What’s Happening:

Since the advent of smart phone texting and social media, those cute, popular little content emojis have become a cultural phenomenon, with new ones constantly being developed. According to Adobe’s first ever Emoji Trend Report, those cartoon-like images have evolved to become an important piece of the digital marketing puzzle.

Why it Matters:

If you aren’t strategically deploying emojis, you might be missing out on potential sales, Adobe’s research shows. “By creatively leveraging emojis in their marketing efforts, brands can unlock new business opportunities and engage with customers in fun and exciting ways,” says Nicole Miñoza, Senior Group Manager of Communications & Engagement at Adobe Fonts.

Digging Deeper:

Some of the key findings from the Adobe report include:

  • A majority (81%) of emoji users believe that people who use emojis are friendlier and more approachable—a finding that could correlate to digital marketers making their offerings more user-friendly. Users also highlight the ability to communicate across language barriers (94%) and instantly share thoughts and ideas (90%).
  • Another important aspect for marketers to keep in mind is diversity. 78% of emoji users agree emojis should continue to strive for inclusivity, and 73% wish they had more emoji customization options to better reflect their personal appearance and identity.
  • More than half (58%) of emoji users are more likely to open an email from a brand that has an emoji in the subject line, while nearly half (44%) are more likely to purchase products advertised using emojis. 
  • 64% of emoji users are willing to make a purchase with an emoji. For example, Domino’s pizza chain customers can order from their saved profile by texting or tweeting an emoji pizza slice.
  • As Domino’s example suggests, completing meal/food purchases is one of the most common transactions using emojis (19%). Others that users are most comfortable with are movie tickets (15%) and clothing (13%). Marketers would do well to understand the purchase categories that consumers are interested in buying with emojis, and capitalizing on those opportunities.

The Bottom Line:

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Emojis are a universal language that cuts across gender, age, racial and socioeconomic lines, and are simply fun and friendly. They represent a tremendous opportunity for brands to reach customers in a way that is approachable, casual and friendly. Be careful not to overdo it, however — the goal is for emojis to enhance an existing message and convey overall conversational tone, not to take over.

“As we look to the future, emojis will play a key role in advancing communication to create a more connected world,” says Dan Rhatigan, Senior Manager of Adobe Type.

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