The Power of Sensory Marketing in Driving Businesses to Success

Just how in control do you think you are of your everyday buying decisions?

Research shows the answer to be, not a lot.

Whenever we’re faced with the decision of choosing between two or more objects, we believe that a final choice was reached because we were making logical considerations. And to an extent, that is true.

But apparently, there’s also a lot going on in the background that may be playing an even bigger role in our decision-making than the use of logic. And this makes people victims of what’s called sensory marketing.

What is Sensory Marketing?

When a brand promotes something with the intent of appealing to any of a person’s five senses, it’s called sensory marketing.

Depending on how much you know about psychology, you may or may not find it surprising that our senses are the easiest to fool.

This is all thanks to the perceptions we create upon first encountering a product or marketing material. We automatically reach a decision because something just appeals to us more, rather than being a result of just logical consideration.

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How to Market With Each Sense

In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at how you can use the power of the senses to boost your marketing endeavors and increase conversions like never before.

And each of these senses, sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste, can be leveraged in certain ways that convince people that something is more appealing than it really is. Let’s take a look at how.

1. Smell

Kuoni’s unique take on Travel Marketing.

One really good example of how our sense of smell can affect our perception is a marketing strategy done by Luxury Travel Service, Kuoni.

What they did was launch an interactive campaign that let people push a button to release an aroma from an essential oil diffuser that captured the essence of each of their ten travel destinations.

They called it the ‘Scents of Adventure’, and it was certainly a clever way to appeal to customers to a specific travel experience.

The sense of Smell as an effective memory recaller.

In one article by the Wall Street Journal, the pastry-making company, Cinnabon, admits to using the sense of smell to gain a marketing advantage.

This isn’t surprising because our smell is responsible for the ability to create or recall positive memories or experiences. This means it’s easier for us to fall in love with a product because we just love the way it smells.

Knowing this, Cinnabon intentionally placed their ovens at the front of their stores so the pleasant aroma would hit potential customers like a wave, enticing them to come in and buy.

2. Taste

Why free taste samples will always be a marketing tool.

Whether it’s cheese, chocolate, or even beer, free taste samples are a great way of introducing people to your product by pleasing their taste buds.

You may have gone inside a Costco warehouse before and greeted with friendly sample persons who were eager to let them try their products. That’s an example of sensory marketing right there.

Bear in mind also that our sense of taste is highly related to our sense of smell.

So if you are targeting for taste, then you’ll have to make sure you won’t disappoint in the olfactory department as well. This creates a multi-sensory approach where you engage more than one of the human senses, which just adds to its effectiveness.

3. Sound

The reason you can’t get that advertising jingle out of your head.

Sounds are an effective regulator of our emotions. And it’s made even more effective when you pair its visual stimulation, such as in video advertisements.

Coca-cola, for example, is a company that has perfected this balance between sound and virtual marketing in their ads. They’re mostly fun, energetic, and portray a love of life with their catchy beats and videos that get your blood pumping from excitement.

4. Touch

Heavier business cards or brochures seem to be more trustworthy.

Again, it’s interesting how often we’re unconsciously influenced by our senses to believe one thing without having logical data to back it up.

For example, did you know that a heavier a piece of document feels, the more we believe it’s authentic, credible, and trustworthy? And that applies to business cards, newsletters, magazines, or even product brochures.

So, the next time you want a promotional content printed, try choosing a high-quality material with a more solid, heavier feel to increase people’s trust in your brand.

5. Sight

How digital marketing is largely marketing to our sense of sight.

Online marketing has been mostly a visual marketing strategy, with people creating websites, images, and videos that are meant to catch our attention.

With today’s tools, developing a website can be accomplished without the help of a professional developer. There are one-stop platforms that bundle everything you need in one package, including hosting, domain registration, page creation, and even page building.

You can also start from scratch by registering or buying a domain name, hosting it separately, and then plugging in a site builder of your choice. Doing will grant you more flexibility down the road while also minimizing the costs of maintaining and growing your site.

When creating a website, one of the factors you need to pay attention to is your website’s loading speed.

Yes, it’s a consideration that can make or break your business. In fact, even just a second of delay in loading can cause you to lose 7% in conversions.

Fortunately, you can easily fix that by using a reliable CDN or by caching your pages in case your site can’t handle spikes in traffic.

Explaining the hype in virtual tours.

Whether you’re in the travel, hospitality, or real estate business, you just can’t beat the competitive edge of having a virtual tour, such as the one above offered by Hôtel de Paris.

It’s still just a compilation of images or videos, but when you pair it with music, narration, and helpful text, it really does set your business apart. It can even be powerful enough to convince people to make decisions right on the spot.

The Takeaway:

Sensory marketing is no doubt a part of everyday advertising. We can find it all around us, both in the physical and digital world. And it can be your secret weapon to increasing customers, getting more sales, and growing your business in ways you’ve never imagined.

Understanding how sensory marketing benefits your brand is just the first step. But it’s also a stepping stone that can open new doors of opportunity if it’s properly integrated with your marketing mix.

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