NEW YORK: Amazon, the e-commerce giant, is seeking to make greater use of emotion in its marketing campaigns in order to build deeper connections with consumers.

Andy Donkin, Amazon's Head/Worldwide Brand and Mass Marketing, discussed this topic at VentureBeat's Marketing.FWD 2016 conference.

More specifically, he suggested that Amazon's unrivalled prowess in fulfilling functional needs was no longer sufficient on its own.

"From a millennial standpoint, if you are not authentic, people aren't interested," he said. (For more, including further details of the organisation's strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Amazon learns to love emotional advertising.)

"And for a place like Amazon, that is today a transactional business, the question becomes: how do you begin to engage your customer base in a way that they care about? That is relevant to them? That is authentic to them?

"And, then, of course, for us, it's: how do we measure it to know that we're doing something that's successful?"

The move away from simply using rational appeals, and embracing more emotive communications, is complicated in part by the firm's historical focus on hard numbers.

"I think if you go back into the history of Amazon, there was always a big scepticism about marketing," admitted Donkin.

“Culturally, we're a very data-driven company. So with advertising and marketing, there was a lot of scepticism around what marketing could deliver in terms of value. The farther we push from functional into emotional, the more scepticism there is about whether that can deliver."

But through a classic mix of art and science – including some "old school" market research, tapping Amazon's huge data stream and employing a bit of marketing savvy – the brand has made progress in this area.

"As a group, what we do is we look across the Amazon businesses globally and within categories and say, 'Which are the products that are going to best connect with the targets that we have?'” Donkin added. "And then, basically, 'How do we tell that story in a way that's best going to connect with that group?'"

Data sourced from Warc