What is Sensory Marketing?
An everyday struggle for content creators in the fast paced digital world today is overcoming the challenge of a users attention span. Making the best use of the few seconds you have to grab the attention of a user viewing your post and designing your post in a way that translates your message effectively has become increasingly important. Since you want to make a good first impression, and have limited time to do so, we’re here to tell you about an increasingly popular marketing concept with proven results called sensory marketing.
Sensory marketing can be defined as a means of targeting an audience by appealing to their senses, rather than trying to sell an idea. In this way, content creators are open to new opportunities to create a post that will capture their audience’s attention without making them feel like they’re being pitched a product or service. This offers a way of connecting to your audience that feels more personal, and can help to generate loyal patrons for your brand.
Although there are five senses that we experience, in a digital world we are limited to only two, sight and sound. Therefore, it is important to spend time considering how your post may appeal to your audience’s visual and auditory senses, and make any adjustments to improve. In order to do this, we will take a closer look at these senses and determine some key tips to consider for creating your next ad.
There are three major factors associated with our visual perception of ads that should be taken into consideration; stimulus orientation, dynamic imagery, and colour.
Stimulus orientation describes the effect that the positioning of a product has on the viewer. The orientation of a product in an advertisement impacts how the user imagines interacting with that product. For example, the image below shows an original and a flipped version of a Betty Crocker advertisement.
Each version of this ad will have a different effect on the viewer as the inverted position of the cake in the ad will alter how the viewer perceives their interaction with the product. Therefore, because the majority of people throughout the world are right handed, the ad that would be chosen to run would be the one on the right side as it is oriented in a way with the fork on the right side, improving the perceived interaction with the product for all right handed people.
Dynamic Imagery deals with perceived movement in an advertisement. For example, imagine going to the movies and passing by a holographic poster with an image that appeared to move as you walked by. The ability to create an image with some sort of perceived motion will increase the amount of time that a viewer spends looking at it. The image shown below provides a good example of dynamic imagery, and the difference between an ad with perceived motion, and one without.
As we can see, the ad on the right exhibits much more dynamism than the one on the left. Although this may seem like a minor change, the simple addition of some perceived motion of the image will have a much greater chance of engaging the viewer than the ad on the left.
Colour plays a big role in a viewers perception of an advertisement as certain colours can reflect different types of moods and emotions, as well as significantly increase your brand’s recognizability. For examples, colours such as red and yellow are widely used among fast-food restaurants as they stimulate metabolism, increase appetite and encourage people to eat. On the contrary, more formal dine-in restaurants tend to use blue tones in their establishments as it is proven to calm and relax their customers. This entices them to stay longer, and in turn, spend more money on food and drinks. Colours also play a significant role in branding, as the colour of the product becomes significant to the user. An example of this can be seen in the ad below taken from Tangerines Canadian marketing campaign during the 2019 NBA playoffs.
Tangerine bank ran a marketing campaign broadcasted nationally that consisted of some simple text and their signature orange brand colour. They ran their ads during every Raptors game of the playoffs, and were able to increase their brand awareness from 6% at the beginning of the season, to well over 50% at the end of the playoffs. This was all thanks to their strong use of a recognizable colour palette that viewers could easily remember and attribute to their brand, proving the importance of having a consistent brand standard.
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There are some basic factors surrounding the auditory aspect of digital ads that content creators should consider in order to improve their results. These factors are sound symbolism, music congruity, and voice.
When we hear the sound of a word, we attach meaning to it. This applies to both animate (human or animal) and inanimate objects (car, electronics, or even food). For example, a higher pitched bark of a dog would lead you to believe that it is a smaller dog, whereas a lower pitched bark would resemble a bigger dog. Similarly, the sound that food makes when you bite into it also plays a key role in how consumers perceive taste, such as the crunch of a potato chip or certain fruits and vegetables as this sound to humans symbolizes freshness. It is important to consider when creating content how the sounds may symbolize the product or service being promoted as the proper use of sound symbolism can be used to improve the success of your ad.
Music congruity in an advertisement is similar to sound symbolism in that the music used will likely be attributed to how the product or service is being perceived. Music has the ability to impact a consumer’s purchase intent, brand attitude, visual recall, verbal recall, and affective response. When properly executed, music has the ability to impact ad persuasion and also carry a meaning. For example, advertisements for an exercise bike would typically feature a more upbeat, energetic style of music, whereas an advertisement for a candle would likely be paired with a calmer, more soothing style of music. It is in this way that music selection in advertising can be used strategically to improve the overall success of your ad.
The proper use of voice in an ad comes into play when an ad is accompanied by a spokesperson. Many brands use a spokesperson to represent the product or service they are selling, and the person they choose to do the job must be carefully selected in order to properly represent their brand to consumers. The voice of the spokesperson plays a big role in consumers’ brand perception. Both the pitch of the voice, as well as the speed at which they are talking influences how the voice is perceived. An example of this can be found in voiceover actors that narrate movie commercials; a person with a deeper voice would be well suited for an action film, whereas a person with a higher-pitched voice would be better for a more lighthearted, family film. Similarly, a person who speaks quickly is attributed by listeners to have greater competence and credibility than a slower speaker, therefore some brands may intentionally select an individual who can speak faster to voice their advertisement in an effort to make their product or service seem more credible.
Sensory marketing is an important concept to understand for any content creator looking to get the most out of their material. The proper use of the various elements mentioned above can all positively influence the success of your ad, and should be taken into consideration in order to achieve this. Appealing to the senses of your audience is the most effective way to translate your message, so make use of these tools to improve your ads and look forward to the results!