Noun: The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
Usage: "emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success"
"Marketers who have strong analytical, financial, planning, project management and technical skills but do not have emotional intelligence are missing a critical ingredient, particularly for a leadership role." — Sarah McGeehan, director customer advocacy, Telstra Operations
Psychologists John Mayer and Peter Salovey, two psychologists coined the term emotional intelligence, when the world around them was only propelling the concept of intelligence quotient. Thanks to the work of Daniel Goleman, it's a widespread concept today.
Goleman divided EI into four domains: personal competencies (self-awareness and self-management) and social competencies (social awareness and relationship management).
The term emotional quotient, or its casual shorthand EQ, has become ubiquitous, showing up in all sorts of unlikely settings, and marketers have sure jumped on the bus fast! I've seen boxes of toys that claim to boost a child's EQ available on Amazon!
No matter how logical a buyer, you'll know how to turn emotions to your brand's rescue.
But why is emotional intelligence of special importance to marketers? No wait, great marketers.
If you're in a customer-facing role, there are even more reasons why you should be able to act emotionally (and by that I don't mean sentimentally). Here's how emotional intelligence can boost your marketing career:
1. Understand what people buy
When you're buying L'Oreal's anti-ageing serum, you're not buying a serum. You're buying the idea of not losing your youthful look. A good marketer invests deeply in understanding not what sells, but why it sells. And because of your high EQ, you'll be able to convince everyone, all the way to the CEO, why the product representation and positioning needs to be in a certain way, to satiate people's emotional needs. What is coming into play is social competencies — market awareness (external) and relationship building (internal stakeholders and agencies).
2. Add value first, then sell
Adding value is about finding ways to enhance and improve the lives of the customers you'd like to acquire and, more importantly, retain. When you get into a business meeting, you first start by exchanging cards, talking about your company's vision and then come to the pitch. Then why not the same for the customer? Sure, the goal is to sell, but not without letting the customer understand who you are, what you represent and why they should invest in your brand. In order to accomplish this, they have to get to know you. Make it easy for them to want to get to know you by finding ways to add value before you ask for the sale.
3. Win by attracting
Most ads are distracting us from the content we view. Be it on Digital or TV. How can your content become attractive versus distractive? By listening to what people care about and showing that in your product or campaign, you can create an emotional bond. Think beyond the features and benefits of what you're selling. What does your company and brand stand for? How are you making the world a better place in some small but important way? And no matter how logical a buyer, you'll know how to turn emotions to your brand's rescue.
4. Self-awareness first, market awareness next
As a marketing and communications person, it's important that you're aware of the impact of your actions. One TVC reaches millions. One digital ad reaches exactly those who matter, never mind the number. So what's important is that you're aware of your own impact. And follows next is what impacts the market and your consumers. If you know them both, you'll always take calls in the benefit of users, the company and of course yourself.
Stay emotional, keep learning!