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Why Use Empathy in Your Marketing Strategy

Updated: Mar 23


In the previous article we explained how you can get to know your customers in 5 easy steps. We will now explain why that is important and how empathy can help you improve your marketing strategy.

Many businesses tend to advertise, explain, and showcase what are the main benefits and features of their product or service. That’s what I call the top-down approach in communications because it starts with the business and ends with the customer.


The top-down approach

The top-down approach is business-centered: businesses feature the main aspects and benefits of their offer and present them to the customers. It looks like the economic process of Production-Distribution-Consumption: it starts with the company and ends with the customer.

Most of the time this can be an involuntary behavior, as it’s quite automatic to tell people what you’re doing, what your business is about and how to use the product or service you're offering. This is why if you try to ask companies out there if they are doing this, the majority will probably say no.

It is important to properly communicate what you do and how your product works, but when it comes to selling that product, this approach might not be enough.

Customers often don’t know exactly what they need or they want to feel like they made a decision not that you tried to convince them in any way.

Think about it: how many times have you refused to buy something because you were feeling like the seller was trying to convince you in some way?

This is why, when marketing your brand or product, it’s better to flip the automatic economic process in our mind and turn it into Customer-Communication-Product.


The bottom-up approach

More than being sold something, people want to feel understood and feel they just landed on the right page. When we make a purchase we’re not only covering a need, but also triggering a feeling of happiness and satisfaction.

The bottom-up approach comes with an analysis of the customer needs and feelings first, followed by a communication linked to those feelings and emotions your product or service can cover.

Search the problems you can solve or the needs you can fulfill, but also put yourself in the customers’ shoes: why would they buy something? What drives them to pick your product in their final decision?

Instead of starting from your business features and benefits, the bottom-up approach wants you to start from the reason why customers need your product or service. The perspective is more personal and subjective, although we can apply it to larger groups of customers that are looking to get the same feeling and outcome.


Empathy first

Empathy is the ability to share someone else's feelings or experiences by imagining what it would be like to be in that person's situation - Cambridge Dictionary

The ability to connect with other people’s feelings gives us a great superpower: knowing how to communicate properly.

This communication strategy can be applied to different areas in digital marketing like ads copy, social media posting and content creation, but also other fields.

Whether you’re starting with your digital presence now or you’ve been in business for a while and you need a refresh, this is the best move we can suggest for your next steps.


The right target

Getting to know your customer doesn’t mean getting to know everyone. Your product might be good for a portion of your audience and that’s totally fine. It’s better to be able to communicate with few but efficiently, than with lots of people inefficiently.

So don’t be afraid to lose a few people, it’s like when you enter a shop and exit without buying anything: maybe what they offer is not what they’re looking for.

Once you know how to approach your customer you can be sure that also your conversion rate will increase.


Start small - grow big

We suggest to start focusing on one or two specific groups and/or markets, expanding only once this first audience was tested.

And if you need any help with the audience and message definition, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’ll be happy to help you and offer a free consulting session.

In the next article we’ll discuss some examples of empathy in business and how to apply empathy in your marketing strategy - stay tuned.