You want the right balance of information and emotion in your advertising and marketing materials. Too much information and the audience may lose interest. Too much emotion and you won’t be taken seriously. A recent study found that for expensive purchases, a more emotional approach yielded a better result.

For lower-cost purchases, more information resulted in more sales. Most legal services are expensive, or the client has a lot of money or something important at stake. A heavier emphasis on emotion may result in more potential clients using your website, contacting your firm, leading them down the path to a consultation, and signing up as a client.

Study Links Emotion and Information in TV Ads to Website Use and Sales

Journal of Marketing Research Scholarly Insights are produced in partnership with the AMA Doctoral Students SIG, a shared-interest network for Marketing Ph.D. students across the world. Recent research found that, despite the rise of digital advertising, television remains one of the most preferred advertising platforms.

Advertising spending is forecast to increase to $172.9 billion worldwide in 2021. How would this money best be spent? Understanding the effectiveness of different approaches to ad content is a critical question for managers. Recent research by Ivan A. Guitart and Stefan Stremersch reveals that the answer depends on your objectives and the product’s positioning.

Despite Huge Impact of Online Advertising, TV Plays Big Role in Buying Decisions

Television is still a vital advertising channel and receives about one-third of companies’ total ad spend. Despite the increase in the time spent online by consumers, television viewing has remained stable over time.

Consumers’ online presence has increased, and online search is very popular (77% of new vehicle buyers used the internet in the buying process in 2010). Given the increase in consumers’ online presence (especially with mobile devices), there’s a strong connection between television advertising, online search, and sales.

Impact of Different Approaches on Vehicle Sales the Subject of Research

An emotional approach can bring your message home to the audience.

Using the U.S. automotive industry as an example, the authors compiled 2,317 television ads representing $11.3 billion in ad spending for 144 car models during three-and-a-half years. During the same time, they also collected:

  • New car registrations
  • Volumes of online search, advertising, and content information
  • Product quality ratings.

Their principal findings show:

  • Advertisements with a high level of emotional content generate higher online search volume than those with lower levels of emotional content, regardless of product positioning.
  • Both informational and emotional content positively influence sales.
  • Increasing the informational content leads to more sales for low-price and low-quality cars than ones that were high-price and high-quality.
  • Greater emotional content generated more sales for high-price cars than for low-price cars.
  • The conversion rate from online searches to sales is better for low-price, low-quality cars than for high-price, high-quality ones.

A more emotional approach in advertising resulted in more sales of expensive vehicles and more internet searches than did emphasis on information.

What Does this Mean for Law Firms?

You don’t sell pickups, but the lessons may be the same: a focus on feelings can get better results.

It makes sense to use an emotional approach in TV advertising. Legal services are expensive, like high-end cars, and an appeal to feelings may lead to more people using your website and retaining your services.

There are also practical issues. TV ads are generally very expensive and short. There’s only so much information you can put in a 30-second or one-minute advertisement without viewers’ eyes glazing over. An emotional appeal can draw viewers in, get and keep their attention, and make your ad more memorable and more likely to be acted upon.

How Can You Get the Biggest Bang for Your Marketing and Advertising Buck?

Want to learn how to most effectively use your marketing and advertising budget to grow your firm? Call your experienced team at Lawyers Marketing Associates at (919) 637-9144 today, and we’ll help get you moving in the right direction. Remember – there’s no time like today to start growing your firm!

Read the full article: 

Guitart, Ivan A., and Stefan Stremersch (2021), “The Impact of Informational and Emotional Television Ad Content on Online Search and Sales,” Journal of Marketing Research, 58 (2), 299-320.