Empathic Marketing

All businesses continue to find ways to connect with customers. Empathic marketing is putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. Develop an understanding of your audience’s struggles, concerns, and desires. Effective marketing is anchored in relationship building and reputation management.

Many businesses that do not have a marketing team struggle to use social media as an effective marketing tool. The Magic Valley is growing, new companies are starting, and others are moving to the area. The holidays are approaching, and we are being bombarded with ads of every kind. The challenge is how to tell your story in an effective way to catch the attention of customers.

Donald Miller wrote a great book called “Building A Story Brand” The method includes seven elements of great storytelling to grow your business. For example, I was recently watching a Hallmark holiday movie (yes, I am one of those who likes to watch sappy shows), and the storyline was about a young new CEO that inherited a family business and was trying to improve its bottom line. As the CEO considered diversifying and adding a new product line, the investor asked, “who are you?” The CEO paused and then shared the company’s mission in a short elevator pitch. How well can you tell your story? Can you share with enthusiasm and passion? Is it short and to the point? On a national radio show, Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank shared that sales pitches need to be quick and direct.

Everyone is trying to promote their business regardless of their position or title. Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and many others discuss how Empathy is the foundation of effective marketing strategy. The bases of empathetic marketing are genuine and creating connections between brands/services and customers.

In five (5) seconds, you need to answer the following:

  1. What do you offer?
  2. How will it make my life better?
  3. What do I need to do to buy it?

All industries have competitors. One chamber member was worried about being pushed out because a new competitor arrived in the city. I spoke with the business owner and outlined that they had different personalities and styles. I encouraged the business owner to build up their social media presence by showcasing their strengths and telling their story.

Donald Miller says the first mistake brands make is that they fail to focus on the aspect of their offer that will help people survive and thrive. Consumers want to know how the product or service will make their life easier. Utilize good graphics and images to engage the customer. Competition is good for the economy. The way you engage with customers will look different depending on the industry. Add interactivity to learn more about your customers’ browsing and purchasing habits.

The ability to understand others’ perspectives is paramount in marketing. To get empathetic marketing right, be personalized and genuine.

By Cheryl Viola, Executive Director & CEO, MBA