Marketing to the heart

When somebody gets their new Porsche delivered, that has got to be one very sweet moment (and I am not speaking from experience here). Most Porsche sellers will call or e-mail the customer with a brief, dry message, but one Porsche dealership recently decided to give its customers a surprise. Instead of a phone call or an e-mail, they send the customer a beautiful bouquet of flowers. And the little card attached to the flowers announces that their new car has arrived. The dealership believes that a beautiful moment deserves a beautiful form of communication. I think that’s just brilliant. That´s marketing for the heart. Consumers don´t quickly forget such little symbolic touches.

Too many marketers are still reasoning from their own experience when communicating. Too many marketers reach for the conventional tools when they want to convince a customer. Imagine if a few companies were to invest a small share of their media budget in … flowers. Instead of buying 10 million euros of media space, we make it 9.5 million. One-half of those €500,000 we invest in flowers, the other half is cost savings.

€250,000 in flowers means around 10,000 bouquets. 10,000 times touching a consumer´s heart. Undoubtedly the consumer will recount this moment to his friends, his Facebook friends and his Twitter followers. Ten thousand times the consumer thinks of that brand for perhaps the following ten days. Telecom companies can send flowers when a customer moves house. Insurers upon the birth of a child. Travel organizers when a customer gets back home. Every company has a beautiful moment for giving a consumer a warm feeling.

Which company dares to accept my challenge? Cut your ad budget by 5%. One half you can save, the other half goes to flowers. I´d like to know if it works. My gut says ´yes´. Which company wants to invest in the hearts of its consumers and believes in the power of warm symbols?

In this blog I´m taking flowers as an example. Obviously you can follow the same reasoning with other symbols. If it can cost less, a handwritten postcard would also work well. My pitch is very simple: invest a bit less in the easy, expensive path, and invest in marketing to the heart instead. The bonus is cost savings and a lot of positive conversations.

Who´s willing to take the dare?