Empathy-based Marketing Or What Marketing Should Not Be About

marketing with empathy

I am working as a marketer.
Oh, so you're doing ads.

I’ve heard this so many times I stopped contradicting it even though everything about ‘marketing being ads’ is wrong. I have no definition for marketing, so if you thought this article is about that, well, it’s not.

What marketing companies should do has the roots in the power of empathy and how your brand identifies the consumers’ real needs and pains and empathizes with them.

Maybe you heard this before, but have you really thought of it?

People buy from people. That’s the only thing that will never change in a consumer’s mind. Your brand’s responsibility is to treat the consumer like a real person.

Empathy-based marketing

In this article, I want to walk you through what empathy-based marketing can do for your business. I will explain why you should always treat your audience as who they really are.

The answer is this: Your audience’s choices are controlled by emotions.

Emotions are the primary trigger in the buying cycle. In each stage of the funnel that you built, the prospect will make decisions based on the feeling that your brand is capable of triggering.

The roots of empathy-based marketing

  • Understand the world of your audience
  • Walk in the buyer's shoes and identify what would they do to solve a problem
  • What are the steps your buyers are doing when they try to solve a problem?
  • Make your buyer's life better. Identify how can your product do that
  • Understand what motivates your buyer and provide them with real solutions
  • Answer your buyers' questions by helping them identify problems they don't know about
  • Deliver content that offers clarity
  • Empower your customers with resources and tools that make their life easier

Easy to say. It takes a lot of responsibility and genuine care to do it. And I am not sarcastic. If your marketing department builds mechanical strategies based on zero understanding of feelings, you are up for a ‘business pandemic’ (wink wink).

What can you do right now for your prospects?

  1. Write for them. When I say write for them, I mostly mean start working on your SEO. When I say start working on your SEO, I mostly mean write with your prospect in mind. Not the search engines, not the algorithm, but the real person behind the computer, phone, tablet, whatever there is out there. Write for the queries a real person uses when they search for something. Optimize for long-tail words, optimize for voice search, basically optimize for practical, day to day way to speak and write. People don’t use big fancy words in their daily conversations and damn right they don’t like reading big fancy paragraphs that take forever to read and understand like this sentence is trying to do with you right now.
  2. Listen. When I say listen, I mean research. Research what your prospects are doing, what content they consume, what they interact with, what platforms they are using. More than just researching is being there. As a marketer, if you don’t interact with the customers, you’re basically recycling second-hand information that you receive from the sales team or from….I don’t know who else actually. Talk to the customers, ask them. No, do not use surveys; believe me, you don’t want to use surveys. Those are the least empathetic way of understanding your customers and prospects. Be personal. Engage in direct messages, personal emails, tailored content with clear CTA that addresses something not asks for something.
  3. Conversational Campaigns. When I say conversational campaigns, I don’t refer to Google ads. If you have a budget and you want to run ads, then run those ads that invite prospects to conversation. Messenger Ads. Inmail Ads, Message Ads. Invite. Listen. Converse. Help.
  4. Do it with them, not to them. Don’t treat your prospects as objects to convert. That’s the opposite of empathy. Don’t push your agenda, but try to actually help. When in doubt, ask yourself, ‘Is this how you’d like your mother to be treated?’
  5. Be consistent. Consistency and Discipline are the main pillars in anything, not only marketing. It’s not enough to do this one day/week, you have to do it regularly. Engage every day, write useful content daily, be present on social media every day, and send valuable emails periodically (don’t be spammy though). Without consistency, all your efforts are short-term, and you can already say goodbye to fame in the long run.

Closing empathetic thoughts

Remember when you were told feelings are for the weak? F**k that! Emotions are what runs through our brain every second of our meaningful life. If, as marketers, we fail in understanding our prospects’ feelings and way of thinking, then we are indeed just ‘building ads.’

What I, as an empathetic marketer, can help you with is:

  • Build genuine based on real human behavior marketing strategy
  • Create and implement funnels with stages triggered by real-life decisions
  • Write valuable and useful content that speaks your prospects' language and addresses their real pains and solves their problems
  • Optimize all your content for SEO based on detailed research of what your prospects look for
  • Establish a powerful empathetic company or personal brand on LinkedIn
  • Set-up compelling sympathetic ads on LinkedIn and Google Ads
  • Guide you to your real voice

Or we can just have a real human conversation and see what bothers you. It’s ok to just do that if you ever need to sit down and talk.

Take care and remember that nothing stands stronger than quality.

With care for your brand,
Stefana Sopco.



Wizard of Digital
SEO geek, digital marketing strategy & funneling with data in place, storytelling for the soft hearted. Always with a book in her purse. Animal lover and rescuer. Ghostwriting her own cats. Active listener, able to empathize even with mosquitos. Find her on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and her website.

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