Music and Sensory Marketing

Sensory marketing is a technique that aims to stimulate the senses to influence our behavior  To do this it tries to maneuver our brain by stimulating memories of situations and its associated stimuli already experienced in order to prepare for the purchase.

Our brain, in fact, stores all the information it receives, and if stimulated in the right way it is able to recover the positive memories and make them surface. Being able to facilitate these connections can, therefore, give a huge advantage in the field of sales and promotion of products or services as it can improve the mood and encourage the propensity to buy.

Music for sensory marketing or advertising

Anyone who is used to watching programs on television or on the radio knows that it is impossible to escape the advertisements and that almost always these are accompanied by music or a song.

The choice of the soundtrack is not random and must be carefully studied to achieve the desired impact on the audience, must integrate with the narrative and the dialogues of the story contained in the spot, without distracting the attention from the message that must reach the potential customer clearly and without creating confusion.

As we see every day, any kind of music can lend itself to this use, depending on the categories of products that you want to advertise you will try to select music that is in line with the idea to be represented, for example with a certain lifestyle associated with a car or a perfume. For good success it is essential that the music is based on the context of the spot.

The best choice

The music that is more successful and very well known is not always the best choice. The better choices are those able to arouse suggestions in potential consumers that involve them emotionally in a positive and fun way. The use of a trendy song can bring advantages and disadvantages if at the moment it can be appreciated. It could be even annoying if the piece goes out of fashion (think for example of the summer hits).

The use of music can foster the consumer’s bond with the brand, raise the level of attention towards the advertising message, create a strong association with the brand itself by mentioning it within the song, as in the case of jingles.

In short, we can say that the success of an advertising campaign is measured by the fact that it has managed to remain etched in people’s minds and to be hummed by potential consumers.

 Emotional contagion

An element of great importance is the “emotional contagion”— the ability to influence different people to experience the same emotional state induced precisely by a communicant that, in our case, will be an advertising spot.

It is around the ’90s that advertising discovers the possibility of exploiting emotions while previously focused more on humor and sarcasm. We begin to understand that emotions can be used to increase attention and interest in a product, whether they are of joy, fear, anxiety, empathy, disgust. If anger is the emotional state that turns out to be more easily contagious, the best choice for the success of an advertising message is a positive feeling. On the contrary the use of negative emotions can be risky and create discomfort in the potential client.

To give an example we can cite an experiment done in a shop through which it had been shown that French music in the background led to the increase in the sale of French wines! The same result was achieved with the sale of German products while typically German music was broadcast.

Music in commercial activities

Even in retail, music is considered important to create a more pleasant environment also on the mood of the staff who works in the store. A more motivated staff works better and makes it comfortable for both customers and workers.

The music used as background in a store is an extra service that is offered to the customer, increases his satisfaction and consequently his propensity to buy. By contrast, choosing the wrong music can have the opposite effect.

Some research suggests that the effect of music in a store can lead to an increase in sales between 2 and 10%.

How to select the right music

To get the best results the choice must be made with care and be consistent with the environment in which you are located. For example, it will be pleasant and relaxing in a restaurant, addictive and rhythmic in a gym.

It must also be functional to the goals, a spa that wants to prolong the stay of customers will choose a long piece of music, pleasant and not too challenging, A shop will aim not to waste the customer’s time with music too relaxing but not rush him with music too stimulating, opting for a rhythmic and repetitive sound that will keep company without distracting from the choice. A dairy shop will focus on country music, a jewelry store on jazz and swing sounds, a sports store on a lively and energetic genre.

In addition to the type of music, it will be essential to choose two other elements: time and volume. The time will have to stay within 70 bpm to improve the quality of the stay of customers in the store. Beyond this threshold, you could run the risk of having the opposite result. The volume must be low, within 30-40 db. If it is too loud, the music makes t the interaction between customers and staff too difficult and distracts the attention of the purchase. It’s proven that the longer the customer stays in the store the more likely they are to make a purchase.

It’s different in the case of fast food, where it tends not to prolong the stay of the customer beyond the time needed to consume the food purchased in order to free the tables and make them available to other customers. In this instance,  loud music will help achieve the purpose.

And so, the next time you go shopping, pay attention to the music and notice how it is affecting you. Notice if the music is urging you to put more in your shopping basket than you intended. That is sensory marketing at its best.

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