Empathy is the need of the hour – be it in our personal lives or in business. Studies suggest that customers respond much more proactively to a personal and informal tone, which is why many content marketing agencies strive to sound human in their communication. But when marketing and communication initiatives are showered with so much information that they are overwhelming, it can create confusion. This is where “thoughtful marketing” comes into play, a concept unanimously backed by the Digidarts team, as we ardently believe in the value of empathy in a volatile and unpredictable business world.
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What is Thoughtful Marketing?
The concept of putting the customer first refers to customer service, with brands striving to ensure that the customer experience is satisfactory from start to finish. But we forget that marketing is a central part of the experience and has a direct impact on whether or not someone becomes a customer at all. Of course, empathetic marketing has gained relevance this year due to the Coronavirus crisis, and we have seen how a variety of brands have adapted and developed their content marketing strategies to keep up with the toils and tribulations of the world.
Some brands have been criticised for jumping on the bandwagon and exploiting the pandemic to get into consumers’ mailboxes. While many brands picked up on the “you were there” message early on, there was a backlash from customers fed up with seeing it in their inboxes. It feels more like an annoying statement than an authentic gesture, and it’s not always easy to judge.
However, there are larger and more obvious problems such as the Coronavirus that are worth considering, and that it can have a debilitating impact on certain groups of people. Keeping this in mind, a brand that constantly advertises for itself on a given occasion could potentially alienate customers and lose them. This has a negative effect on loyalty and while some customers may return in the future, but not all.
An Example of Thoughtful Marketing
The following is a good example of empathetic marketing that does not thrive on bandwagon-jumping and shock marketing tactics. Being a charitable NGO, entire brand message hinges on bringing about social justice and spreading awareness regarding key topical matters. Hence, the below fake news alert comes off as genuine, doubling as an empathetic marketing strategy.
What the Future Holds
It is likely that this kind of mindful marketing will continue in the future and perhaps become an important way for customer-centric brands to truly differentiate themselves. In recent months, some brands seem to have lost their urgency in marketing communications, and many have taken a more passive, positive approach instead. At Phrasee, an artificial intelligence marketing company, they have even banned their AI from generating certain phrases to prevent consumers from triggering fear and anxiety. This is something to keep in mind, as it would seem disingenuous for brands that typically use strong urgency and sales – driven tactics – to suddenly show empathy.
So, what are your thoughts? Can empathetic marketing help disrupt vain and opportunistic trends? Share your thoughts with us!