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Emotion and Investor Marketing

I read a great article by Courtney Seiter called The Science Of Emotion In Marketing 

For those of you that do not have time to read the whole thing, here are a few excerpts that relate directly to Investor Marketing and influencing behavior. 

Happiness makes us want to share 

  • Psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott discovered that our first emotional action in life is to respond to our mother’s smile with a smile of our own. Obviously, joy and happiness are hard-wired into all of us. The left pre-frontal cortex of the brain is where happiness traits like optimism and resilience live. Other than making us … well, happy … joy can also be a driver of action. Winnicott’s discovery of a baby’s social smile also tells us that joy increases when it is shared. No wonder, then, that happiness is the main driver for social media sharing.
  • Jonah Berger, professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, studied nearly 7,000 articles in The New York Times to determine what was special about those on the most-emailed list. He found that an article was more likely to become viral the more positive it was.

Why emotions are important in marketing

  • What does all this teach us as social media sharers and marketers? That emotions are critical – maybe even more than previously thought – to marketing.
  • In an analysis of the IPA dataBANK, which contains 1,400 case studies of successful advertising campaigns, campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational content (and did a little better than those that mixed emotional and rational content).

emotional-vs-rationalGraphic via


That makes sense based on what scientists know about the brain now – that people feel first, and think second. The emotional brain processes sensory information in one fifth of the time our cognitive brain takes to assimilate the same input.

And since emotions remain tied to base evolutionary processes that have kept humans safe for centuries, like detecting anger or fear, they’re so primal that we’ll always be wired to pay attention to them – often with surprisingly powerful results.

Somewhere along the way, people assumed investors were not susceptible to basic human emotions. Clearly this is not the case and savvy investor marketers are keeping this in mind when crafting messages and presentations.

It’s not just about the numbers. It’s about what investors feel. 



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Mark McKelvie

Founder, CEO Investor Testing. If you want to find out how clear and compelling investors find your story ask them to explain it to you in their own words and watch what happens.

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