What Is Sensory Marketing?

by | Feb 8, 2024 | Blog, Digital Marketing

What is going to truly capture your target audience’s attention?

Think about it–when there are so many things trying to grab your attention on a daily basis, it can be hard to choose what to pay attention to. 

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses face this very challenge when trying to market their products or services to the public. 

In an oversaturated world of online marketing, you have to turn to innovative forms of marketing to capture a fleeting sense of consumer attention. Many businesses have begun to turn to sensory marketing to capture their target audience. 

Sensory marketing is a revolutionary approach harnessing the power of the five senses, which can create a lasting and emotionally resonant customer experience. 

Let’s dive into the intricacies of sensory marketing, its impact on brand identity, and how eAccountable’s digital marketing services can empower D2C businesses like yours in a sensory-driven era.

What is Sensory Marketing?

Sensory marketing is a transformative marketing approach that targets at least one of the five senses to evoke profound, positive, and profitable responses from your target market. By providing a unique and tangible experience for your customers, you set your brand apart from traditional marketing efforts that only target one of the senses. Imagine taking your customers on a journey where they not only see your products but also can hear, touch, taste, and smell the essence of your brand identity. As you can imagine, this doesn’t just lead to simple transactions; it cultivates an emotional connection between your brand and your customers that keeps them coming back for more.

The Benefits of Sensory Marketing

Why should your business use sensory marketing? There are a few simple reasons why it can benefit your business:

  • Brand Experience: By engaging multiple senses through colors, sounds, and scents, you create a distinctive and memorable brand experience for your target audience.
  • Brand Loyalty: When you create positive emotions for your consumers through sensory experiences, you can establish brand loyalty among consumers, who will want to come back for more.
  • Brand Awareness: Targeting multiple senses with your messaging sets your marketing apart from the competition. When it’s done correctly, this can help raise your brand awareness, getting people’s attention in a positive light. 
  • Appealing to a Diverse Audience: Sensory marketing ensures your brand is accessible to a broader audience, including those who may have sensory limitations.

How To Incorporate All Five Senses Into Your Marketing Strategy

Sense of Sight: Tell Your Story Visually

When it comes to sensory marketing, sight usually comes first. Most traditional marketing strategies target your sense of sight because that’s the first sense that you usually turn to in your decision-making. People like to see things that are visually and aesthetically appealing, and they want to understand why your product is better than the competition. 

To sell your products effectively, you must tell your brand story visually through your marketing, leveraging compelling graphics, infographics, images, and videos to do so. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook and other visual platforms like TV, direct mail, newspapers, and billboards offer extensive opportunities for visually-driven marketing campaigns that can reach new customers around the world to boost your brand image.

Sense of Hearing: Elevating Your Brand with Sound

Have you ever heard a jingle on the radio or a sound effect on a TV commercial that you just couldn’t get out of your head?

Or maybe your favorite podcaster recommended a pair of headphones that you now wear every day?

These are very effective forms of sensory marketing through sound.

Incorporating auditory elements into your marketing campaigns enhances recall, as people remember something they listened to much more than something they read or saw. This is what makes it sound like one of the best ways to get your customer’s attention, but it must be done in the right way. People like to hear things that are pleasant-sounding and catchy—you want to get a hold of their ear, but not in a way that is jarring or annoying, as this will turn people off of your brand.

Like the sense of sight, sound can be broadcast across the world on many different types of platforms. You can use social media channels like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook, as well as other forms of advertising through radio, TV, podcasts, audiobooks, and more.

Sense of Touch: Connecting Emotionally through Physical Interaction

A sensory experience involves more than just seeing or hearing; it’s about feeling a tangible connection. While touch may seem unconventional in digital marketing, its role is critical, especially for products like clothing and cars.

And while you can’t broadcast a sense of touch through online platforms like you can with sound and sight, there are other ways to convey this important sense to your target audience.

Let’s say you’re selling clothes. Most people want to try on clothes before they commit to purchasing them. In the clothing industry, many businesses let their customers try on the clothes first, offering a free return if it isn’t a fit. By letting your users physically try the clothes on before purchasing, you’re helping them down their customer journey toward a potential conversion.

Sense of Taste & Sense of Smell

Have you ever walked through a supermarket? (Of course, you have…)

It’s an immersive sensory experience that activates both your sense of smell and your sense of taste (as well as touch!). 

In the food and beverage industry, sight, sound, and touch only go so far. Sometimes the only way to convince your customers that your product is good is to let them taste and smell it. 

This is why many food and beverage companies offer free samples in supermarkets like Costco and Kroger so potential customers can get a taste and a whiff of their products before they purchase them. It’s the kind of memorable experience where they’ll know whether they want to buy your product or not after trying it.

Similar to touch, taste, and smell can’t be broadcast across online platforms, but they still should be an important consideration in your marketing efforts. When it’s relevant, think about how your business can convey your product’s taste and smell through your visual and auditory marketing content. Find ways to let your target market try your product, whether it’s through a pop-up event or retail store experience.

Case Studies: Examples of Sensory Marketing Done Right

Now that we’ve talked about the basics, let’s dive into some real-world examples of sensory marketing done right.


Apple has a minimalist approach to sensory marketing that works perfectly for their brand. Their simple and clean white, gray, and black color palette highlights the user-friendliness of their products. On top of that, Apple’s in-store experience allows you to interact physically with all of their products, building trust and transparency through a streamlined and comfortable sensory experience.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch, a quality clothing retailer for young adults, thrives on the in-person sensory experience within its stores. When you walk into one of their retail stores, it is truly an immersive, five-sense experience.

Think loud music blasting, dim lighting filling the room, and perfumes and colognes sprayed everywhere. This might sound like sensory overload, but it works wonders for their target market (12-18 year olds). If you’re a young adult at the mall looking for new clothes, you’re gonna stop by Abercrombie & Fitch, because that’s where the party is.


Starbucks, a global leader in the coffee industry, creates a signature sensory experience through both their online marketing and retail experience. Their brand image uses different shades of green and brown both visually appealing and evocative of the coffee they are so well known for.

Walk into any one of their 38,038 stores worldwide and you’ll instantly smell the rich aroma of their coffee beans, combined with the sounds of frothing milk. All of this, combined with the tangible experience of holding a warm cup of coffee, helps you feel cozy and comfortable, no matter what Starbucks you are in.

Craft A Multi-Sensory Marketing Strategy with eAccountable

Creating an effective sensory marketing strategy on your own can be both time-consuming and labor-intensive. That’s why eAccountable provides a comprehensive solution to enhance your sensory marketing strategy. 

With capabilities that encompass sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, we can help deliver a distinct sensory branding experience for your customers that grabs their attention and keeps them coming back for more.

Interested in learning more about how your business can utilize the senses as a marketing tool? Drop us a line here for a free consultation.