The power of positive marketing

Positive marketing is not a phrase you hear very often. When it is utilised, it is often used in a number of different contexts.

So what is it exactly? Put simply, it is a form of advertising, where you appeal to people’s positive emotions.

Do you ever notice how many adverts are based upon fear or negativity? Whether it is a pharmaceutical advert warning us about the dangers of obesity, or a product manufacturer telling us not to ‘miss out’, we are all too used to seeing bleak adverts pop up on our TV screens, our laptops or the shop window.

You could be forgiven for thinking this was the most effective way to reach out to customers. But it isn’t.

It is one way to capture hearts and minds sure, but it isn’t necessarily the most powerful.

In fact, the adverts that are more likely to strike a chord with the public are ones that use humorous, upbeat, catchy or heartwarming images of happy families, pets or customers, depending on what it is you are trying to sell.

This is supported by a study published in Science Direct which showed that no matter what it is you are selling or trying to convey to the customer, positive adverts have proven to be more influential than negative ones time and time again.

So why do so many advertisers continue to use negative images. The truth is many have the mistaken belief that dark and dramatic scenarios will inspire the customer into taking action.

This is sometimes true. However, the flip side of the coin is that it can also create apathy and de-sensitise people to these types of scare tactics.

However in a study that took place in Belgium, over 1,500 consumers were polled, with more than 1,000 commercials analysed as part of the research.

A panel of judges with a marketing background ranked the adverts for their emotional content, their creativity, and the extent to which they evoked positive feelings such as sentimentality, warmth, excitement, and happiness.

A separate group of judges defined the product categories according to their perceived importance to consumers. The participants watched the ads and reported their attitudes towards both the commercial and the brand.

The research showed that people reacted more favourably towards the adverts which conveyed more upbeat images.

However the effect was more pronounced for products that had more hedonistic value, rather than basic essentials.

Additionally, consumers also favoured adverts that were more informative, rather than purely visceral.

Therefore, if you really want to strike a chord with potential customers, you are more likely to do so when you use promote your products in a way which appeals to a person’s positive emotions.

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