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  • Writer's pictureVivien Koh

How to Win Customers with Empathy Marketing

Are you finding that your brand messages are not getting through to your customers?

Maybe it is time to relook at how and what you are communicating to them. A study conducted by PwC indicated that 59% of consumers feel that companies have lost touch with the human element of customer experience. With consumers being bombarded with tons of messages from a multitude of brands, it is important that you understand what it is that would make your customers stop to listen to what you have to say. And how exactly do we go about attracting the attention of our customers? Through empathy marketing.

What is Empathy Marketing

Before coming to understand what empathy marketing is, marketers need to be conscious of the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Sympathy involves understanding another party from your own perspective. In other words, feeling for you. Empathy, on the other hand, is feeling with you. It is the ability to put yourself in the other party’s shoes and understand why they may have these particular feelings.

From the definition, you can probably conceive that empathy marketing is seeing through your customers’ eyes. It is imperative for your business to have a deep understanding of who your customers are, what motivates them, and what challenges they face. From there, you would have a better understanding on how exactly to cater to their needs, essentially serving your customers with more accuracy and differentiating yourself from competitors.

Why You Should Embrace Empathy Marketing

Very often, businesses get too caught up in pushing out messages and content, so much that they develop tunnel vision and overlook the fact that marketing is not about the brand, but it is always about the customer.

Empathy marketing should be embraced because it is the essence of customer-centric marketing. If you begin by walking a mile in your customers’ shoes, you would be placing yourself in an empathetic position, allowing you to better serve your customers.

How to Incorporate Empathy Marketing to Retain Customers

1️⃣ Capture Everyday Life

One of the first ways to start practising empathy marketing is to craft out a customer persona and journey map. Note that a customer journey map is different from a purchasing journey. A purchasing journey is simply highlighting what a customer considers and the steps he/she takes when buying something. A customer journey map, however, logs what a day in their life looks like, from the moment they wake up, to the time they go to sleep, essentially capturing their everyday life.

What this does is illustrate certain pain points customers face in their day-to-day life. It involves understanding the emotions and vulnerabilities that go behind many decisions they make throughout the day. Through that, you would gain profound insights on your customers, to which you can use that information to offer valuable solutions to make their lives better, either through your products/services or in any ways you can to address their pain points. Upon establishing an authentic connection, your customers will naturally come to trust your brand easily. As a result, you retain these customers because they stay loyal to you.

2️⃣ Listen Closely to Your Customers

Do you truly comprehend what is it that your customers want? You might have conducted interviews and focus groups to have a better grasp of your customers, but what they say may not always necessarily translate into what they act on. However, that is not to say that interviews are not useful. It is crucial to listen empathetically for cues and motivations behind their responses. This will certainly provide more context and understand why your customers are communicating certain emotions. Paying attention to emotional triggers such as awe, guilt, anxiety, trust or even fear, can help you produce compelling marketing messages that get to the heart of an issue. When customers know that you are able to pinpoint exactly why they feel a certain way and provide solutions or messages to make them feel seen, then customers will maintain the relationship with your brand and go back to you for your products and services.

3️⃣ Humanise Your Digital Touchpoints

For a fact that COVID-19 has forced many businesses to migrate online, customers now can have increased interactions with your brand digitally. It is imperative for you to establish a human connection with your customers because they do not want to be developing a relationship with a digital robot.

One way to do so is by keeping your communications human and personal. Being too professional and to the point can come across as impersonal and cold, and many companies are ditching this old way of managing their brand presence. Using humour is also another way to create such personal touches in your communications. But, always keep in mind your company’s brand image and voice to remain consistent.

Consider personalised experiences for your customers to develop a closer bond with them. Things like surprise gifts, though simple, can increase the positive perceptions of your brand. Depending on your business, other ways to provide personalised experiences is by curating content/product recommendations, personalised social media campaigns, account customisations, etc.

Ready to Get Started on Empathy Marketing?

Though it sounds easy, empathy is a skill that takes time to learn and develop. You may consider VK Transformation’s Business Model and Brand & Marketing Strategic Transformation Programme to get started on empathy marketing. Here at VKT, we have trained and helped our clients to develop customer personas and journey maps to gain a better understanding of their customers. Though tedious and intensive, our clients have found our Programme to be transformative, inspiring, and fruitful.

With our experienced EDG Certified Consultant, VKT boasts a proven track record in achieving a high EDG application success rate with up to 80% funding. This maximum support level of up to 80% for the Enterprise Development Grant is valid till 31 March 2022. So, wait no longer and contact us now to start your empathetic journey today!


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