The Power Of Empathy In Marketing

July 19, 2019

Is Better Ad Tech The Answer?

It seems that everyone is obsessed with new tech. Google or Facebook are announcing a new beta every other week that will somehow impact your audience better and their new data driven attribution will once and forever solve all your digital marketing issues, all you have to do is to keep spending more and more money with them.

However, do we magically see massive uplifts in conversion rate following us implementing this tech? Does technology make our marketing better? Yes! But also, no!

Your customers are human too, and they want to be treated a such.

Ask Yourself The Right Questions, And So Answer Your Consumers’

The battle isn’t having the right answers to every problem, but knowing which questions to ask ourselves. Having the right tech, having bright, colourful creative and ad copy written by the industry’s best are all fantastic things, but we cannot forgo answering the most important question of all; why should anyone buy from us?

The next time you’re about to start a marketing campaign, ask yourself these 3 questions;

  • Who do I want to reach with my advertising?
  • What are their needs?
  • How does my product solve their needs?

If you’re able to place yourself in your customers’ shoes, if you’re able to understand who they and what they want, you’ll be able to touch their hearts the way other brands dream of doing.

As the great Zig Ziglar once said,

You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want

Your customers are human, with human needs; they want to be heard, they want to feel appreciated and they want to feel like they matter in this world, just like each and every one of us. Only when we can reach them on that fundamental human level will our marketing be truly transformed.

The Dove Campaign For Real Beauty

This ad campaign is ancient history by Ad-land standards, but is still in my opinion one of the finest moments of employing empathy in advertising.

For those unfamiliar, this was a campaign that came out in 2004. According to their own customer research;

  • Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
  • Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as ‘beautiful’
  • 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
  • 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful, but do not see their own beauty
  • More than half of women globally (54%) agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic

So what did they do with these insights?

They embarked on a campaign “to educate and inspire girls on a wider definition of beauty and to make them feel more confident about themselves”. They spoke to their audience in their own language, they felt the pain and insecurity their customers were feeling, and led them to be more confident and inspired in themselves. You can watch a part of that here;

Yes it was an expensive campaign, but it was also greatly successful. Not only did sales increase to $2.5 Billion in its opening year, but it improved the lives of countless young girls across the world.

This is the power of empathy in marketing; real world change that also impacts the bottom line.

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