building relationships with prospects. You need to determine why people want to attend your event. You need to uncover their personal objectives. Then you can emphasize the contributions and results that attending your event can offer.

Ultimately, your event marketing materials should emotionally connect with what potential attendees value. This means one-size-fits-all marketing is out. Segmented marketing based on value and emotional connections is in!

Why is relationship building important for converting event prospects into registrants? Why do so many event marketers feel that the details about the event–number of sessions, speakers, content, etc.,–are more important than the “why” of the event?

Comments

  1. says

    I really like this post Jeff and it is challenging me quite a bit. Just how do you market to people’s emotions when you don’t know what they might be? Demographics are easy…but what does someone want to get out of an event emotionally or personally, that’s tough. But where there’s a will there must be a way.

    I think it would be interesting to see event websites addressing the different needs people have. Perhaps our “Attend” menu could be broken down into Information Gatherer, Information Spreader, Uber Networker, Been there done that’er. Pick one and you get content that speaks to the emotional needs of that attendee.

    Maybe I’ll try it on my next event and let you know how it goes.

  2. says

    Jeff I think the reason they focus on details like number of sessions, speakers and content instead of WHY is that they cannot measure the why as easily.

    What if we found a way to show the measurement of why, in a visual way that allows for everyone to absorb the meaning, in ways that facilitate our growth?

    • Jeff Hurt says

      @Traci
      I think organizations need to do a better job at collecting and mining data. For membership orgs, leaders should ask why people attend events and then market to those values. Focus groups can help identify emotions driving attendance too. It’s as easy as asking both registered and non-registered folks.

      Thanks for reading and commenting always!

      @Michele
      So true that measuring the Why takes some work…and the benefits are worth it! Love your question too.

  3. says

    Thanks a lot for this important article. I especially like the reference to the way marketers choose to highlight certain aspects in a campaign that are unimportant completely.

    I run an emotional targeting conversion optimzation company that specialises in understanding the psycho emotional triggers that stimulate people in making a decision. Wether it’s to download/deposit/upgrade or even just fill out a form, it’s all about understanding the individual person and targeting their emotions.
    We’ve been working with emotional targeting for more than 6 years and it would be great to hear from you guys and let us know what you think. You can find out more about our methodology here – http://www.conversioner.com/who-we-are/

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Do you make decisions based on logic or emotions? When marketing an event, have you ever tried tapping into your event registrants’ emotional chords instead of their logical reasoning? Logic makes people think. Emotions make people act. According to Hugh Macleod, your event attendees may be more interested in why you are organizing an event, not what you are actually doing. And if your ‘why’ aligns with their own ‘why’, they may be more inclined to register and attend. Discover a new type of event marketing which builds on value and emotional connections! Check out the full article. [...]

  2. [...] The Power of Emotional Targeting in Event Marketing Do you make decisions based on logic or emotions? When marketing an event, have you ever tried tapping into your event registrants’ emotional chords instead of their logical reasoning? Logic makes people think. Emotions make people act. According to Hugh Macleod, your event attendees may be more interested in why you are organizing an event, not what you are actually doing. And if your ‘why’ aligns with their own ‘why’, they may be more inclined to register and attend. Discover a new type of event marketing which builds on value and emotional connections! Check out the full article. [...]

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