Believe it or not, emojis are becoming a serious marketing tool. But before you slip a few 👍 or 😀 into your next marketing campaign, this new tool needs a closer look as you consider the marketing stack that will make it work for you.

According to Wikipedia, the emoji first appeared on Japanese mobile phones in the 1990s but rose in popularity once they were included in the Apple iPhone in 2011.  The widespread use of emojis especially by Millennials has gained the attention of marketers looking to target this important demographic.  

But, the appeal of emojis is actually much broader.   Appboy conducted “a poll of more than 500 people and found widespread positive sentiments toward emojis and their use by brands.” “The poll found that 64% of consumers like or love emojis, compared to only 6% who dislike or hate them.”  Leanplum similarly noted that push notifications with emojis saw 85 percent greater open rates on average, compared to those sent without emojis.”

The key to success is to choose emojis that align well with brand messaging and to use a light hand.  No one wants to receive a push notification dripping with emojis.  At their best, emojis take the place of words and tighten up the messaging text.  They can also act as a tool to engage the customer. For example, Taco Bell launched a social media campaign celebrating the long-awaited release of the taco emoji: 🌮. Or, you can text 🍕 to Dominos to order a pizza.  How’s that for concise?

When building the marketing stack, a good place to start is Customer Communications Management tools which help marketers create, deliver and track on-brand and on-message communications.  Tools in this category can provide a good overview of what the customer is receiving in terms of messaging and channels while highlighting places to add emojis that fit with the overall communication plan.  Build the marketing stack in layers as you focus on each channel including:

📞 Mobile Marketing Platform

📲 Text Messaging and Alerts,

📧 Email Marketing Platform, and

@ Social Media Content Creation.

The next step is to include tools to track the performance and see what is working.  Consider tools in Marketing Performance Management, Business Intelligence (BI) Platform, and Social Media Analytics.

The use of emojis in marketing is continuing to grow and expand.  “Tracking emojis for feedback and sentiment analysis is another way marketers can leverage the surge in popularity of emojis,” notes Natalia Angulo in an article for Marketing Dive.  After all, it’s pretty clear how the customer feels when you see 😡.  

Emojis offer marketers the opportunity to add personality to their campaigns while still communicating a clear brand message.  So, keep an 👁 on this emerging marketplace.  And, maybe it’s ⏰ to give emojis a try.

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