A few years ago I read a book called “The 5 Love Languages“, written by well known author Dr. Gary Chapman.
The five love languages describe the way we feel loved and appreciated. Depending on our individual personality types, we may feel loved differently than how our partners do. Understanding and decoding these different ways of showing love will help take the guesswork out of your partner’s expectations and needs.
According to Dr. Chapman, there are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
Today is Valentine’s Day – one of my favorite holidays for marketing because it’s one of the more ‘palatable’ holidays in terms of receiving marketing messages. The theme is “love”, which almost everyone agrees is universal.
But what does love have to do with business?
Are there any correlations between marketing and the 5 love languages?
…come to think of it, love and business have a lot in common.
There are 5 big categories and your business can use them individually or in combination to realize connections with consumers and clients.
Let’s take a look shall we!
Now, at first glance these might seem like a group hug seminar topic list but, in reality, each one of these categories can have a huge impact on your marketing, expand your customer base, and improve relationships. Successful marketing connections with consumers is no exception to the appreciation phenomenon discussed in Dr. Chapman’s book. This is why, for example, loyalty programs are so effective at market penetration if they are designed correctly, regardless of the industry, service or product.
How the categories are applied in your online marketing plan depends on your engagement goals and the amount of resources you’re willing to allocate, but they are all effective regardless of the scale of investment.
Quality Time Improves Connections
You can spend energy and resources generating open-ended content and chatter online as well as in-person, but are you really connecting? In this fast paced technological business age where every day the seems to introduce new ideas, wasting time is the last thing anybody wants to be doing with their marketing efforts. Your consumers and customers don’t want to be inundated with data, and useless information taking up precious hours in the day. They want to connect. Value, yes, but more than value, most want to feel CONNECTED. The way you get connected is with quality time. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care…” This point relates to website design as well. Top web designers appreciate readers’ time by getting them right to the point, clear and simple. Great internet marketing doesn’t take a half hour to read; your message should be understood and acted on in less than five minutes. When you bury your message in big words, endless paragraphs and complex concepts, you lose people. Follow the K.I.S.S. Method. Keep it simple sweetheart.
Words of Affirmation Improves Engagement
Not all of your social media marketing has to be about your next sale, product release or discount. Butter up your accounts and consumers with lots of great messaging about how they are the smartest, savviest with-it people in your industry with your marketing service. What you’re going to see happen is a spike in interaction, involvement, and most importantly, sales. Words of affirmation triggers the “keeping up with the Jones” effect, an age-old marketing behavioral response that involves emotional action on the part of consumers. Showing realistic, funny and positive messages, images and videos about your target audience’s “lifestyle”, they will relate and engagement will increase.
Gift Giving Builds Your Email List
Why do people love Christmas? Gifts of course! The fact is people expect to get gifts. And that’s the time of year when the most gift-giving happens. Have you considered a give to get strategy at your website? For example, “Opt into our newsletter, or check into our Facebook Page, and we will give you XYZ” This will increase reactions, engagements, and expand your customer base. When you start spelling out that gifts are both a reality and solid expectation, your readership will increase. Other common examples of gift-giving that have been used for years with consumers include loyalty point programs, coupons, special surprise prizes, contests and lotteries. People are willing to commit to price points when they perceive there’s an honest chance they could win. And that generates real-time sales and revenue. Your offering becomes equated with an immediate benefit that is unique to the buyer. No one else gets the benefit unless they participate, which of course drives even more interest. It’s a bit of a viral response model that’s been in play since before search marketing and social media were in the marketing mix.
Acts of Service Improves Brand Perception
If you want customers to develop loyalty fast to your brand, consider increasing the number of “acts of service” you are doing for them, and for your community. These are many ways your business can go the extra mile for a customer, expecting nothing in return. Customers expect you to over deliver these days. Especially with the arrival of review websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. The web is a giant chalkboard and no one is immune to bad reviews. Acts of Service as it relates to marketing means doing something for a customer without any benefit to your company. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of long term customer relationship. In order to keep customers loyal, it is important to consistently exceed expectations via acts of service. A great example is when car dealership provide free transportation to and from the dealership while the customer’s car is being repaired or serviced. There’s no cost perceived, but the service is extremely beneficial to the customer. The key point here is to make the consumer or customer’s life better and easier. All of these service benefits get remembered and become the reason why retention goes up as well as repeat sales. And don’t forget, community benefits are noticed as acts of service as well. Consumers take note of business reputation management when a company makes a point of giving back to the local community.
Physical Touch Keeps It Real
No, we’re not talking about suddenly running out and tackling people to hug them. Physical touch in marketing consulting terms means getting personal with your consumers and customers. The most obvious way to do this is through face to face meetings. But the act is far more than just a lunch meet and greet. You need to interact with customers physically, in person, rather than just via email and screen share. Physical, in person meetings are the best way to build emotional equity with customers and brand ambassadors. By showing you’re actually connecting and conversing on a personal level, you trigger the view in many that your business is highly personalized. When people realize your business isn’t just selling but instead is being involved with them, they engage and stick around. That translates to more leads and more sales as well.
What’s your favorite marketing love language? 😉