The latest buzzword in marketing is empathy. Many companies are successfully utilizing the power of empathy to push their brand to the next level.
- Philips invented a miniature version of a CAT scanner called the ‘kitten scanner’ along with toy animal characters that were used as patients and a TV screen to dispel the fear of MRI among children
- P&G ad released in time for London Olympics 2012 shows the trials and tribulations of mothers raising young athletes.
- Microsoft’s interactive site Anatomy of a Data Breach that explains how data is stolen and how one can protect own data.
Enhancing empathy not only outside your company but also inside is great for your business. Yet, according to a 2019 survey by Businessolver, 92% of employees feel that their bosses do not give enough importance to empathy.
But what has it got to do with marketing success?
The same study says that 93% of employees are more likely to stay with an empathetic employer which would result in lesser turnover rate. In addition, all functions including marketing and customer service can be vastly improved by understanding and sharing employees’ feelings because how employers treat employees has a direct bearing on how employees treat customers.
Here are a few steps to ensure that you actively use empathy in your marketing.
Know your customer
Every exchange that your customer representatives have with your customers could be used to know more about the customer’s experience, uncovering valuable information. This could, in turn, allow them to help the customer more empathetically. Every transaction can be turned into meaningful and valuable customer interaction.
Methods to know your customer better:
- Go out in the field and have face to face interaction with your customers.
- Listen to the interaction between your sales representatives and customers
- Use email to corroborate what you have learned about your customers by listening/ observing.
- Use the power of social media to know your customers’ likings and habits.
- Create customer profile that includes age, family background, likes, dislikes, household composition, etc.
Make your marketing feel like helping
Be aware of the fact that customers instinctively realize when you are just trying to push your products i.e. treating your customers as objects to convert and they are repulsed by this fact. So, try to genuinely help your customers and you will be richly rewarded like Pune based Samagra that builds community toilets, found that women became its most loyal customers as previously they had to hold their urine and bowel movements for want of public toilets and Samagra fulfilled this dire need.
Tailor marketing plan to your customers' needs
Be conscious of the fact that marketing plans are not just tasks to be completed within the deadline line as per the company’s needs. As an empathetic marketer, you need to focus your marketing plan on the customer. Gain customer insight and make plans that address their concerns and wants and you will not have to do much marketing.
Make your brand humane
You need to have a real conversation with your customers. How do you do that? Personalize your customer service, social media engagements and emails. You can do this by adding a personal touch in dealing with your customers complete with emotions like joy, happiness, celebration and yes even apologies if warranted. This will not only make your marketing more natural but also make your customers more interested in your brand.
Dos and Don’ts of empathetic marketing
- Have a goal.
- Educate your audience.
- Understand the concerns, needs and wants of your consumer.
- Use emotions like anger, relationships, nostalgia, warmth, etc for your campaign.
- Highlight competitors’ deficiencies but focus on the best things about your own brand.
- Have multiple goals.
- Include a call to action. Instead, present your information in a clear manner and let the audience take his/her own decision.
The correct use of empathy in marketing will not only build customer loyalty and trust but also have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.
Vineet Arya has over 25+ years of experience in communications, brand building and 360 degrees marketing.
He has worked with some of the most-sought-after MNCs, including AMD, SanDisk , Tata Power Solar at senior marketing positions. During his career span of 2 decades he has managed entire marketing bouquet right from brand building and PR to ATL, BTL and Digital marketing.
After almost 19 years of stint in the corporate world and helping MNCs grow, Vineet decided to quit his full-time job to help budding start-ups in managing their marketing functions. He has utilized his vast experience in marketing to help start-ups scale faster with limited resources; and grow with the right set of Go-To Market strategies.
He is an entrepreneur himself and is currently heading a marketing venture – ‘Outsourced CMO,’ which helps start-ups to work with a low-cost virtual CMO and offer plug n play marketing planning, support & implementation services to start-ups and SMEs. He himself takes charge as a virtual CMO for multiple start-ups at a time and helps whole start-up ecosystem by optimizing the marketing budgets in the shortest span of time and scale up faster.
With ‘Outsourced CMO,’ he has successfully helped various start-ups in the manufacturing, e-commerce, edtech, and service industries. Besides his profession he is a mentor in NASSCOM 10,000 startups to promote new age entrepreneurs . Part of NAIN program of Department of IT BT and S & T ,Government of Karnataka , to evaluate & mentor new startups proposal received for Govt funding , support & network. Mentor at IvyNext.com
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