The exponential rise of the internet is posing a new set of challenges for today’s marketeers. For starters, present-day consumers are more well-informed than ever before. The vast amount of online resources have granted them access to all the ins and outs of a business; a business’ ethics, processes, and revenues, are now only a couple of keyboard taps away. As such, consumers are quick to point out inconsistencies between brands and their inaccurate or surface-level marketing ploys. 

Additionally, consumers are reported to have a diminished attention span – both in the individual and collective sense – compared to previous years.  This is the result of the rise of social media and short form content, which have also made consumers increasingly selective on what they place their focus on. So how do marketers go about these obstacles? What is the key to engagement?

 

Targeting consumers’ emotions. 

Marketeers are acutely aware of the power of emotions, and more importantly, their ability to bypass the conscious mind. While the definition of ‘emotion’ has still not been solidified, emotions are generally proposed to exist on a negative-to-positive spectrum encompassing six universal facets: happiness, anger, disgust, sadness, fear, and surprise. These emotions are theorised to have evolved due to their adaptive functions, which subsequently aid to our survival. For example, happiness is deemed beneficial as a reinforcing mechanism, and anger is a tool useful in improving an individual’s bargaining position. Emotions are thus key to driving behaviour and cueing action – and that is their inherent power.

It is indeed our emotions that guide most of our (ir)rational decisions. Scientific research has revealed that we feel before we think. This internal process applies to all situations; the purchasing one being no exception. As Mitchell Harper, the CEO and Founder of InsaneGrowth, claims: “People buy with emotion first and logic second.” There’s an abundance of proof evidentiating the importance of emotions and their ability to override logic in a marketing situation. Think of the yearly emotional journeyCoca-Cola takes its consumers through: from its running theme of festive happiness during the winter period, to the advertising of joy and fun throughout the summertime. Coca-Cola focuses on promoting its fizzy drink not for its taste, but rather for the shared feeling of belonging fostered amongst its consumers. These reoccurring associations define the brand, giving it the stature it upholds today.

 

Another brilliant example of emotional marketing done right is Always’ 2014 #LikeAGirl campaign, a campaign which earned the company multiple awards at Cannes and even an Emmy! The reason behind the campaign’s success was the brand’s ability to turn a phrase with negative connotations into one eliciting positive feelings. Again, as in the Coca Cola case, they weren’t advertising a product, but rather an idea – one encouraging social engagement and a sense of unity amongst women. In this case, an advertisement advocating for social issues panned out successfully.

 

However, not all companies who promoted a need for social change were successful. The power of emotional adverts is also made apparent through cases where ads evoked strong, negative emotional responses – resulting in irreversible backlash. This was the case with Gillette, whose 2019 advert on toxic masculinity sparked controversy. While some consumers praised the brand for raising awareness of social issues, others viewed the brand’s input to be insulting. In spite of some positive feedback, this campaign ultimately resulted in Gillette incurring a reported loss of $8 billion. It is thus of crucial important to consider emotions – and their resulting effects – in marketing campaigns.

Emotion-driven engagement isn’t limited to short-term marketing campaigns; it is just as  useful for maintaining long-term brand loyalty. A recent 2019 study by Deloitte revealed that consumers’ rational considerations with regards to a brand can either make or break the bond with that brand. These consumer considerations, which include aspects such as pricing and quality, are only put forefront in the beginning and ending stages of the brand relationship. If these aspects remain consistent, the ingredients to an ongoing relationship with consumers are based on emotions, trust, and shared values. As such, although a relationship may begin due to rational considerations, emotions are the engine driving everything in between.

To conclude, emotions are an important consideration for marketeers strategising for both short- and long-term endeavours. If done effectively, and with the right target audience in mind, such methods can snowball social engagement and enrich the relationship between a brand and consumer. Yet, as in any relationship between two people, it is important to consider the subject matters discussed, and how they mesh (or clash) with today’s sociopolitically tremulous climate.

Hi there! I am Kathleen, a master’s business student at UvA and president of the Careers Beyond Borders committee of the MAA. I started studying at UvA this year and being a student from far far away (i.e., where Amsterdam people perceive my precious Utrecht to be), I didn’t know many people or places in Amsterdam yet. To become part of the UvA culture, I already knew that I wanted to become an active member of the MAA by joining a committee. During the semester’s introduction at the beginning of the year, all study associations were presenting themselves at the information market, and the MAA board told me about the different committees that were looking for members. I was surprised by how many different committees they offered, both professionally orientated committees like the Company Speeddate or Recruitment event, as well as more socially oriented committees like the Lustrum and Careers Beyond Borders. Since I have a passion for traveling, exploring new places, meeting new people, and pursuing an international career, I immediately got enthusiastic about the CBB.

 

The Careers Beyond Borders committee organizes a networking event for ambitious and internationally oriented business/marketing students from UvA, VU and Nyenrode University. One thing I love about Amsterdam’s student life is how international it is, with a large amount of international students coming in every semester. This is also why the CBB committee appealed to me mostly; it would mean working together with international students and companies. The CBB offers the best of both worlds: it is socially orientated (25 students having fun in a foreign city) and professionally orientated (building international connections abroad). This year we will go to Berlin and visit a variety of interesting companies. Both well-known companies that everyone knows, as well as smaller start-ups are eager to meet us. It is great for networking with companies outside the Dutch borders while exploring another city at the same time. Since we’ll spend five days there, we’ll have plenty of time for socializing with fellow students and experiencing both the professional German daily life as well as the exciting Berlin nightlife. 

One thing I am really grateful for is my fellow CBB committee members. We are a team of seven amazing people and have happily been working hard to make this trip a great success! I am looking forward to meeting all the new people that are joining for the trip. I know we will all have a blast together and get inspired by the companies we will visit. It will be a rewarding pay-off for all the hard work the CBB has put into preparing the trip. We are just a couple of weeks ahead now from the CBB 2020 kick-off to Berlin and I honestly can’t wait! There still are some last free spots available, so I would definitely encourage all students who have not signed up yet to do so. This trip will be a valuable contribution to both your academic and career orientation and international business network as to your social life, meeting new people and explore Berlin together! Check out the CBB event on facebook for more information.

Although I had had a busy week, and university deadlines had been piling up on top of each other, I made sure I was able to attend the Amsterdam Commercial Night (ACN) event last week. Partially as a gesture of commitment as the MAA’s Chief Digital Marketeer, but mostly because it seemed like an event jam-packed with knowledge beneficial to me as a future marketeer! This blog post is here to tell you exactly how the event unfolded.

 Upon first entering Posthoornkerk – yes, a church – I encountered  the inevitable array of nuts, chips, crackers and free drinks: a display of the classic Dutch borrel. As I was barely on time (unsurprisingly), I had no time to enjoy these treats and had to scurry up to the main hall where the presentations were being held. I was in awe; the stage was set right beneath the church’s main spired tower you see from the outside, and the seats were lined by dimly lit, small bricked atriums that lead to the stage. 

 The main host of the night was Gijs de Beus, the strategic mastermind behind Friends & Foes: a creative agency located in Amsterdam. He opened the ACN Storytelling event with a little clip on how Friends & Foes was founded, while teaching us the basis of what storytelling is and how crucial it is for brand strategy. He paved the way for the three speakers of the night. The first speaker, Rik toe Water, represented GroupM: the world’s largest advertising media company, with subsidiaries that make beloved shows such as Love Island possible. It isn’t hard to imagine the source of GroupM’s success if all their employees have personalities and presentation skills like Rik’s. He was able to make the church echo with laughter while still remaining educational throughout his entire presentation. He provided exceptional visuals for the audience to understand the power of brand storytelling, as well as pitfalls that come with it if it isn’t done right. His take home message, repeated adamantly throughout the presentation, was to: use all platforms available, consistently engage with your consumers, scale your message, and stick to one main story.

 The second presentation took a surprising turn from the first one. Philips, represented by Dirk van der Horst, offered us an insight into their own (hi)story as game changers within the healthcare industry. We were taken back to 1891, when the three founding fathers of Philips joined forces to establish what has become a powerhouse of innovation. The presentation focused on Philip’s own success story while looking into the future at the incoming trends bound to shape the digitalisation of healthcare technology. Of course, a presentation about the healthcare industry would have been incomplete without a little side note reminding us students to take care of our  alcohol intake. Don’t get me wrong, it was greatly appreciated – but hilarious given that we were fortunate enough to have Grolsch sponsor the event’s supply of beer! 

 Following the two presentations, we had an interim break where we headed back to the borrel area to network, nibble on some snacks, and grab ourselves a bottle (or two) of Grolsch’s beer. The speakers joined too, engaging with students and divulging the companies’ secret recipes to success (or so I hope). At the borrel, Walters People – a recruitment consultancy firm operating  in major European countries – was there to help us with our LinkedIn profiles. I would like to take this opportunity to say that my LinkedIn profile was actually complimented by Walters People themselves…although they did say that my profile picture needed an update (to which I wholeheartedly agreed). After this ego boost, I went back into the main hall where I saw the opportunity to talk to the host, Gijs, and ask him what he was most looking forward to during the event.

 “I was really curious to hear the first presentation because it’s very close to what we [Friends & Foes] do, but with a slightly different take. The second presentation – yea, I know Philips intimately and have worked for them as a consultant. It’s such a complex organization, they’re going through such a profound transformation so it’s interesting to hear how story can be used in that transition. The third presentation I think is a classic example of marketing done well through the use of a story; we still need to hear it, but I’ve had a sneak peak of the presentation and I’m really curious to hear it – really excited.”

 After speaking to Gijs, and sharing his excitement, it was time for the  last company presentation of the night. Ard Bossema, Grolsch’s very own Marketing and Strategy Director, was the third presenter of the night. He kick-started his presentation with an incredible promotional video capturing the essence of the company, and continued to woo us with facts about the company that really set it apart from the rest. Did you know that Grolsch was the first beer to use a swing-top bottle cap? Me neither! Supposedly, it makes Grolsch’s beer bottle the second most famous bottle in the world – after the Coca Cola’s, that is. We were then immersed into stories of Grolsch’s explosive past. Literally speaking. Their first brewery in Enschede was destroyed by fireworks 19 years ago. Nonetheless, they made an astonishing comeback and rebuilt their brewery from scratch. Ard then dove into the company’s strategic trajectory, which included being completely transparent about how they were going to successfully entrance us, their target market, into choosing their new beer targeted to the youth. Watch out for Kornuit! 

 The evening concluded with even more drinks, nibbles, and a goody bag! By this time, everyone was way more social than during the interim break (thanks Grolsch!), and we all got together to discuss the presentations and other less important things, such as our impending workloads and unfinished theses. Overall, I’m glad I attended Amsterdam Commercial Night. I had a great time, felt productive, and left the event more equipped for my future career than I was when I came in.

By Derya Yildirim 

5 minute read – english version available soon – happy reading!-

Hilti
is wereldwijd marktleider als toeleverancier van de bouw. Zij ontwikkelt en produceert haar eigen producten en diensten. Binnenkort kun je via de MAA kennismaken met Hilti terwijl je vaart over de Amsterdamse grachten, tijdens het ‘Start your summer with Hilti’ evenement. We spraken met Marien Adema, die tot januari van dit jaar werkzaam was als hoofd marketing bij Hilti en op dit moment hoofd is van de afdeling engineering.

Hoe is het om op de marketingafdeling van Hilti te werken?
“Bij Hilti werken we wereldwijd met meer dan 23.000 collega’s; de helft daarvan is dagelijks in contact met de klant. We werken op de marketingafdeling intensief samen met onze direct salesforce, dat betekent dat al onze marketingmedewerkers in direct contact staan met onze klanten.
Het draait bij Hilti om technisch complexe producten, en door zelf de verkoop en de marketing van deze producten in de hand te houden, kunnen we een meerwaarde bieden. Dit werkt in twee richtingen; op basis van de klantbehoefte geven wij het beste advies aan de klant en op basis van feedback van onze klanten ontwikkelen wij nieuwe producten. Zonder onze eigen direct

“Als marketing/sales manager geef je ook trainingen”

salesforce zou er een dealer of distributeur tussen ons en de klant in staan. Op onze manier kan de feedback van onze klanten direct worden teruggekoppeld aan onze eigen R&D. Als marketing/sales manager geef je ook trainingen, bijvoorbeeld tijdens onze Wave. Dat is een dag, georganiseerd door de marketingafdeling, waarop onze salesforce kennis maakt met en de nieuwste producten.

Het is dus heel afwisselend om op de marketingafdeling van Hilti te werken en je hebt veel direct en persoonlijk contact met onze klanten!”

Wat doet Hilti op het gebied van online marketing en digitalisering?
“Wij zien ze als twee verschillende dingen. We zien een enorme digitaliseringsslag in de bouwsector. Vooral Building Information Modelling (BIM) maakt grote stappen en maakt het mogelijk om een bouwproject tot in het laatste boutje of moertje te simuleren. Je bouwt eigenlijk een digitale maquette.

“BIM maakt het mogelijk om het bouwproject tot het laatste moertje te simuleren”

Voor Hilti betekent dit dat al onze producten veel eerder in het proces beschikbaar moeten zijn voor de klant in een digitale versie, zodat ze kunnen worden meegenomen in de simulatie van het bouwproject. Wij zijn al betrokken voordat er wordt begonnen met bouwen.
Tegenwoordig is alleen een goede website waar informatie over onze producten beschikbaar is dus niet meer genoeg. Er is behoefte aan een complete digitale versie van het fysieke product met alle eigenschappen die

daarbij horen, denk bijvoorbeeld aan onderhoudskosten en productiviteit van onze producten. Marketing is nauw betrokken bij het digitaliseringsproces en

0775.00.013-Boormachine_930x400het communiceren van deze digitale competenties naar de klanten.
Op het gebied van online marketing hebben we nu extra kanalen waarmee we contact met de klant kunnen hebben. We zien daarbij video als speerpunt, omdat dat het beste medium is om onze technisch complexe producten te demonstreren.”

Onder de marketingstudenten leeft de vraag: hoe het staat met de mannencultuur binnen Hilti, bestaat deze?
“Natuurlijk staat de bouwindustrie bekend als een mannenwereld, maar dat wordt steeds minder. Op de traditionele bouwplaats zag je vroeger over het algemeen geen vrouwen, maar de tijden zijn veranderd. Als vrouw kun je zelfs jouw competenties extra benadrukken: als jij bijvoorbeeld een nieuw generatie boorhamers presenteert, zullen de klanten misschien in het begin een vooroordeel hebben. Als jij dan kunt laten zien dat je goed bent in je werk en alles weet over het product, dan heb je daarna ook hun volledige vertrouwen gewonnen. Je wordt bij ons volledig op kennis en competenties beoordeeld en geselecteerd, of je dan man of vrouw bent maakt dus niet uit.”

Tenslotte, heeft u ons in een eerder interview verteld dat het overbrengen van enthousiasme en passie voor de producten belangrijk is als marketeer bij Hilti. Wat is uw favoriete Hilti product?
“Daar hoef ik niet lang over na te denken, dat is X-BT draadbout. Ik ben bij Hilti begonnen bij offshore en scheepsbouw. In die sector geven ze miljarden uit om constructies te bouwen en te onderhouden die extreme weersomstandigheden kunnen weerstaan. Het grootste probleem is echter: roest.  Vroeger ontstonden er problemen door het gebruik van bevestigingssystemen (boren en lassen) die de coating tegen het roesten beschadigden. Dit had allerlei gevolgen voor de veiligheid van werkomgeving. Hilti heeft in samenwerking met onze klanten een nagel ontwikkeld die je in staal kunt schieten, zonder dat je de coating beschadigt.

“Veiligheid en productiviteit, samengevat in een mooi klein nageltje”

Ik vind het zo’n mooi product, omdat daar alles in samenkomt wat wij als organisatie doen. We hebben het product ontwikkeld door middel van onze directe klantrelaties die als voedingsbron dienden voor onze R&D afdeling. Daarnaast hebben we onze klanten een stukje veiligheid en productiviteit kunnen bieden. En dat allemaal samengevat in een mooi klein nageltje.”

Ben je nieuwsgierig geworden naar Hilti?  Meer informatie en carrièremogelijkheden kun je vinden op: https://www.hilti.nl/managementtrainees#
Meld je hier aan voor het ‘Start your summer with Hilti’ evement: http://www.ma-amsterdam.nl/events/hilti

Door Marjolein Tromp