A well-known quote from the recently departed Zig Ziglar should be a mantra for any marketer: "People don't buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons." Many people forget or don't understand this truism, but it is the foundation of great marketing and sales. A natural follow-up thought to that is people buy for emotional reasons, but use rational logic to justify it. The emotional aspects of selling are critical to creating a long-term customer and converting that customer into an advocate and evangelist for your brand.
Buying decisions are the result of emotional and rational factors, so your marketing and sales outreach needs to account for both of these very human characteristics. Marketers commonly make the mistake of being disproportionately rational, which usually results in transactional relationships with their customers. These relationships (think online retailers) are often devoid of emotion and therefore temporary by their very nature.
Because the relationship lacks the substance necessary to create loyalty, losing the customer is only a mouse click away. It can result from anything -- lower prices, better design, a shorter checkout process. This superficial stuff is nothing if your customer relationships are built on a solid foundation. Instead of playing a losing game of discounting wars, sending out more emails, or blanketing the market with ads, consider a strategy that prioritizes quality over quantity.
The digital marketing revolution has enabled companies to communicate directly with customers. This is no revelation, of course. It's how these companies choose to communicate with customers that will determine their ability to create emotional connections. Creating useful and compelling content -- using age-old techniques, such as storytelling -- across web, social, and mobile channels gives marketers an unprecedented opportunity to develop truly human, emotional bonds with the real-life people that comprise their customer communities.