Emotion vs. Logic in Sales, Marketing and Advertising

All people make buying decisions based on emotion; therefore your marketing must use emotion to sell what people want, not what you think they "need" or want them to need.

Yes, this is really, actually true. Engineers, accountants, executives, attorneys, housewives, and ministers – PhD’s, delivery truck drivers and farmers – and butchers, bakers and candlestick makers – We all fundamentally make all of our decisions based onemotion,not logic. Logic supports our emotions and is used to justify our decisions after we have made them. Logic plays a part, but emotion is the core ingredient.

Show me a product that people have little emotion for and I’ll show you a product that’s hard to sell or has very thin profit margins. Show me an ad or brochure that doesn’t provoke any emotion, and I can guarantee you that it doesn’t work.

Some people think emotion has no place in business-to-business marketing. Those people are absolutely 100% totally dead wrong. You can use them to write instruction manuals and employee handbooks, but keep them out of your sales and marketing department. This sort of thinking is exactly why most business-to-business marketing is so dull.

The Cardinal Sin in Marketing: Being Boring

The greatest sin in marketing is beingboring.The world is a busy, cluttered place with advertisements and messageseverywhere. If your message is boring, you don’t stand a chance. If you can’t think of anything exciting about your product, then get a different product. But don’t be boring.

Please understand, there’s a difference betweenemotionandhype.Your message doesn’t need to sound like late night television in order to provoke emotion. You need to figure out what your customers love, and what they hate, what keeps them awake at night, what gives them ulcers and what catastrophic events they dread. You’ve got to know what aspects of their job they’re emotional about and design your products, services, and marketing to address those felt needs.

All great leaders and managers, all great marketers, all great teachers and all great product designers learn how to harmonize with the emotions of the people they work with and turn them on and off at will. This of all things is the greatest and most profitable art form in marketing, and always will be.

In my system there are dozens of examples of advertising and sales messages that are professional, believable and credible, yet illustrate the incredible power of emotional marketing.

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Comments on Marketing 11 »

  • Keno Smith says:

    HI Perry,

    I am a marketing student at the University of Johannesburg, Iam currently writing paper on emotional marketing.I am very interseted in the concepts you have discussed concerning emotions in marketing.Could you provide me with examples of advertising and sales messages that are professional, believable and credible, yet illustrate the incredible power of emotional marketing as you have indicated above.

    • Perry says:


      The article you just commented on is a good example. Why not write your paper on the process by which you became convinced I was more credible than others you encountered online? Start with your initial search and describe how you sorted through the information. How did you evaluate my credibility? What emotions drove your decision? What emotions do I appeal to for selling my various products and services? What proof do I provide?


  • Elie Georges Abou Aziz says:

    I totally agree with you. Whenever you are in a sales call , Emotion is the major tool that you can add to your technical presentaion or whatever kind of products you are selling.Go everyday to your existing or new prospects selling them the products solving their problems, be near your customer assisting him. let him try your new product , lets have proof on what you are saying during ur meeting with him. watch up not being boring , and dont introduce new products in case your client is not in the mood…

  • Enos says:

    Hi Perry

    Thank you very much your article was very helpful.

  • ali anani says:

    Hello Perry,
    I certainly enjoyed reading this post. Having just finished reading it I decided to make this comment. You may find further supportive examples for this article in my new presentation on slideshare and is entitled “Applied emotional laddering”. These are real examples as I experienced them. The link is

  • I have read their buyers buy from emotion rather than buy from sight?
    So how to create emotion on the website?

  • Asha A says:

    I have read in a book that never use fear and greed to sell. But that is one major thing that we see happening around us inorder to sell.Could you please comment upon that?

    • Perry says:

      If someone is persuading you to buy fire alarm for your house, don’t you think they have an obligation to use your fear of fire to get you to act? Or…. would you prefer that your children die when your house burns down?

  • Kent says:

    100% agree. That is why copy writing is very important in preparing a sales copy. Copy writers need to under what consumers love, hate, happy with, crazy with, etc.

  • ZIE says:


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