The Role of Empathy in Marketing

May 8, 2024

As automation and AI become increasingly able to take on more of a marketer's tasks, they haven’t replaced the very human capacity for empathy.

When it comes to crafting effective core messaging and strategy, being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and feel what they're feeling goes a long way in making your marketing effective.

Your product or service offers your customer a variety of benefits. Empathy helps identify which benefits to highlight in order to best resonate with your target market. 

Along with driving a customer to consider your business at all, empathy can help you fine tune your message to make them confident you're the right choice.

Here's an example using a pet boarding service that caters to dog owners going on vacation.

Tuning into how the target market feels about leaving their pet in someone else's care offers these insights:

  • they are concerned about the quality of care 
  • they are anxious about the impact on the pet
  • they feel a pang of guilt over leaving them with strangers

Addressing those pain points through empathetic marketing could look like this:

Behind-the-scenes videos to reassure their pet will be in good hands

  • staff going through the cleaning routine that keeps the facility spic & span
  • the system that ensures the right food goes to the right pet
  • staff expertly administering any necessary medications

Giving a look behind the scenes offers transparency and removes the unknowns. It’s also an opportunity for people to start to get to know your company before they ever reach out. 

Educational content that offers value without directly selling. e.g. Tips on how to make boarding less stressful. "Going away? Ways to prep your pet to stay" 

Along with providing valuable info without obligation, educational content empowers your customer to reach their goals with your help. 

Resort-like imagery of happy dogs jumping into a sparkling pool, relaxing in a sunny spot, and being pampered by staff. "You won't be the only one having a vacation" 

These are just a few possible ways to meet the target customer where they are and build their confidence in the example business. 

Gathering insights into your customer's pain points takes time, but it helps tailor every element of the marketing material from music and images to the call to action. And every element is a chance to make it resonate with the exact audience you're trying to reach. 

Ready to go? Check out this exercise to identify what your target customer thinks, says, does, and feels.

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