What Pavlov’s dog teaches us about emotions in marketing

” Is your marketing hitting any emotional buttons? “


Joe Prospect is a composite of how a typical prospect looks at the world and how they react to our marketing efforts. Even though every prospect is unique in some ways—all of our prospects regardless of what business we are in, share many common characteristics. Dear Joe is an advice column written by your prospect to help you better understand them.


Dear Joe


What can we learn from the theory of classical conditioning that will help our marketing?


Rather an unusual question from a vendor. I didn’t know your thinking was that deep. But good for you.


Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist about a kizzillion years ago, did a series of experiments showing that if you pair the sound of a bell with food several times, a dog will learn to salivate when it hears the bell.  This became known as the Theory of Classical Conditioning which is still thought to form the basis for all human learning and motivation.


So what does that mean to us normal prospects?


It means that the way we learn is to associate things with our base emotions like hunger and fear and joy.  We are all pretty basic organisms at the core of our being.


Previously, we talked about the importance of putting a compelling emotional message into your marketing.  That’s why.  All of us prospects are all like Pavlov’s dog.  We only learn and get moved to do things by our base emotions.

That is why your marketing message must make your prospect feel strong emotions. It is only when we feel a powerful emotion, that we can learn something about your product.


Ding! Ding! Ding!


Your friend
Joe Prospect


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About Matt Gethins

Senior Consultant and Product Manager at Professional Prospecting Systems. B2B Sales Professional specializing in helping B2B Companies win at the top of the sales funnel.

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