I recently attended a digital conference called Pivoting Your 2020 Events Strategy, and Liz Cohen of Our Crowd said something that stuck in my head. She said that the pandemic has forced marketers to be more empathetic.
Empathetic marketing has been a catchphrase for a while, but few brands really do it well. The current situation is an opportunity to make your marketing more empathetic. Talking about your products or services the way you have always talked about them may fall on deaf ears. Your customers are in a different head space, and it's probably not a good one.
Let's say you are an accountant who helps small businesses with their taxes. So many small businesses are suffering financially, that hiring a new accountant is probably the last thing on their list. But if you talk to them about the challenges they are facing and how you can help mitigate them through smart filing, they will likely pay attention.
Marketing to parents must meet them where they are - frustrated and worn out. If you can show that you care how they feel and that you have a solution to keep their kids occupied or provide a respite for them, this is empathetic marketing at its best.
Empathy starts even before the marketing stage. When you consider your packages and prices, keep in mind what's going on in people's lives. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to offer a discount. But you may want to create a smaller package with a lower cost or make your package more useful in the current situation.
For instance, small businesses might not have the funds now to hire someone to manage their social media marketing, but they may be willing to spend a smaller amount on training for them to manage their own social media.
There's a picture going around on social media of a store selling shirts with matching masks. They are presumably selling the shirts for their usual price, but the added value of the mask will appeal to consumers. And it shows that the company understands the pain of fashionable women and girls who feel that masks are ruining their look.
Empathy is a good trait to have in life and it will serve you well in marketing as well.
Have you tried empathetic marketing? Did it work?