Empathetic marketing generates credibility and trust… and more sales.

Welcome to the fifth article in our series, “The New Digital Marketing.” Over seven weeks I’m going to lead you through the steps of developing your own online marketing strategy from start to finish. Whether you’re a traditional brick and mortar business getting online for the first time – or have had your digital ducks in a row for years… the world has changed and we are adapting. Let’s do it together. This week we are going to practice our “Empathetic Marketing” skills.


If you’re just joining us, don’t miss the first four pieces in this series:


Week 1: Realign and Get Online

Week 2: Virtual Meetings and Conferences

Week 3: Engage to be Engaging

Week 4: Digital Strategic Planning



There is an old marketing adage: “people love to buy, but they don’t want to be sold.” How true! So, how do you make it so people “love to buy” from you? Use empathetic marketing.

Empathetic marketing is when you see your products and services, not through a marketer’s eyes, but your customer’s eyes. As humans, we love to laugh, feel joy, and love. We are proud and crave recognition—and we sometimes cry, fear, and doubt. As a marketer, you must interact with your clients in a way that connects with your customer’s emotions and motivation.

This is especially true in this new normal. In all corners of the globe, people are dealing with the same struggle, uncertainty, and fear of the unknown. It has enhanced our need and desire to care for and help each other.   

Marketing with empathy means that you understand your customer’s wants and needs, which generates trust, loyalty, and greater mutual business success. With an empathetic approach, you are always looking for ways to make your customer’s life better.

Here are five ways you can take a more empathetic approach to your marketing…


  1. Ask “How does my product make my customer feel?” — People buy on emotion and then justify their decision with facts and logic. Mark Ingwer, in his book Empathetic Marketing, lists the six core emotional needs as 1) control; 2) self-expression; 3) growth; 4) recognition; 5) belonging; and 6) caring. Think about how your product or service makes your prospect feel concerning each point. Think of each step they take, both pre-purchase and post-purchase. Pay attention to their emotional, mental, social, and physical needs and note any obstacles they may come up against along the way. Imagining how someone will feel while using your product will spark creativity and originality within you, which will provide you with new and innovative ideas. 
  2. Do your research — Your goal is to understand what motivates your customers and to clarify what they need from you to make their experience with you more positive. Here are three ways to do customer research: 1) Meet your prospects “virtually face to face” and ask them open-ended questions (“What are the main reasons you chose our product/service?” “How would you describe your experience with us?” “If you could change anything about our product or service what would you change?” etc.); 2) Listen to sales or customer service calls; and 3) Survey customers online. Explain to your customer in advance that you are open to receiving negative feedback from them as it is an opportunity for you to improve.   
  3. Create a customer profile — Start a file on your customer that lists things such as their age, family background, likes, dislikes, household composition, habits, behaviors, emotions, goals, issues, buying history, and so on. This will help you (and your team) have more personal and impactful engagements with your customers.   
  4. Give your customers useful customer-centric content — Help your clients identify and solve problems. Prove your expertise to your customers with content that helps them get clarity as to what they want to accomplish and show them how your concepts can provide a solution. 
  5. Make empathy your lifestyle — Operating with empathy is not just a marketing strategy, it’s a lifestyle. Because to be effective, every communication with your customers must be authentic, honest, and genuine. You must always put your customer’s best interests at heart and seek solutions that will bring benefits to their lives. You must always seek to understand your customers so you can lift them up and make their lives better. You must practice empathy throughout your organization from upper management to your employees and suppliers.

Empathy is your superpower. It gives you credibility, strengthens relationships, and trust—and will turn your prospects into customers and your customers into raving fans. 

Take your brand boldly into the new normal. Keep pushing for real, authentic interaction with your tribe and keep your brand top-of-mind. If you need more ideas or a plan to get started, let’s talk. Remember, we are on this journey together.


Wishing you light and love. ~Hema

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