Marketing strategies can run the gamut in the way of details, but there is one thing they all undoubtedly have in common: humans. So if you are marketing to humans, you may want to listen up.


Emotions what makes us human. And they are a powerful tool that should not be taken lightly. Emotions have the ability to impact decisions related to needs, wants, and demands. Brand identification and connection are often driven by emotions—which are directly related to understanding and identifying with the feelings others. In simple terms, this is empathy.

Alongside phrases like “emotional intelligence,” empathy is a word that has been sneaking into various business conversations over the past few years. And with good reason. As competition is fierce and brands work to make the strongest impact, connection with emotions through empathy has the power to make or break your company’s marketing success.

Empathy Requires Insight

In order to empathize as a marketer or a company, you must seek to understand your customer. Not just what they want, but why they want it. Understanding the motivation behind desire offers vital insight into what your target customer is thinking, feeling, and wanting. And that helps you market well.

Building up your buyer persona helps you figure out what’s going on inside the minds of your target audience. This understanding leads to targeted marketing campaigns that reveal familiarity with the struggles and solutions of your customer. And this familiarity shows through as empathy.

Empathy vs. Ego

Many companies fall back on what they know and what they want to talk about, such as sharing product features, hyping up service awards, and basically just trying to sell more stuff to more people. But just like the guy you meet at a party who can’t stop telling stories about how great he is, customers get a bit weary of ego-centric marketing campaigns. If your focus is entirely on how great your brand, your company, your accomplishments and your products or services are, then your customers are likely to lose interest and move on.

Addressing Felt Needs

If your company focuses on solving your own problems (i.e. selling more stuff, making more money) rather than solving customer problems, then you’re not functioning empathetically. Take a look at what challenges your customers face and market using those. Find out what is meaningful to your customer, do it, and then talk about it.

For instance, your customers are interested in helping to save the planet. So let them know that you’ve cut back on plastic use in your products or that you are aiming for zero carbon footprint. This type of marketing campaign could potentially boost your sales more effectively than simply promoting a specific product.

Shared Point of View

Sharing a point of view with your audience helps you connect with them on an emotional level. Empathy and compassion often follow interactions built around a common interest—so start thinking like a person instead of a marketer!

If you were your best customer, what would you want and like? Put yourself in your customer’s proverbial shoes (or actual shoes, if that’s what your company sells). Then market with that thought in mind.

Including empathy in your marketing efforts isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of intentionality. As you strive to understand the thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants of your fellow humans, you’ll connect with them on a deeper level. The resulting empathy will make a positive impact on your marketing strategy, the success of your company, and your overall connection with humans in the world today.

Read more: Why We Pay Premium for Customer Empathy