I’m In A Bad Mood by Rich

Actually, I’m not. I’m quite cheerful today.

We use these terms all the time “good mood” and “bad mood.”

Does this have anything to do with marketing?

Would I be talking about it if it didn’t?

The truth is, it is a subject of immense importance, that is largely ignored by marketers.

This is a 600-pound gorilla in the room. And he’s in a bad mood.

Just kidding.

Read on.


Some real obvious stuff that doesn’t get thought about enough. So my apologies if this is all old hat.

Let’s make sure we are on the same page.

Mood is an attitude. It’s an emotion.

A good mood is a positive tone. Cheerful, optimistic. Happy.

A bad mood is negative. Pessimistic. Depressed. Angry or Sad or even Apathetic.

Moods change over time. One day I get a promotion and I’m on top of the world, the next day my girlfriend leaves me and my life is over.

Moods also vary by subject. “I hate politics” “I love the sandy beaches of the Caribbean” “PCs suck. I want a Mac for my Birthday.”

Now if you are dealing with a single individual, this is not such a complex subject. Calvin is in a bad mood (of course) and doesn’t want to go to bed. His parents make him go to bed anyway.  Mary’s lost her job. Her friends take her out and cheer her up.

What about marketing, where you are dealing with a mass of people?


You need to understand the mood of your audience, about your industry, your business, your products or the needs they serve. Then you can talk to them in a way that will make sense to them.

If you sell home security systems in high crime neighborhoods, probably the audience is fearful. You can stress the crime statistics and their chances of being a victim. Talk about how disruptive to your life it is to be burglarized.

You aren’t going to talk to them in a cheerful tone, illustrated with balloons and primary colors.

Having a baby, in contrast, is a happy event. If you sell products for parents of newborn babies, you’re going to talk to your prospective buyers in cheerful, congratulatory tones. And your visuals will match. No dark somber tones.

Why? Because that will make sense to the recipient. Laughing at a funeral is inappropriate. Talking cheerfully to depressed people, they think you are being inappropriate.


You may think, well I’m not selling consumer products, this doesn’t apply.


I don’t care if you are selling business-to-business. Purchasing decisions are made by people. Even if they insist emotion has nothing to do with their decisions – it does.

A business can be optimistic about the economy and their prospects. Or they can be pessimistic.

They may have tried a dozen times to buy a product such as yours and gotten burned every time. They’re still trying, because if they can find an actual legitimate product that works, it will be worth a lot of money to them. But they are profoundly suspicious of every new vendor.

Now are you going to sell that person with your upbeat, enthusiastic pitch?


Hit them with all the horror stories about other vendors’ products then somberly and methodically PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that your product works.


As I write this, we are in the midst of a global pandemic that is affecting us all.

But it doesn’t affect us all the same.

Some are pretending it isn’t happening.

Others are terrified, buying the stores out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

There are industries devastated – travel for example. Others aren’t affected at all or are affected only slightly. Yet they may be holding on to their purchasing decisions for dear life.

Unless you are in the “bury your head in the sand” category, you’d better take the pulse of your customers, so you know how best to deal with it. If you can accurately gauge their mood, you can continue to appeal to their self-interest and continue to thrive.

And help them, too. Because they need your products and services.

You can’t please everyone in a down economy. But you can’t please everyone in an up economy. Things don’t remain the same forever. You must adjust to the inevitable changes. Gauging mood is a vital part of that.

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