Marketers are faced with a dilemma. Do we market to the head, the rational and logical part of us, or to market to the heart, the centre of feeling and emotion?

Interestingly, an IPA study, based on 25 years of data, found that “15% more profit is derived from emotional campaigns versus rational based campaigns.”  The reason is, very simply, that the heart can establish an emotional connection with the consumer that the head just can’t do. It is this connection that secures long term customer loyalty. Rational marketing, on the other hand, focuses on features such as price, availability, support and delivery. All of which are easily replicated by competition.

Magic Johnson, who gets marketing to the heart, is not only one of the most successful basketball players of all time but also became a billionaire in business over the last 10 years, after having retired from basketball. He’s opened Starbucks franchises, in-dining experience cinemas and radio stations, all succeeding through this approach.

So what was his secret? There seems to be 3 key elements to his success: he knew his customer, reached them and was personal with them. It is those same three approaches that have made him a billionaire in 10 years of business and that I think can be equally powerful for you as a digital marketer.

Know your customer

There is so much data out there that can help you get a picture of your customer. Are you really capturing that data? As digital marketers we can capture customer demographics and psychographics, on-site behaviour, and customer intent data.

By looking at aggregated UK Search data we can gain a better understanding of customer intent. For example, the most popular watch for young women in the UK is Michael Kors, whilst young men prefer Accurist brand watches. This is a huge insight into knowing your customer.

From behavioural data we can see that men tend to shop late when coming up to seasonal events such as, Christmas. These patterns and habits of buying are really powerful when planning your Christmas campaigns.

Reach them

Knowing your customer gives us data points or signals to reach them at the right time, at the right location and using the right marketing channel.

Now let’s look at how we may use the signals to target the last minute boyfriend or husband shopper this Christmas. Interestingly, what we see from these consumers is that the Average Order Value (AOV) goes up the closer you get to Christmas. This is because they are rushed and unsure of what to purchase, making them susceptible to impulse purchases. Using those signals we are able to intelligently reach these men with increased search and display bidding activity the closer to Christmas we get.

Be personal

Personalisation is going to be a hot topic in 2015. In fact, according to Forrester’s research, campaigns that are personalised have a 19% increase in sales.

Continuing the story of the last minute shopping boyfriends and husbands, we can use personalised messaging that resonates for these time pressured shoppers. Furthermore, we can automate the change of messaging through search and programmatic display to higher AOV products the closer it becomes to Christmas.

Winning hearts

Marketing to the rational mind is totally doable but can be replicated by competitors. To really shine this Christmas, market to the heart of the customer by following Magic’s formula: knowing your customer, reach them and be personal. With these steps success is guaranteed.