Are marketing professionals still empathetic?

How do we stay connected in an era of dwindling empathy, where consumers are getting sick of woke-washing and tone-deaf ads?

The marketing industry has more data on consumers than ever before, yet it isn’t always managing to truly connect with people. It is failing because it has an empathy problem, according to a recently conducted survey a bleak 30% of marketing professionals have high levels of perspective-taking and affective empathy. With that being said, what you don’t want is to make your audience cringe or press the skip button but this is only avoidable if you can get through to people on a deep, emotional level. Your audience needs to be able to relate to your brand, and your brand needs to display relevance and empathy – which isn’t always easy.

To create or rebuild empathy, brands need to be able to recognise the specific audience energies that are prevalent right now due to economic, cultural, social and technological change. A remarkable example of a brand that recently knocked this out the park was the #GogoNozizwe – A Women’s Day Tribute by Gillette, which can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMwCzdMNfo8 , where a highlight on what’s known as purpose marketing evolved to not only encompass earnest emotional appeals, but also controversial elements, including direct address of absent fathers in the South African society.

In conclusion, brands can restore an all-important empathetic connection with their audience by tuning into their energies or mood-states. Marketing professionals have feelings, too, we laugh, we love, we empathize, and we see in the world what we hope it can be. Our job is to connect with an audience in an impactful, impassioned way. The first step in creating those bonds is harvesting the empathy that naturally blooms within us and channelling that into empathetic marketing campaigns. So yes, marketing professionals are still empathetic, but just like many things – we can always try harder!

Milan Badal Editor
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