The Do’s and Donts of Empathetic Marketing

Human connection is extremely important in life and marketing. But as with any relationship, it can not be faked. It is not enough to simply like and comment on your friends, customers or partner’s social posts. An active effort to truly understand their point of view while putting yourself in their shoes is required to have a real authentic connection with that individual. Below are some of the Do’s and Don’t to consider when bringing your brand’s message to life online.

Do Understand The Audience’s Needs, Wants & Concerns

As marketers, we have always understood (or at least we try to) who our audience is from a demographic point of view. However, understanding the audience’s mindset and how what we are offering is important to them as individuals, is crucial. When developing the strategy as an empathetic marketer, the primary focus should be on the customer. Once a plan is developed that addresses the customer’s needs and concerns, positive KPIs will follow.

Do Provide Value Up Front

As we all know, it is extremely difficult to capture someone’s attention and to get them to stop scrolling through their newsfeed for a sponsored message. However, if we make the effort to understand their mindset, we will be able to provide the tools and solutions they are looking for. In turn, position the brand as a partner and they will be far more likely to take action. The goal here is to make marketing feel like helping before the prospect even turns into a customer.

Do Teach & Educate 

People don’t generally like being told what to do, so we want to teach and not preach to our audiences. If we can teach someone something whether it’s a new skill or silly life hack, or even affirm a belief they already had, they are far more likely to consume your content and even click on your ad. Additionally, this type of content is super shareable, as we all like to share knowledge within our social circles.

Do Use Emotion 

Laughter is the language of the internet, however, when a brand uses emotion, it has to come from an authentic place. If you can get someone to smile, laugh or even cry by pulling on the heartstrings, you have already won. Nostalgia, for example, is a great theme for using emotion, as it can transport someone to a happy time in their past, and have the bonus of a positive group mentality. But be warned, if a brand chooses to use emotion to sell and comes from a disingenuous place, they will be swiftly called out. Emotion only works if your brand has the right to be there, it’s authentic and relatable.

Don’t Sell 

Now, this is an interesting one, as we have always been taught that marketing and sales are aligned, and indeed they are. However, if we have accomplished our goal of really understanding the customer, we shouldn’t need to sell or use obvious CTAs to get the customer to click on our ad. We simply need to show that our message, product, service can address a need or want that the customer has. Empower the customer to make their own decision, more showing, less telling.

Don’t Be Negative   

This should be an obvious one, but we should not aim to focus on the competitor’s shortcomings to boost a brand. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of the brand and or industry.

Empathy is the key, but as stated above we need to ensure that we are authentic in our quest to understanding, and using that understanding to guide our actions. At the end of the day, let’s just start being more human with our communication, understand the person on the other end of the message isn’t just a small percentage point of your yearly growth number, but a person with needs and wants.


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