How Marketers Engage the Senses: 5 Tips for Sensory Marketing on the Web

A human has five senses – it’s a fact. Everything in the world is given to us by sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. And the most interesting thing without them there would be nothing. Yes, exactly emptiness – I can recommend you watch a film “Perfect Sense”, where lack of senses is demonstrated rather impressively. The exceptional importance of senses we should be understood as obvious.

Of course, we naturally pay more attention the some of them (according to statistic, we receive 80-90% of information through vision) and we should reckon with this fact. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean we should ignore less used organs, how some marketers do: they think it would be enough to give a performance for eyes and, at the best, for ears. Then such specialists are surprised by the failure of their advertising campaigns.

It’s fair enough to mention web space (and, in most cases, reality as well, by the way) doesn’t allow to influence some of the senses directly, so a competent web marketer should concentrate on metaphors. An advertisement must include appealing to taste, smell and touch by means of approachable sight and hearing. Below I’d like to share few sensory web marketing tips with examples.


Image source: Five senses by Shutterstock

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Use combinations

A perfect goal is to cover all 5 senses. But no one is perfect, so we should at least try combine different methods to impact as much sensations as we can.

For instance, Dunkin’ Donuts started interesting campaign in Seoul buses: when brand’s jingle was played, coffee aroma was released. It’s an original example of advertisement directly reaching olfaction, I don’t think such techniques will be available for web marketers soon, but anyway they have all needed tools to use indirect ways.

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An image should be entire

Improving an idea of the previous point I must declare: once a complex of techniques doesn’t form an entity, the advertising wouldn’t bring the expected result.

Great practice is shown by Starbucks. These guys have their own record label Hearmusic, which provides with exactly approximate music to complete comfortable environment of Starbuck coffeehouses. You can check the tracks on official Hearmusic YouTube channel.

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Accentuate senses actual for a product

If you are advertising a Japanese restaurant, you have to demonstrate sushi on your website in such way that visitors would immediately become hungry remembering the taste of this delicious dish. Design products should dazzle one’s eyes. CD stores ought to cause pretty sound images. It’s totally evident.

A concrete example from real life is iPod Touch. A word “touch” automatically refers to tactile senses, accentuating on the main feature of the product.

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No overstimulation

At the beginning of the article we decided that lack of sensual effect makes marketing campaigns inadequate. However, a newbie can get trapped in overstimulation, when the advertising becomes annoying. Remember the prefect principle of Golden Middle, so suitable since ancient times. Also we should take into consideration informative overflow of current post-industrial epoch.

As an example I would present a research of Journal of Consumer Research. It stated the slower the music, the more people shop, also when slow music is played in a restaurant, the bill is 29% higher.

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Different metaphors for different cultures

Sometimes emotional perception of certain things in different cultures is not only distinctive, but even alternate. Every advertiser should be careful with national realities, otherwise there would be a high risk to step on the rake of misunderstanding.

An apparent example is menthol. In US its aroma is supposed to be a standard of freshness, though in UK it’s just a medicinal smell.
 

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A sensory marketing is claimed to be a new trend in 2013. We could notice it from aforementioned Dunkin’ Donuts campaign in Seoul. Well, as per Neuromarketing, 75% of emotions are triggered by smell, so this trick with coffee aroma should definitely affect the profit in positive way. Therefore, I hope you’ll get some profit from my pieces of advice in your turn.

If you have something to add – don’t be afraid to post it in the comments below, also I would be thankful for critical responses.

About the author:

Art Rivera: Deeply interested in everything connected with Internet, I sincerely suppose the web is the only future reality for the humanity through its inevitable involving into every part of human life. I’m not a great fan of cyberpunk concept, but the world is keeping that certain direction of total connectedness. And of course there should be someone, who can write the history, who would describe and analyze and enter in the record all notable changes and tendencies on the web. Hello, it’s me.

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