When was the last time you really put yourself in the shoes of your audience? As it turns out, empathy is one of the most powerful methods of marketing, and 2018's biggest industry trend. Empathetic marketing works on the principle that you aren't reaching your full marketing potential by simply throwing content at your target demographic. Instead, you should tailor your content strategy to address the wants and needs of the people that you need your message to resonate with. Empathy is the key to creating relevant content that converts, and in 2018, this method is being utilized more than ever.
What is empathy marketing?
The goal of empathy marketing is to deliver content that is honest and authentic to the experience of the potential customer. Empathy is an offer that is separate from any other selling proposition, putting aside the goals of the campaign in order to build a rapport with the target audience. This all starts with the creation of a customer persona that closely matches the situation of the typical buyer. The marketer empathizes with the situation of this persona in order to create a proposition that the real person behind that persona will value. The goal of this is to not only drive conversion, but also create a brand evangelist that will work to convert their friends and family to the message that the marketer is spreading via empathetic content.
A brief history of empathy marketing
Although it seems that empathy marketing was everywhere in 2017, this is a time-tested marketing strategy that has only recently seen a true renaissance. The creation and utilization of buyer personas predate the rise of internet marketing methods, and some of the best old-school ad men were successful because of an uncanny ability to place themselves in the same situational space as the person who was most likely to purchase their product. It goes far beyond just an attempt to strum out a tune on the heartstrings—it involves a deep meditation on the propositions that the persona values and how the product will effectively improve their situation.
How to market to your audience with empathy
There are many steps that you can take in your efforts to leverage the power of empathy in your marketing efforts, but it all begins with the development of the personas. The process of this creation involves answering specific questions about who your customers are and how they engage with the product you are marketing. A good persona that the marketer can empathize with throughout the creative process can affect everything from the objective of content to the scope of the project. It helps to always place the customer before the idea: creating content for the customer rather than creating content and then chasing down who can relate to it.
The current state of empathy marketing in 2018 and beyond
Empathy marketing is not a silver bullet, and there have been some notable failures in the past year. However, when done right, it can be the most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. If you want to know more about this trend and how we think it will stand up in 2019, reach out to us on social, or contact us directly.