The Marketing Sage is a consulting firm that offers advice, counsel and services to support small to mid-sized businesses. We offer “acting VP Marketing services”, generate qualified leads, build awareness and create highly differentiated marketing programs. Work with a successful entrepreneur and senior marketing executive to help you succeed. 


The Marketing Sage

The Marketing Sage Blog

~Marketing Insights to Help You Grow Your Business~



We live in a digital world where emotion needs to grab you through whatever screen you have in your face. Rational arguments take a back seat to stories that touch you deeply. It is so easy to forget this because we over-rationalize the importance of relevant communications and forget we are marketing our message to human beings with feelings. Logic matters but the emotions pull us in so that we can take a bite out of the information coming our way.

Take two products – a white paper and a short video. Both have different audiences and can be useful marketing tools to help you explain an idea, express an important distinction or connect you with a community.

One is active. One is passive.

Depending on your audience, you might need to lead with the passive media of video to entice more interest in the active white paper approach.  When you can present the unexpected at the right moment, you can grab attention and break on through to the other side of interest.


What strikes me about emotionally driven marketing in the digital space, is the word MOTION. You want to move energy and get your content on the move too. How can you harness it?

I like to ask these four questions:

  1. Will the message break-through an expected pattern? Without disruption, you aren’t tapping into any emotion. A new example of this is Hillary’s ad using Trump’s words but children listening to those statements. Children don’t vote but by being disruptive in the messages, the communication is robust. Breaking a pattern gets attention.
  1. Is the emotion stirred up relevant to the product/service offered? The smell of Folger’s being brewed early in the morning by an unexpected visitor (a son home from college/military) is a powerful heart grabber. You can smell the coffee brewing in the ad, and that only makes the message and emotional connection more powerful. Can your digital effort tap into other senses beyond the visual? (nails on a chalkboard, itchy wool sweater, ice-cold water bath, etc.) 
  1. Can I own this occasion so that customers think of my brand? Although I’m not a beer drinker, the Corona- beach connection is so strong that they own that space in the minds of many beer-drinking consumers. Having the attention of customers during a specific occasion is an important way to go beyond communications of an idea. Occasions that have their emotional strings attached. Can you own a moment (occasion) that comes preloaded with emotional charges?
  1. How does it feel? I remember watching the responses of a group of teenagers in a focus group many years ago, to a Slim Jim commercial we were testing. The kids were watching two different approaches to a message about irreverence. I wasn’t listening to what they said —- I was looking at how they reacted. The marketing team behind the glass all had the same thought – one commercial made them move in the chairs while the other appeared to make them bored with a dulled look on their face. Sometimes watching emotions in customer’s reaction tells you everything you need to know.

Is your digital effort disrupting a pattern of behavior and is biting you with e-motion? If not, it may be missing the mark.



Need help disrupting patterns for your brand? Connect with me here.

Photo credit:







Sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail and get a FREE copy of my e-book, UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF MARKETING.




Share This