The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Marketing Leadership

emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (sometimes called EI, or EQ for “emotional quotient”) is the ability to understand, interpret and respond to our own emotions as well as the emotions of others.

In marketing, a high EQ is a must, because purchase decisions are largely emotional. Your customers want to feel like you truly “get” them. They need to feel an emotional connection with your brand. And they want to be treated like the humans they are instead of just another account number on a spreadsheet.

In his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, psychologist Daniel Goleman outlined the five areas of EQ:

  • Self-awareness
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Self-regulation
  • Social skills

When applied to marketing, it looks a bit like this:

  • Self-awareness: Knowing who you are and what you bring to the table.
  • Motivation: Understanding your business goals and identifying why they’re important to you.
  • Empathy: Being able to experience the customer journey through their eyes.
  • Self-regulation: Filtering out negative thoughts, feelings and impulses and keeping your eye on the prize.
  • Social skills: Communicating with your customers in an authentic manner.

Improving your marketing EQ can have big benefits for your business. Here’s why.

5 Reasons You Need EQ Marketing

#1: A Deeper Level of Empathy

Emotional intelligence allows you to understand your customers on a deeper level. You’re not looking at things solely from a data-based perspective; you’re also factoring in real human emotions.

When you know why someone thinks, feels or acts the way they do, you’re better able to tailor a marketing strategy that resonates with them on a deeper level.

#2: Increased Personalization

Each customer has their own unique needs, so if you’re painting them all with the same brush, you’re missing the mark.

By introducing EQ into the equation, you’re able to see where you can increase your personalized marketing efforts. And that should lead to more satisfied customers.

#3: Better Customer Service

We’ve all had a not-so-great experience or two with customer service. And in many cases, it’s because the person on the other end of the line is following a script rather than actually identifying with us and getting a feel for what we need.

By using emotional intelligence, you’re better suited to understand your customer’s side of the story and respond in kind, turning what could have been a relationship-ending issue into a positive interaction.

#4: More Authentic Storytelling

Now more than ever, customers crave an emotional connection with the brands they choose to support. They understand that they have choices, and if your company doesn’t align with their values, they’ll find one that will.

Emotional intelligence allows you to tell your story in a way that resonates with your target audience. The message becomes less “buy, buy, buy” and more about who you are and what you stand for. And that beats a sales pitch any day of the week!

#5: Better Decision Making

Oops! You’ve invested a big chunk of your Q4 marketing budget in a flashy 200-page sales catalogue. The problem? Your audience is comprised of staunch conservationists, and they were more than a bit disappointed in you when your phonebook-sized, tree-murdering missive showed up in their mailboxes.

Had you been using your active listening skills (AKA emotional intelligence), you could have avoided the entire debacle, opting instead for an online-only catalogue and maybe even a donation to an environmentally friendly charity as a gesture of goodwill.

It’s Time to Have a Little Heart

There’s a lot to be said for brains. You wouldn’t be where you are now without some good old-fashioned IQ. But EQ is just as (and, as Daniel Goleman posited, perhaps a bit more) important.

In a world where technology is becoming more prevalent every day, emotional intelligence is the only thing separating the humans from the robots. So it’s not something you can afford to ignore!

Do you need some help understanding your audience’s deepest desires? Let Mischa Communication get to the heart of things. We’re always a smart choice!