The mood of America is a little glum these days. We’ve all been through a hurricane of change accompanied by awkward transitions, new rules set in place, intense fear of illness and political division magnified by Twitter and Facebook comments. Our world needs relief and although we, as business owners and marketers, are not entirely capable of changing the world (nor do we need to be), it couldn’t hurt to spice-up our communication a bit. In fact, injecting extra happiness into our marketing could not only improve sales, but also serve as an act of goodwill.
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the month’s Marketing Minute, we are going to walk you through the steps of becoming creatively altruistic by adding a dose of joy to your marketing efforts.
Let’s talk about REAL happiness for a second. As you may know, happiness is not just some undefined tuft of fairy magic floating around that we hope finds its way into our hearts but is actually impossible to catch. Happiness happens in the brain and can actually be hacked. Now, we are not claiming to be neuroscientists, psychologists or hippies. We are just marketers and consultants who have an interest in human behavior and collecting information about human behavior in order to enhance marketing strategy. But, we also want to be a force of good and we want to help sell products that will help people.
Here is what we’ve found about being intentional with joy in your marketing:
- You have to use laughter
When we laugh, we release endorphins. These are considered “feel good” chemicals that stimulate feelings of pleasure, well-being and pain relief and are an important part of a well-balanced life. (Curtain, E. (2014, February 21). Seven Ways to Boost Endorphins. GoodTherapy.https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/feeling-good-yet-seven-ways-to-boost-endorphins-022014)
We suggest you create a marketing strategy that occasionally includes something to help people experience a release of endorphins or moment of lightness. You can add a funny meme now and then, create a funny video of your staff or simply include a little more humor in your content. These moments of lightness should happen once a week either through email, social media or your monthly newsletters. Get creative and have fun stepping out of the box.
Also, don’t worry about being irreverent. A recent article from Time Magazine says, “Not only can we strive for moments of levity and light during hard times, we should (…) We can achieve a healthy balance: light and dark are not mutually exclusive.” (Amudson, Ingela R. “Smiling Through Trying Times.” Special Edition of Time, The Power of Joy, November 13, 2020, 60, 61.)
Another article from Time, shared a report from a large group of researchers at UCLA led by cognitive scientist, Gregory Bryant. Their report was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and found that laughter helps humans distinguish the connections of others. This means, subjects could and would discern whether two people were friends based on the unique characteristics of their laughter. (Amudson, Ingela R. “Smiling Through Trying Times.” Special Edition of Time, The Power of Joy, November 13, 2020, 26.)
Doesn’t it seem possible that if your audience finds a good rhythm of laughing with your brand they will also associate a friendly connection with your brand? That would be a very good thing!
Try using laughter.
2. Create Strong Social Ties
Scientists have known for many moons that having strong social ties is one of the greatest guarantors of happiness. (Amudson, Ingela R. “Smiling Through Trying Times.” Special Edition of Time, The Power of Joy, November 13, 2020, 70.) This is largely because of research done around the “love hormone,” oxytocin, which is important for human bonding, overall well-being and elevated mood. The main way we release oxytocin is by spending quality time connecting with people who know us and know us well. This is how we build trust with others, how we learn that loving someone is safe and how we feel a stabilizing sense of belonging. Strong social connections are a vital ingredient in the recipe of happiness. (Raypole, C. (2020, May 27). Twelve Ways to Boost Oxytocin. HealthLine. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-oxytocin)
One way to establish strong social ties with customers is to personalize as many forms of communication as possible. Use a customer’s first name when sending emails and speaking with them in person. If you can record any personal details about your customers like the name of their dogs, do it and use it! Your customers will start to feel a deeper connection to your brand and, literally, form a bond with you. Customer loyalty happens on a whole other level when oxytocin is involved.
3. Cast a Happy Vision
Another important aspect of happiness and mood is serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and digestion. Here are some ways to increase serotonin naturally: food, running, walking, biking, sunshine, massage and mood induction, such as, visualization of a happy memory with others. (Raypole, C. (2019, April 22). How to Increase Serotonin Without Medication. HealthLine. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-serotonin) For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on that last part: mood induction or visualization of something happy.
Don’t assume that just because a customer has been shown a bunch of statistics about your brand’s successes that they will feel motivated to buy. In fact, the opposite is true. In our experience, statistics don’t work at all in motivating customers unless the data is paired with good success stories and an encouraging vision about life with your product.
First, show the customer that you are empathetic with their problem by stating the problem. Next, a picture of what success looks like for them if they choose your solution. Basically, tell the people why life would be better with your product or service.
We suggest drafting a couple different options using this “serotonin strategy.” Here is an example:
Communicate empathy and cast a vision of what success looks like
“Your organization has many needs, and the business world is moving fast. That’s why partnering with Dimalanta experts makes sense. From marketing consulting and brand management to public relations and design, Dimalanta is your behind-the-scenes team. We make you more visible so you can be more profitable!”
Create an easy-to-follow plan that ends with success
- Book a consultation
- Meet with Dimalanta Founder, CEO and marketing expert Ernie Dimalanta to discuss and evaluate your marketing needs
- Breathe a sigh of relief knowing your business has a successful marketing strategy set in place that is crafted to fit your unique needs and budget!
We are living in a very challenging era. We must embrace the devastation of it, and then, do something new, beautiful, creative and meaningful. If you are beginning to feel a lapse in your mood this winter season, remember, your customers are too. Consider finding safe ways to connect with them and help them (and yourself) tap into these happy brain chemicals in natural ways. It’s the only way to build connections person to person.