The emotional journey, pt. 1: understanding the target audience’s emotions & next steps

Written by Jamie Bowers

left hand holding three square faces with blue background

Understanding your target audience is essential for success in today’s highly competitive business landscape. Knowing who they are, what they want, and how they feel is key to understanding and offering a relevant solution. You likely know your business’s customer journey flow chart or sales funnel. Those charts show us how our target audience moves through the process of becoming aware of and interested in our offer and converting into a customer. In this article, we will focus on a pivotal piece of that journey by narrowing in on the emotions of your target audience.

Why understanding your target audience is important

For any business to thrive, it needs a loyal customer base. And to build that loyalty, you must first understand your target audience. A product or service can appeal to a variety of consumers who may have different needs, values, and goals. By knowing your audience’s demographics, preferences, and behaviors, you can tailor your products or services to meet their specific needs. This not only increases the chances of making a sale but also creates an emotional connection and trust with your customers.

Without knowing this information, you don’t actually know what audience you’re targeting. You could be offering warm, cozy house shoes (that sounds nice on this cool fall day) to a target audience who really likes to walk around barefoot because they may live in a warm climate or have heated floors (fancy schmancy). They may think your slippers look cozy but don’t have an actual need. True, they don’t have house shoes, but they also don’t have a need or want for them.

Your business likely has a customer persona who generally incapsulates your target audience, which was created from market research on your target audience. If not, we highly recommend getting started with this. You can read our article on understanding your customer’s needs here.

But understanding your target audience goes beyond just demographics and preferences. Emotions play a crucial role in consumer behavior, and by considering those emotions, you can cultivate a strong emotional connection with your audience.

The power of emotional connection

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Emotions are what drive people to make decisions, including purchasing decisions. When someone feels emotionally connected to a brand or product, they are more likely to choose it over others. This is because emotions can override rational thinking and have a strong influence on decision-making.

But how do you create an emotional connection with your target audience without manipulating their emotions? The key is authenticity. An audience can sense when a brand or business is being insincere in their attempts to evoke emotions. This can lead to a lack of trust and even backlash from consumers.

So, instead of trying to manipulate emotions, strive for genuine empathy. Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and try to understand what they truly care about and how your product or service can make their lives better.

Building trust with empathy

Empathy is not just about understanding someone’s emotions; it’s also about taking action to address their needs and concerns. By showing genuine empathy towards your target audience, you can build trust and establish a strong connection with them.

One way to do this is by actively listening to your customers’ feedback and using it to improve your products or services. This shows that you value their opinions and are willing to make changes based on their needs. Consider what channels and methods you offer your audience to interact with you or what opportunities do you have to listen to them: email, surveys, reviews, customer service? Not only for them to tell you, but for you to respond. This is meant to create a dialogue between your target audience and/or customers, and you, the business regardless if you’re a sales rep, the CEO, or the entrepreneur wearing all the hats.

Another way is by incorporating social responsibility into your business practices. Consumers today are more conscious of a brand’s values and ethics, you can create a deeper emotional connection with them by being transparent and clear about your business’s values and mission with authenticity.

Avoiding manipulation

While understanding emotions is essential in business, it’s vital to do so without manipulating them. Manipulation involves exploiting someone’s emotions for personal gain, and it can lead to a loss of trust and loyalty from your audience.

One way to avoid manipulation is by being transparent with your marketing tactics. Be open and honest about your products or services, not trying to hide or deceive your audience. This also creates a sense of authenticity that can help build trust. When you genuinely care about your target audience, it will reflect in your actions and decisions.

Maybe you’re thinking, hold up. Zainatain offers Conversion Rate Optimization service right? Isn’t that just using metrics to increase sales and revenue? Does it really always come back to $$$?! Yes, it can be that for sure, but it’s nuanced. Businesses need to be profitable and sustainable to continue to operate. Money is a piece of the pie, but it’s not the only piece. That’s what we’re highlighting here.

Our focus at Zainatain is ethical CRO, using data-driven understanding of user behavior and preferred choices, and applying changes that line up with the user’s needs and expectations. We strive to create a user experience that makes a business’s digital channels a seamless experience for a their target audience. We partner with our clients to understand their users and customers from data and metrics so that they can offer their product or service to their target audience because it will solve a problem or meet a need. Many of our clients are in business because of their passion for a particular industry, personal experience, and a desire to really help people. It’s not really only about the dolla’ bills.


By genuinely caring about your audience and striving for authenticity in your actions, you can create a strong bond with them that will benefit both your customers and your business in the long run. Let empathy be your guide in building a loyal and satisfied customer base. So, go forth and connect with your audience on an emotional level!

Thank you for reading our article. We hope this information will help you build stronger relationships with your customers and drive success for your business. If you’re looking for partner in Web Design & Development or Conversion Rate Optimization who understands and values these business dynamics, we’d love to chat! Connect with us here over a (virtual) cup of coffee. ☕️

Hi! We’re Zainatain

Zainatain is a web design and conversion rate optimization company fueled by coffee ☕, adventure ✈️, and a healthy dose of humor 🤣. We believe in the power of digital interfaces to accelerate business growth and help our clients achieve their business goals.

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