Talking With: Motista CEO Scott Magids on capitalizing on customer emotion

| by Judy Mottl
Talking With: Motista CEO Scott Magids on capitalizing on customer emotion

Motista Founder and CEO Scott Magids believes retailers must be focusing on, and capitalizing on, the emotional aspect within the customer retail experience. And, to do that, retailers must understand a consumer's motivation, involve real data and use predictive intelligence. In his role Magids is helping Fortune 1000 B2C and B2B companies, across a wide range of industries, to do just that.

So Retail Customer Experience reached out to ask him to share his insight and knowledge with our readers.

Retail Customer Experience: Most consumers would likely acknowledge that shopping is an emotional experience but do most retailers realize there is emotion involved and what percent are actively trying to improve, enhance the emotion aspect?

Scott Magids: While many executives in retail instinctively 'get' the value of emotional connection with customers, the vast majority of retailers have not operationalized customer emotion as a growth strategy. Activating customer emotion is a fantastic opportunity for retailers across categories. From apparel to footwear, consumer electronics to groceries, when retailers do connect with their consumers’ emotional motivations, consumers increase annual purchasing with those retailers by 40-100 percent, driving much-needed profitable, organic growth.

With most decisions in retail grounded in data –"manage what you can measure" – executives have struggled to activate emotional connection, one of the last aspects of the customer without data or predictive intelligence.

RCE:      What is one or two 'to dos' in using predictive intelligence to tie emotion to purchase behavior?

Magids: There are two keys to success we've seen across retailers which are activating emotional connection: First, the emotions that are measured and acted upon should be predictive of actual purchase behavior and financial results. A large body of data, developed over time, should be used to determine the emotions actually driving profitable behaviors in your category. Measure and act on what matters most to consumers.

Second, the intelligence must be actionable – seamlessly applied across existing work streams. "Change management" is a major deterrent, especially given the challenges in retail and fast pace of most retailers. Instead of targeting consumers using demographics, target consumers based on their emotions. Enhance advertising and digital content by applying the emotions that drive behavior. Apply emotion as a lens to the omni-channel experience, calibrating in-store, online and mobile touch points to build emotional connection. Design and test products – styles and features – to connect with consumers’ emotions.

RCE: What is one or two 'don’ts' retailers commonly make when striving to boost the emotional connection?

Magids: One mistake is that retailers often look at emotion as only a way to create a great ad campaign for the season. Of course, advertising that connects to consumers' emotions – the right emotions – will be more effective. But emotional connection is an enduring customer strategy that maximizes value, and the most effective retailers are activating customer emotions across the total experience – targeting, digital and social content, in-store, online, merchandise, even store locations – to drive organic growth. Recognize that connecting to consumers' emotions is what really motivates their behavior, and use every touch point, every message, every store location to do so.

RCE: Is the emotional aspect huge with millennials mostly or more viable to other consumer generations?

Magids: Studying over 200,000 retail consumers, we have found emotion is typically the strongest driver of behavior for all life stages. That being said, different types of emotions motivate consumers at different stages of their lives, and within different categories of retail. It's critical for retailers to understand the precise emotions motivating millennials – as well as Gen X, boomers and other generations – in their particular categories.

Topics: Consumer Behavior, Customer Experience

Judy Mottl

Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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