Multi-sensory Marketing: Crafting the Call to Action that CRUSHES

Every marketing professional in the world seeks the perfect call to action. The perfect incentive set to build your contact list, sell your product, or convince someone to try your service. Consider multi-sensory marketing.


A call to action is the enticing presentation of an opportunity to do something, have something, get something of value that will satisfy a need, fulfill a desire, or quench a thirst. The “call” is the part that gets your attention and attempts to elicit the desired behavior from you – the action, the purchase, the buy-in.


A call to action is all about getting to yes. It has to compel you to move.


And more than just compel, a good call to action has to stick in your mind with a quietly relentless persistence or a boisterous and bothersome sense of anxiety that won’t quite let go of you until it has finally convinced you that you must … have that.


Multi-sensory Marketing

The most effective call to action is a multi-sensory event, engaging all five of your senses.


Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / hypestock #1865966 - multi-sensory marketing

Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / hypestock #1865966


First of all, you have to HEAR the call to action. It has to sound good to your ear. It has to bring a favorite song to mind. Like a really great commercial theme that makes you want … a burger! Or a diamond. Or a dirt bike. Or to get on a plane and fly to a place with sun and crystal waters.


What we hear, we immediately begin to interpret. We listen to the story that’s being told. We read between the lines. If we’re discerning, we hear what’s not being said as well. Each of us perceives and interprets things differently. So the marketer’s challenge is to create a call to action that as many as possible in the target niche will hear and respond to in the same way.



Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Jag_cz #18175423 - multi-sensory marketing

Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Jag_cz #18175423


A great multi-sensory marketing call to action has to TOUCH you. Touch your heart. Touch your desire. Touch your imagination. Touch your brain and leave a mark. Touch you so that you always remember that touch and want that touch again. And again.


It’s called return visits. It results in repeat buying.


Product designers put a great deal of time and attention into touch – how a product feels in your hands.  Its texture and sheen. How do you go about choosing a smartphone or a tablet? One thing for sure is you have to like the way it feels in your hands, the way your fingertip feels on that slick little screen. How about the steering wheel of your car? The way it feels has so much bearing on whether or not you’ll buy the vehicle. Settle back in that seat and grip the wheel. You want to feel comfortable. It has to feel right. You don’t buy a particular dress or wear a certain suit if it doesn’t feel right on your body.


Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Fisher Photostudio #20832577 - multi-sensory marketing

Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Fisher Photostudio #20832577

A successful call to action SMELLs like the truth. You’ve heard it and touched it and now you believe it’s real. And you’re thinking maybe you really do want it. Maybe you really can afford it. Then you keep getting a figurative whiff of it and can’t stop thinking about it. Long after the ring dissipates, you can still smell the smoke.


A call to action fails when it’s not believable. When it just doesn’t ring true. When those warning bells go off and little red flags start waving around. When it smells like false advertising. This is why you don’t act when you receive an email from some distant land saying that a king has left you millions in US Dollars and you need only pay a small fee with your credit card to transfer the funds to your bank account … When the call to action smells fishy, you don’t act.


Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / nastia1983 #22616340 - multi-sensory marketing

Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / nastia1983 #22616340

A good call to action has to look amazing. It has to sparkle. It has to look like the best thing you’ve ever SEEn. It has to mesmerize you. It has to be a vision of beauty. Or technology. Or nature. Or anything that has great value to you.


Commercials are multi-sensory marketing at its best. They’re great at making things look amazing. Making things look shiny. They kick the volume up a notch so you’ll be sure to hear that theme song, they tell a convincing story so it smells good to you, they touch the sentimentality at your core or light a fire of desire in you till you feel the burn, and then they dazzle you with bling and a riot of colors. They even get literal about it and show you lots of eyes. Puppy eyes and laughing eyes and baby eyes or eyes with tears on the brink of falling …


Still not convinced yet?



Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / yurok #1789630 - multi=sensory marketing

Photo Credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / yurok #1789630

Well, that’s because if that product or service sounds appetizing, feels right, smells wonderful, and looks amazing, it’s gotta TASTE fantastic! When you sit down at the marketer’s table and pick up your fork, it’s gotta wow you or you’ll be disappointed. If the flavor is lacking, you might just get up and go home. You may even refuse to pay for the meal.


But when it’s all good?  Engaging on all levels?

Mmmmmm. Total sensory satisfaction.

Multi-sensory marketing.


That’s how you get to YES.


And, in my humble opinion, that’s where call-to-action marketing is going next.


So look around at the marketing ads you see every day and take this challenge:  Share in the comments below the product or service ad you think provides the best multi-sensory marketing call to action!


Share This Page!

One comment

  1. Pingback: Ebook and Writing Samples - Roz Swartz Williams | Lot:21 Design Freelance Writing and Graphic Design Services for Hire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *