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Emotional Marketing for Architects

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There are many ways to market an architecture firm – you can present your previous work, talk about your education and experience, or compare yourself to your competition. But that is not what’s going to convince people to choose you over other architects. Clients rarely choose based entirely on rational thought; instead, they go with the architect that feels right. It’s those feelings that you want to target with your marketing, and emotional marketing for architects is the perfect way to do that. But what is emotional marketing, and how can you best employ it?

What is emotional marketing for architects?

Emotional marketing is any type of marketing that leverages emotions to establish connections and attract clients. You can, of course, use any emotion from love and happiness to anger and sadness. But it would be best to focus on one or two feelings and build your brand identity around them. We are not here to say if you should go with positive or negative emotions, as both can be relevant to your approach and make an impact. The important element to bringing emotion into marketing is to move your client deeply rather than utilizing dry educational approaches that don’t set you apart from your competition.

Architects have the responsibility to improve the world, not just build a space around a set budget. Factors such as layout and materials all can impact health, mood, and productivity. Finding clients who can relate to your emotional values will contribute to success for everyone involved.

Tiles made from sustainable products
Totomoxtle Is made from dried corn husks. Fernando Laposse created a new sustainable material that can be used as a surfacing veneer for interiors and furniture: the husks are flattened and glued by hand onto boards and cards that work as reinforcement.

What are the benefits of emotional marketing for architects?

Emotions play a part in every decision we make. More importantly, they inspire us to act – more so than rational thought. Therefore, emotional marketing is very effective when it comes to attracting more prospects, getting more contacts, and converting more clients. In addition to being a good investment, emotional marketing is an excellent strategy for creative branches like architecture. You can tell a story about your business, show what you love about what you do, and inspire clients to get passionate about your work as well. This will help you establish relationships with clients that can turn into long-term collaboration or translate to many recommendations for your firm.

Guide to emotional marketing for architects

You shouldn’t think of emotional marketing as some special sort of promotion – it’s more a specific, emotions-focused approach to marketing. As such, it needs to be planned in advance, just like all other types of marketing. So what can you do to make your emotional marketing strategy as effective as possible?

Know your audience

Before you can successfully appeal to the emotions of your target demographic, you need to first understand who they are. This is always important when you’re trying to personalize your approach to marketing because personalization is about adjusting to the individual; this automatically means that you can’t employ the shotgun approach and target everyone in the world. Instead, ask yourself who you’re designing and building for. How old are they? Where do they live? What do they need an architect for? Then, ask yourself one final question: what kind of an emotional appeal will this target audience respond to?

Team of marketers discussing strategy and emotional values.
 Knowing who you’re marketing to will help you make promotional material they respond to.

Show your passion

To inspire emotions in potential clients, you need to create emotionally charged marketing materials. The best way to do that is to show your own emotions. Why did you get into architecture? What do you love about the work you do? What makes you passionate, inspires you, and keeps you going? Let your passion for your work shine through – it’ll inspire a similar reaction in your clients.

Include sensorial experiences

Architects and interior designers have a unique advantage when developing marketing strategies that leverage emotions – you can use different senses to elicit reactions from clients. Instead of just showing them your plans on paper (or in digital format), you can let them touch the materials you’re suggesting, see the different colors you’re recommending, even smell things. This helps them envision their future home and how they would fit within it. It’s a great selling point that you can use to convert almost anyone. One smart way to employ this trick is to build temporary dwellings or models and have showings of them for potential clients. If that sounds too ambitious, you can do it digitally instead. Using 3D projections and modeling or virtual reality can be a great alternative.

Be creative and bold

Our emotions are rarely stirred by common, everyday occurrences. So any emotional marketing you consider must be unique and unusual. Let your imagination run wild and try things you typically wouldn’t; when it comes to emotional marketing, bigger and bolder is better. You can (and should) tell personal stories that you usually wouldn’t, connect on a personal level, and share your views and opinions. In fact, a very effective way of using emotional marketing is through activism. If you’re passionate about green construction, for example, make that part of your brand – your clients will respond to your attitude as well.

The Zentrum Paul Klee is a museum dedicated to the artist Paul Klee, located in Bern, Switzerland and designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. It features about 40 percent of Paul Klee’s entire pictorial oeuvre. Source Wikipedia
Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland

Use social media

These days, life without social media is almost unimaginable. This has made social media platforms an excellent marketing resource for businesses in all industries. As an architect, you can post images or videos of your work, tips on choosing the best design, and explanations of different industry terms. But if you truly want to include emotions in your marketing, connecting with your followers is the key. With social media, you can bond one-on-one with potential clients by answering their questions, giving them free advice, and just generally interacting with them. Not only will you convert individual clients, but you’ll also build your brand and spread your influence online.

Build relationships

Emotional marketing is all about connecting with people on a personal level. You want them to understand who you are, like you, and become attached to you. In order to achieve this, you need to focus on your clients, their needs, and their wants. The best way to do this is to treat them all as unique individuals whenever possible. Adapt your approach to the situation instead of always following the same patterns; be flexible when scheduling meetings, listen to what potential clients are saying before you offer them any advice, and show understanding for their anxieties. You’ll build a much better relationship with your client if you adopt a personalized approach like that.

Adopting emotional marketing as a strategy

Emotional marketing for architects isn’t about making one promotional video that tugs on people’s heartstrings; it’s about incorporating emotions in all the marketing and promotions you do. So you could say that it’s a marketing philosophy more than anything else. As such, it needs to become a part of your marketing strategy at every level. If you’re doing your own marketing, that won’t be too hard – you just need to get used to thinking with your heart more than your head. But if you’re working with a marketing team, it’s essential to choose the right people. Your marketing experts need to understand who you are and why you do what you do; they need to be able to establish an emotional connection on your behalf. So make sure you choose carefully and work closely with any marketers you hire.

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Dorothy is a Bizop guest author and outreach coordinator who specializes in sharing digital marketing insights, strategy, and education.

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