No matter what you’re selling, people buy for a range of emotional triggers. Even when you and I buy the same thing, such as a new pair of shoes, we might be motivated one month by a desire to look good (for status), while the next month we might be thinking we want to conform in a bid for normalcy.
This is why we have to present multiple emotional triggers in all our marketing – not just to cater to one person’s shifting moods, but to deal with the reality that you are trying to entice multiple people who all have different emotional triggers to make the decision to purchase the same exact thing.
My example is country club membership. And specifically the one our family belongs to. We have a social membership which is good for the restaurant and the pool. We don’t play golf.
Now even the introduction of social memberships is a relatively new phenomenon in the world of country club marketing. It used to be you joined for the golf or the tennis or both and the dining was part of the package.
Well, country clubs are funded by paying members. Someone figured out there was a market for people who either didn’t want the sports function, or couldn’t afford. Presto, they invented a new tier of membership, the social.
It makes sense because the restaurant is there and they are paying the staff. In the old days, the golfers were drinkers and the restaurants were a drag on revenue because they didn’t sell enough food to justify their expense.
But social membership is not free. I think it’s $5k to join and $3k a year.
Now in our family we have different emotional triggers for this purchase.
Julie joined as a sense of accomplishment for her hard work and success. So basically, status, or accomplishment or reward.
I go there because it’s not Applebee’s. For me it’s exclusion. I don’t have to, don’t want to deal with drunks, tattoos or shady parking lots. I don’t even care about the insider status aspect, I just like the fact that it’s NOT Applebees. Food’s about the same, by the way.
Recently an acquaintance of ours joined the same club at the same membership tier. And this person proceeded to make a Facebook/Instagram production of every trip, every meal she gets at the club. She has clearly joined for the emotional trigger of showing off, or superiority. And we can’t stand it, just think it is completely opposite the idea of belonging.
But she doesn’t. And that’s her emotional trigger.
Now I happen to know the marketing director down there. And I know she has her hands full with the members, who are basically just customers, many of whom are entitled and demanding.
So she has to make sure, with every marketing message, that she gets across not exactly competing, but different emotional triggers that include but are not limited to: reward, exclusion, superiority, community, normalcy, family, value and so on.
And she has to do that not only because of our small sample size of three different people and their emotional triggers but taking into account the hundreds of people she needs to bring in the door and maintain as members.
My best advice is to make a list of all the emotional triggers your customers might possibly have. There is a good chance that in order to make the sale you might have to hit one customer with several, but there is a perfect chance that you are going to be talking to different people who each have their own emotional triggers for considering your product.
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