Using Emotional Intelligence to Connect with Your Customers

Carton of brown eggs with different emotional faces drawn on them

In the world of marketing, you need to have a deep understanding of your customers to build and execute campaigns that are engaging and valuable. Technical skills such as data analysis and digital marketing are essential, but alone they're not enough to make your marketing efforts successful. Emotional intelligence, or emotional quotient (EQ), is just as important.


What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your emotions and the emotions of others. It's not about letting your emotions control you. Instead,  you're using emotions in a positive way to connect with people, build relationships, and achieve your goals.


Why is Emotional Intelligence Important for Marketers?

As a marketer, you need to understand your target audience's emotions to create content and campaigns that resonate with them. When you can connect with your audience on an emotional level, you can create messaging that speaks directly to them. You'll also build better relationships with your colleagues, clients, and customers.

Here are a few ways that emotional intelligence can benefit marketers:


Build Trust

Your audience is more likely to trust you if you understand their emotions and needs. You'll be able to better craft content that speaks directly to them and gets to the root of their pain point.


Increase Empathy

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understand their feelings and perspective. When you elevate your EQ, you can better understand what your audience is experiencing and provide solutions that are more valuable and tailored to them.


Enhance Creativity

Along with increased empathy, you'll also be able to enhance your creativity by looking at problems from various perspectives. What are the frustrations of your audience and where does that lead them when looking for a solution? How can you craft a message that speaks to that frustration and provides a solution?


How to Develop Emotional Intelligence as a Marketer

We've touched on the importance of emotional intelligence for marketers, so how do you develop it? Here are a few tips:


Practice Active Listening

Active listening is the art of listening to someone without interrupting or judging them. Instead of waiting for your turn to talk, really listen to what your audience is saying. Look for subtle cues in communication and seek to understand the emotions behind what they're saying. 


Learn to Manage Your Emotions

This is arguably the most difficult part of emotional intelligence. Emotions are a normal part of the human experience. The amygdala, the part of the brain that controls emotions, is more powerful than the logic-focused prefrontal cortex. So when you let your emotions take over, it can lead to less-than-productive results. The last thing you want is to blow up on a customer, prospect, or co-worker because your emotions got out of control. While it may be hard at the beginning, when you practice it over the long term you'll see you're better able to relax and stay calm in stressful situations. 


Seek Feedback

Asking for constructive feedback from colleagues, clients, and customers is a good way to build self-awareness and get a pulse on your communication and marketing efforts. If your campaigns aren't landing the results you're after, consider that you may need to double-check if you're really addressing an emotional need for your audience. Or perhaps you're letting your emotions get the best of you in meetings and on client calls and aren't coming off the way you think you are.  Feedback can help you improve your emotional intelligence and become a better marketer.

Emotional intelligence is just as important as technical skills in the marketing industry. By understanding your audience's emotions, and being mindful of your own, you'll build better relationships with colleagues, clients, and customers, and you'll be able to build more effective campaigns.

Ready to take your marketing to the next level? As an AMA | Rochester member you'll get exclusive access to certification courses, toolkits and playbooks, and more. Start your membership today!