Empathy – Your Secret (Marketing) Weapon

Updated: Oct 27, 2021


The problem with today's marketing is that it very rarely touches the recipient where it counts – the heart. Too many marketing programs are features/benefits focused without really showing how a product or service truly impacts someone or an organization.


As marketing continues to be more and more data-driven, marketing professionals need to find ways to insert their own personal experiences into marketing programs.


If you're struggling with how to do this, empathy might be the secret weapon marketing needs to improve performance.


Empathy is defined as "the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner" by Merriam-Webster's dictionary.


The marketing profession demands that marketing professionals’ step into consumer's lives. We must be able to imagine ourselves in the shoes of our audience. Empathy is not sympathy, but rather it's being able to see through others' eyes.


This key skill allows us to craft emotionally compelling messages that make our audience feel like they matter, and we really understand them and their circumstances.


Marketing with empathy is an effective way of developing bonds between us and our audience. Research shows that marketing tactics such as personalization, storytelling, self-relevant advertising, less emphasis on features/benefits, and social responsibility can also help marketers improve performance when they include an emotional trigger in promotional content.


Emotional triggers show consumers how a product or service will create value.


What do you think? Have empathy marketing tactics worked for your organization? Leave a comment below.

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