Emotion as a Contextual Targeting Tactic

  • by September 30, 2011
The transactional nature of the mobile platform is well known among today's marketing community. What's lesser known about mobile marketing is the enormous opportunity it presents to engage with consumers on an emotional level. At Pandora, where 70 percent of the music we stream goes to a mobile device, we operate in this context every day.

One of the most evocative, ever-present and highly accessed form of content is music. Radio, the original "mobile app," reinforces how music is a part of everyday life as people could, and still do, listen to music everywhere there's a signal: at home, in the office, the car, at the gym and all points in-between. The rapid adoption of smartphones coupled with the increased personalization in radio makes listening to music you love easy, relevant and ever-present in the lives of consumers today. Savvy brands that are able to incorporate themselves into an experience in which the consumer is already emotionally engaged have a much greater opportunity of making that critical consumer connection that leads to positive sentiment and purchase intent.

When budgeting marketing dollars brands sharply evaluate what the most effective media channel and ad format will be for their marketing dollars. Rarely does emotion factor into the budget allocation decision making process. There is a distinct and heightened ROI opportunity for brands that place their mobile marketing efforts into a form of content that makes people reminisce when they hear an old favorite song or feel a jolt of joy when they discover a new song. We all can relate to the emotions evoked when hearing a song from our past. There are certain songs that conjure up feelings and associated memories of a specific time in our lives and that one song can take us on a journey back in time. It's almost like the song has the ability to port us right back into that state of mind, bringing to bear fond memories of the friends and family we shared the recalled experience with, at least for a little while... Marketers have been tapping into this emotional benefit that music offers for many years. For instance television: historically television commercials used the singing commercial or jingle approach, the most common musical technique for aiding product recall. Music now is more often employed as 'borrowed interest' capturing a feeling, setting a mood, recalling past experiences and playing them back on behalf of the showcased product. All these attributes help an advertisement appeal to the lifestyle of the targeted group. Music aids in creating that lean-forward, and pay attention moment for advertisers.

So as consumers become more and more on-the-go, the portability of contextually and emotionally effective media channels becomes increasingly valuable. Radio's contextual environment offers an emotional experience any brand can and should give serious consideration to. Add personalization, engagement and discovery to that radio experience and brands can connect to their target audiences like never before.

Mobile marketing provides a wealth of opportunities for brands and brands know it. What it helps to know is how to break through the wealth of opportunities to the find the one that reaps a high ROI. Emotional context is key for that kind of experience.

Kim Luegers, Director of Mobile & Emerging Media, Pandora

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