If you have ever spent ten minutes shopping for an LED lamp you know that from that moment, you will be shown every LED lamp known to man in your social feeds and ad banners for the rest of eternity. You decided against the lamp, but never mind: you have demonstrated the least possible level of interest in lamps and you are now committed to involuntary lamp browsing.
Your marketing strategy benefits from a strong focus on data, but as demonstrated in the above example, when you focus only on data, your marketing can become off balance. Data has an important place, but just as important is that you embrace empathy.
Empathy requires you to step away from the numbers and step into your audience’s shoes. You might know that your target market is between 28 and 40 years old, mostly female and the majority are professionals. That’s some good data.
But it has its limits. It doesn’t tell you what problems they are trying to solve, how they are feeling about economic conditions or how your product fits into their life. For these details, you need to embrace empathy.
How do you gain empathy in your marketing strategy? Here are a few ideas:
Make it a Theme: Empathy isn’t tacked onto the end of a marketing strategy development process. It’s part of the plan from the first meeting, helping inform how you see consumers and your role in their lives.
Use Active Listening: Your company likely has some people that interact with customers more than others. Your sales associates, sales team or customer service team can learn how to ask questions in a way that helps them gather thoughts from customers. Asking what led them to make a purchase with your company or how they made their final decision to purchase can give valuable insights to your marketing team.
Develop a Survey: You can get information directly from customers with a well-designed survey. Make sure you pair it with a fantastic reward, such as a special discount or a free item commiserate with the number of questions you’re asking.
Pay Attention to Social: Mining social media for information is a great way to gain empathy. Record comments on your posts, but look at competitors’ interactions with customers, as well. Do some searches on industry topics to see if there’s any discussion about products or services that are wanted in your market but nobody is providing them.
Introduce More Interaction Points: Host a series of webinars with designated time for Q&A sessions. Offer better promotions for those that join your “insider” group designed to provide you with insights about customers. Plan an open house with refreshments and games so that you have a fun way to build better connections.
There are plenty of ways to build empathy with your customers through a balanced marketing strategy. Contact us at SJC Marketing to learn how to put these and other ideas into practice!