One of the reasons internet marketing has been so successful in the past twenty years or so is that it allows companies to tap into customer interests and concerns on an unprecedented level. Instead of the “scattershot” approach to marketing of TV ads, for instance, online advertising is very targeted, especially through the use of pay-per-click (PPC) networks like Google AdWords and Facebook and Twitter ads. They allow companies to connect with people who are already searching for what the products and services they sell.
We know this through the keywords and keyphrases people use when they enter a search in Google or Facebook, or go on Amazon to start shopping.
Because niche marketing (that is, marketing in relation to a particular topic or interest) has been so successful, it has allowed marketers to take a more empathetic approach to marketing. Knowing you niche means understanding their concerns, needs, values, and interests, and offering them products and services that satisfy their needs. In turn, customers have started to reach out to brands, trying to develop relationships via email and social networks with companies they feel really “get them”.
This can often be termed “mind reader marketing” because your messaging is so empathetic and in tune with what your target customer wants.
What Is Empathy?
Empathy is the ability to step into another person’s shoes and know what they are thinking and feeling. Empathetic marketing uses this understanding to connect, influence and persuade others.
Feeling Their Pain
One of the secrets to selling successfully is empathizing with your target customer’s “pain points”. What things do they have the most trouble with in relation to your niche? What do you wish you had known when you were first starting out in your niche that might have saved you a lot of time and money?
Knowing their pain points will help you create the kinds of products, services and offers that will really stand out to your prospective customers.
Telling Their Story
Marketing through storytelling is a very popular trend at the moment. Why? Because we all love stories with characters we can identify with, and in particular, ones with a happy ending. Your storytelling in your marketing should show you understand the pain points of your customers and that you empathize with them. Your stories will show them living a better life thanks to your product fulfilling their real needs.
Offer Solutions, Not Products
When people have a problem, most of us are willing to help out to solve it. View your products as solutions to a particular issue, not just a thing you are trying to sell in order to make money. Just think of how many people you are helping whenever you make a sale, and your empathy will grow, and show in all of your marketing material.
Communicate Two Ways
A lot of sales people have a “bag of tricks” and pre-prepared presentations that they give to every single prospective customer they meet with. This demonstrates a lack of empathy.
A one-size-fits-all approach often suits no one.
The best sales people go into the first meeting or first interaction with a prospective customer with a fact-finding mindset. They are willing to learn more about the company and its needs in order to determine whether or not what they are selling will really make the customer happy. They don’t just want any old customer, but a satisfied one.
Showing empathy in the early stages of any sales interaction can ensure you are a good fit from the outset, making them much more likely to say yes to you in the end.
Empathy costs nothing, but it can mean a huge boost to your profits if you know your niche and show empathy in every interaction with your prospects and customers.