Emotional Intelligence In Your Media

Emotional intelligence is all the rage in the HR community.  Wikipedia defines emotional intelligence as "the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people's emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one's goal(s)." It's great that this is finally getting recognized as an important attribute - I always said that you are not really a leader unless you can get people to follow you and that includes traits well beyond intelligence and experience.

I believe this concept plays well into how you market your business.  We regularly talk about positioning, value proposition and buyer behavior, but the ability to understand what we say and how we say it with a mindset around emotional intelligence can transform bland copy and tired imagery into something impactful.  I remember working with some folks who wanted to strip all the emotion out of their messaging, making it "all about business" - all the while losing sight of the fact that until Alexa or the robot of future start buying stuff for you we all still sell to people.  An emotional, relational understanding of your audience is the first step to creating great media, whether is advertising, content, or social.

I also believe that your EQ also needs to come from a place of authenticity.  I remember one of my favorite artists (great musician but an ego the size of a small planet) starting a mini-foundation for our troops right around the time is career was slowing down.  He put it on his web site and talked about it a bit, but never once in anything else had he discussed support for our military.  Even as a fan it was hard for me to connect the dots.  Now that he's back on an album cycle you can't find that foundation anywhere.  Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on him, but I think it speaks to the fact that you can take plays on emotion too far and you have to be wary of overplaying that card.  Emotional impact in your media should be based on the connection you are trying to create and not just emotion for it's sake.

Take some time to assess the emotional intelligence of your marketing and make sure it fits with your company and its vision.  We all don't need to create telephone commercials that cause you to cry and call your parents, but the right amount of emotional impact in your media can go a long way.