Empathy Sells – 3 ways to connect with your customers

Marketing by definition is reaching an audience in order to influence people to buy from you. To convert your audience into customers, your brand must connect on a deeper level with them.

Creating a connection isn’t about simply throwing promotional content at your audience in the hope that they will bite. You must prove that you understand your audience’s problems (also known as “pain points”) and let them know that you have the solution.

But it goes deeper than that. Getting to know your audience and gaining their trust should be no different than building a true friendship.

Let your customers do the talking – and take notes

At every point in the customer journey, you should be giving your audience a chance to explain what they need and offer their feedback. It’s important to ask questions and encourage communication.

Social media is a great platform – but offer your audience a chance to discuss amongst themselves, too.

Don’t be fooled in to thinking this just an engagement tool. This is a real chance to offer a “focus group” level of discussion where you can learn from your customers.

Reviews are also a powerful tool. A good review can influence another customer and it’s a way to listen to what your audience likes and dislikes about your brand. Don’t be afraid to receive bad reviews as these are a chance to listen and learn.

Finally, take time to personally talk to your customers. Let them give you all their thoughts, not just what they think about your brand – but get to know what makes them tick. You may find a common pain-point you have never addressed in your marketing before.

Be compassionate and put your customers’ feelings first

There are so many examples of this across all channels as a result of COVID-19 – especially as we enter the festive period. The effects of 2020’s pandemic has forced brands to completely re-think their marketing messaging to meet the feelings of consumers.

Example: Vodafone’s Christmas campaign utilises the hashtag #KeepConnecting. We can all relate to being separated from loved ones this year and the reliance on technology to stay in touch. Without making any direct reference to the coronavirus, Vodafone has focused on the importance customers place on connectivity.

Read the room! Adapt to changing moods

Example: The John Lewis Christmas advert was much less anticipated this year. There is definite fatigue, and perhaps a level of anxiety among consumers as we head towards Christmas. Many people have lost jobs or had income slashed in 2020, so ramming expensive products down the throat of its audience would perhaps not have been in the best taste.

Not to mention the brand itself has had to cut thousands of jobs this year, so forking out millions for its Christmas campaign would have been a very hard pill to swallow.

John Lewis & Partners questioned whether to create an advert at all. But the brand claims to have strong charitable and community-driven ethics, so rather than promoting goods it took the decision to promote a message of kindness, creating a platform for its chosen charities instead.

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