It’s not a word mentioned by many marketers. We talk about engagement, conversations, and conversions. Sometimes, we develop buyer personas and, heck, some companies actually talk to their customers.

Empathy should be part of a marketer’s vocabulary. To do their jobs effectively, marketers need to empathetic at all times.

By definition, empathy is: “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. For marketers, it means always thinking about key stakeholders: customers, partners, investors, salespeople, customer service reps and the media.

Marketers need to put themselves in someone else’s shoes rather than focus on their own needs and goals. They have to think about the other person’s interests, aspirations, goals, fears, and problems. If a marketer isn’t empathetic, they can’t connect with the people who matter. Instead, they’re blind to what other people are thinking, doing and needing.

One of the biggest challenges faced by marketers is the growing reliance on data to make strategic and tactical decisions. Everything is based on KPIs and metrics rather than insight and knowledge about their customers. The fascination with data causes many marketers to focus on dashboards and cool tools rather than going into the field to see first-hand what’s happening.

As a result, the modern marketer is blind to trends, opportunities, and problems; things that data often can’t tell them.

So, what’s a marketer to do? My advice: embrace empathy. Take some time to think about the needs and feelings of other people; the people driving the health and growth of your business. It’s about adopting a different mindset and taking a new approach to how marketing is done.

For some people, empathy is a difficult to embrace. Maybe, some people aren’t empathetic or it’s not how marketing works in their world. But not having empathy is a major mistake because it makes it difficult to connect with customers.

Addendum: Some of the brands using empathy in their marketing include P&G, Dove and Delta Airlines.

I make marketing work for fast-growing companies and companies looking to grow faster.

Through strategic and tactical services, I create marketing that drives brand awareness, customer engagement and sales growth. My approach to marketing is underpinned by storytelling, creativity, and proven frameworks. I also provide coaching services.

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