Metalworking Marketer
Friday, July 14, 2017

From the Age of Reason to the Age of Feeling

Igniting moments of meaning and purpose

By Christoph Becker
Global CEO and Chief Creative Officer

Something has changed. Deep down at the core of who we are as humans on this beautiful planet, something has shifted. The U.S. presidential election and Brexit are among the most recent examples to make that shift more obvious, more undeniable. The fact is emotion not only is playing a larger role in how we make decisions but is 100 percent the ultimate and final driver of our actions.

As business leaders, we must take note and always remember that it is not the anlytical mind that drives decisions — it is the emotional mind. This is the most powerful lesson for us all in this new world.

This change is different. It is powerful, terrifying, and exciting all at the same time because it is right there on the surface. The feelings are there, vibrating, radiating.

It is so shocking to some because for too long we have been led to believe that reason is the true driver of decisions. There is warm comfort in that thought, especially in the business world. We clutch our numbers and data tightly in our arms, but our arms are empty because data in the absence of emotion is hollow. We point to all the touchpoints and the connections we have with our customers. They are right there in our spreadsheets and on our dashboards, but that connection is completely meaningless without human relevance.

To understand the human side of human relevance is to understand that we are in the Age of Feeling. For any decision, be it business, personal, or political, our hearts must first be engaged before our minds will follow. But emotion without precision is like a summer storm: it has an intense impact for a very short time.

The relevance side of the equation offers balance. Today's powerful technological tools allow us to be more precise and, yes, more relevant than ever before. But messages without emotion simply make people numb because we are all under a constant multichannel assault. That is why marketing is not just about accurately hitting a target but about creating a moment with your customer — that moment when they receive the right information at the right time and they actually feel something positive. That spark is called the ignition moment. That spark is everything.

Ignition moments are the moments our lives change. You can remember them. You can still recall when the inspiration struck — a feeling formed and took over.

After this ignition moment, the rational side of the brain finds the validators needed to justify the decision. This is especially true in the business world where there is so much at risk professionally and personally. Still, too often business marketers forget that businesses don't make decisions — people do. And people are looking for a reason to believe in something. That is why your business agenda must always be connected to a higher purpose.

You must dial up the soul of your business. Tell customers what your business was born to do and how it is changing the world for the better. Show them the passionate, talented people driving that change. Unlike mere words, create a feeling about your business that will transcend countries and cultures.

Creating a feeling about your business is critical to connecting with today's decision makers, especially the rising Millennial leaders. They expect businesses to be responsible and purpose-driven. Give them a human reason to love you, not just a business reason, and the ignition moment will happen.

Striking the right balance between feelings and precision is not only the future of business communications but the future of marketing and advertising as a whole.

The Age of Reason has passed. We are now living within one of the most visceral, passionate times in history; we cannot forget it, nor fear it. Instead, we must embrace it, love it, and work each day to truly ignite something humanly relevant.

Need more information?
Michael Agnello

CHRISTOPH BECKER is the global CEO and chief creative officer at gyro





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