Have you ever wondered about the process of purchasing decisions? Or wondered which key factors could influence a person’s decision? There are many ways to answer these questions. For a long time marketers solely relied on the effectiveness of traditional marketing campaigns, including TV commercials, newspaper ads, flyers, posters and even radio commercials. The global internet revolution has changed marketers’ scenery forever. And today internet technology and social media are almost impossible to disconnect and often mentioned as one and the same category.

First, how can you define sentiment marketing? A large part has to do with your emotions. For instance, if you feel a connection to a certain brand you are more likely to purchase its products. Sentiment marketing focuses on attitudes towards a brand, rather than just the words and opinions expressed by the audience. It’s important to be aware of how your target audience responds to your industry, your brand and products. If you recognize the value of this data, you can ultimately use it to the benefit of your brand. As logical as this may sound, many marketers neglect to properly conduct research prior to the development of a marketing strategy.

So how does sentiment marketing relate to social media? Social media has become a unique platform of consumer interactions. Generally, everyone is allowed (and expected) to speak their minds as people have confidence in their peers’ opinions, in other words, active social media users have the power to influence other people. Marketers should realize that emotions and attitudes of social media users are shaping a brand’s social image. Additionally, it directly relates to CRM in the sense that it’s affecting the relationships you build with your audience. On top of this, social media completely supports the distribution of numerous consumer attitudes around the world.

What does this mean for marketers? It means that marketers should monitor and analyze their social status, especially people’s sentiments towards the brand and product. You could assign a team to do this as humans have a better understanding of reading between the lines when they analyze certain comments made in the social world. This team can use tools like Social Standing that show you so-called “sentiment scores” and if necessary, act upon the results. It’s the same for tools like Social Mention and TweetSentiments: both show the social status of your brand and Tweet Sentiment even displays a positive-negative meter, which saves you a bit of analyzing time.

There are also automated sentiment analysis tools available; however, I think it’s best to use a combination of both human resources and automated tools. For the most effective results, the two should complement each other during the analysis process. Also, it’s key to keep track of sentiments in real-time to secure prompt reactions, because you can’t predict what consumers are saying about your brand.

Depending on the positive-negative scores, you need to develop a marketing strategy that takes this data into account. What do you do if the sentiment is more negative than positive? Once again, CRM plays a major role in the decision making.

What will this lead to in the future? To come to a better comprehension of sentiment marketing, you have to include the science of neuromarketing. The two are closely bound and the latter “studies sensorimotor, cognitive and affective response to marketing stimuli,” according to Wikipedia. It basically focuses on the human brain’s responses. Implementing sentiment marketing (supported by neuromarketing) into your brand strategy is very likely to become more common the more marketers realize its advantages.

What do you think? Should sentiment marketing be part of your brand strategy?