Lately, my mantra has been “market unto others as you would have others market unto you.” Too often, I see messages that I don’t understand. I have a hard time seeing the relevance. The content is messy. The message is reaching. It can feel like these companies and personal brands don’t get me.
And to be honest, getting rid of cookies actually has me concerned that I won’t get relevant content at all. At least so far it has at least been in the ball park but now, I wonder if I’ll end up being reduced to the demographic of a male 35–50.
What I want and what I believe marketers need to have in order to truly have a voice in the future of our economy is empathy.
A lot of people throw around the word empathy when what they may be producing is sympathy. There is a subtle distinction. Sympathy is when you logically understand a person’s pain and you acknowledge and show concern for it but you don’t really feel it. Empathy is when you feel the person’s pain.
To use empathy in marketing it means that you need to start from the stand point of having walked a mile in your customer’s shoes. How can you recreate and go through the pain they are feeling to have a better sense of what they are going through?
How can you build your team in a way that is looking for people who get it?
If you’re a person reading this who has kids, you can think back to the time before you had kids and how you would react to the news of someone about to have their first child, compared to after. How is your emotion toward the news different now that you’ve gone through it yourself? When I was in my 20’s and friends around me were having kids I congratulated them. I thought it was cool. But I didn’t really get it. I didn’t understand the incredible drive that comes when it hits you that you have to take care of another human being. I didn’t understand that feeling in the labor and delivery room that is like a tangible essence that you can almost feel on your skin. I didn’t understand the exquisite joy and love you feel holding your child in your hands for the first time. The kind of love that shuts out the entire universe and nothing else matters. Having that feeling come back to you when someone tells you they are expecting. That’s empathy.
That’s what your audience needs from you. You have to be able to imagine their pain point so realistically that your entire focus gets turned toward solving the crisis.
Empathy allows you to speak to their truth in a way that lets them know that you get it.
It sends a signal that you are a safe company. That you have been through it and that you know how to overcome it.
Torlando Hakes, is the author of the book Sprint and host of such podcasts as The CTA Podcast, The PaintED Show, and No Trade Secrets. Torlando is open to meeting new friends and building a community of like-minded peers. You can jump on his calendar for a 1–1 anytime for advice, to share networks, for podcast interviews, and for help getting more bookings.
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