Updated: Jan 2
Emotion is the driving force behind almost every decision that we make each day. I feel annoyed when the alarm clock goes off in the morning, I'm overwhelmed when I look at the pile of laundry waiting for me, and I'm filled with an enormous amount of love when my daughter gives me a giant smile. On a cold, November day, when rain is rattling the windows, I feel like having a warm drink. On a crisp fall night, when the stars sprinkle the sky and friends are hanging out, I feel like having a fire in the backyard. The chances are that I reached for the coffee or started piling wood before I even made a decision.
As designers, our goal is to create an emotional response in everyone who experiences our content. It's the emotional connection that drives behavior when emotion is the goal; every detail matters. Colors, font, music for your ears and faces for your heart. Every aspect has a purpose; they all need to build an emotional connection with the audience. In the blog post "Why Content Is King," Monkeythis Principal Kurt Karr states that people don't respond to advertising like they once did because the information is no longer hard to come by.
I want to add another reason; in today's world, you're not the only person or company offering whatever it is you have to sell or provide. Let's look at an example.
One of our clients is a critical access hospital in a small town, and successfully recruiting staff is one of their biggest problems. A nation-wide shortage of trained professionals means competition for talent is fierce. Many hospitals in their area are much larger and offer signing bonuses, flexible shift scheduling, and in some cases, outstanding benefits our client can't match.
Information can't overcome those disadvantages.
Through careful listening, we learned four things about medical professionals who work for our client. They treasure having a deep and lasting connection with their patients. They want to practice broad-scope medicine, using every skill they've worked so hard to learn. And finally, they want an opportunity to grow in an atmosphere of collegial respect.
The facts of employment like salary and benefits are still important, but they are evaluated differently when the emotional atmosphere is front and center. By not just telling about positions, but showing how employees are respected, skills are tested, and how aides become nurses and nurses become supervisors, we can appeal to the people who will be satisfied employees that stay and contribute.
We think receiving a gold award in a national healthcare advertising contest validates our approach.
It's a competitive world out there, whether the competition is for talent or customers. Competing requires communicating facts, but winning depends on genuine emotion.