April 24, 2020 - Brittany Garlin
The guide to empathy-based marketing has been difficult with the rise of marketing automation. As many marketers have turned to automation to increase productivity and efficiency – they’re losing the emotional aspect that builds lasting relationships with their consumers. Forrester Consulting found, “65 percent of marketers struggle to employ emotional marketing as they turn to automation to improve customer engagement”.
The well-known neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio stated, “We are not thinking machines that feel rather, we are feeling machines that think.” Damasio made this discovery: every human decision depends on emotion — every single one. You must focus on an emotional connection before conversion. In this interview, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield stated:
“It’s very difficult to design something for someone if you have no empathy.”
Femmely Marketing strives to offer high-quality marketing services for as many female-run small businesses as possible while also being sensitive to financial restrictions and mental health. Femmely provides not only amazing service when it comes to growing their client’s social media presence but also a constant personal support whenever possible. After all, their clients are their family, and we all know the lengths we would go to in order to support our families!
Let’s take a look at some of the insights she has shared with us on the ultimate guide to empathy-based marketing.
Empathy-based marketing comes when you as the marketer put yourself directly into the shoes of your customer. Instead of looking at them as someone you’re selling to, you think of yourself as the customer. This can give you an incredible edge when it comes to figuring out exactly who your customer is and what they need from you (because you’ve thought about it on a very personal level!). At the end of the day, it’s not about the sales you make, it’s about the connections you form with those customers that see value in what you sell. Those are the people that will continue to support you because they know that you will support them. Any relationship should be two ways; you owe it to your paying customers to see things from their perspective in order to better understand their motivation and ever-changing needs.
Femmely Marketing was born from the need to help small businesses that were being left out of the marketing game. Larger agencies charge an arm and a leg just to get these businesses off the ground, and the majority of women who have just taken the plunge with their entrepreneurial endeavors can find themselves in over their heads when it comes to the financials behind running a successful marketing campaign. It’s important for us to reach these clients organically because I myself started marketing on my own when I self-published a collection of poetry because I had ZERO options when it came to affordable marketing assistance. Empathy is the basis behind everything we do; we’re open to serve, help, and listen to those that have been without options that work FOR their business, not against it!
Think of your marketing campaign as a conversation rather than a one-way advertisement. Imagine you are sitting down one on one with your ideal customer. What would that conversation look like? That’s what your marketing should reflect! Ask questions, genuinely listen to their feedback (whether it’s good or bad) and take their concerns into consideration when planning, executing and changing your overall strategy. Whatever you do, keep that dialogue open; never give your customer a reason to stop conversing with you. The more they open up, the more you have to go on!
Emotional marketing works because most people are driven by emotion over logic. When people are looking to purchase a product, service, or experience, they’re not just purchasing a product, service, or experience, they’re purchasing a feeling. The feeling of class or prestige, the feeling of nostalgia, the feeling of expanding one’s knowledge. Different emotions drive different people, but overall, emotional marketing appeals to most people because humans are, in large part, emotional beings.
Because empathy-based marketing is a more emotional and less analytical or logical approach to marketing, it can be difficult to really measure success in terms of numbers. I always like to use what my followers/clients are telling me as a way to see how I’m doing when it comes to my campaigns. Are they finding my content helpful? Are they asking for more or less of one thing? Again, it all comes down to the questions “is your customer feeling heard?”. If they are you’ll know because they’ll tell you! It can be difficult to take constructive criticism seriously in moments where you feel what you’re giving out is helpful but your customer doesn’t, but they are the ones you’re selling to. They are the ones that need to benefit from your service/product. If their needs are not being met and they’re telling you that, make changes. If they’re satisfied with the content you’re putting out, keep it up! Use these conversations as a way to guide your marketing; a successful empathy-based marketing campaign will ALWAYS equal a happy customer!
When marketing to your ideal client, it’s important to know your ideal client. What are their wants and desires? What makes them happy? Sad? Proud? Once you know who your target audience (ideal client) is, you can dig deep into what emotions drive them and their decision-making. For example, as a motherhood and newborn photographer, I know that for so many of my clients, they simply want to freeze time and keep their little ones little for as long as possible. While we all know that this is impossible, it is possible to document their lives in a way that allows you to go back to moments in time when they were just a newborn, or a toddler, or any stage of life. Looking back at photographs and videos of your children when they were just small enough to fit in your arms is truly all we have left of that fleeting time in our lives. So, as an emotional marketer, I appeal to the nostalgia that so many mother’s feel. I show them that they can freeze their children in time and have a tangible memory to hold onto.
In my personal experience as a social media marketer, I’ve noticed that as your customer begins to feel an attachment towards you or your brand, their engagement will increase significantly. You’ll have them reply to your story features, comment on your posts about how the content affected them positively, and even receive messages out of the blue thanking you for doing what you’re doing (which is always the best and most genuine engagement you can have!).
Of course! Other business owners should be thought of just like any other customer would be; as a human being with needs looking to be met by a company that cares about their wellbeing. Simple as that.
I believe that empathy-based marketing is something that can be used at all times, but especially during a time when people are feeling so much emotional uncertainty. I don’t mean to take advantage of these emotions, but rather to market from a place of empathy and understanding. Show your clients that you are there for them, despite the changing world around them, and show that you, too, have big feelings about what’s going on in the world. By letting our clients know that we’re human and that we’re working through this challenging time alongside them, we’re showing them that they’re not alone.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about #FeatureFriday and the topics discussed above. If you work at an agency and are interested in being a guest on our #FeatureFriday please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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