We live in a culture that is responding less and less to mass marketing and in order to reach our target buyers, we have to personalize our message. This allows us to market to the individual and their specific needs. Building a business that connects starts with the development of emapthy. By putting ourselves in some else's shoes and viewing life from their perspective, we can adapt our marketing and sales message to connect with people who truly want and need our products and services.
Hey, what's up everybody. I'm Ryan Shelley coming to you from the "shed quarters" here at Shelley Media Arts.
In today's SMA Marketing Minute, I want to talk about a topic that I am just really, really, really into, and that's empathy. Understanding empathy and understanding how we can put ourselves in other people's shoes to learn from them, to grow relationships, and also how that impacts our business. How that impacts our marketing messages. How that impacts the sales process. And understanding that empathy and knowing how to use it can really position ourselves as better problem solvers, better business owners, better marketers, and better sales people.
Empathy is a little bit deeper than just doing a typical buyer persona-- where you kind of step through, and you talk to people.
You get some data and market research and we make some assumptions based on who they are. And it kind of starts to touch the surface. But I think a tool that really helps the process out is this great tool by a marketing company called, Xplane. And they developed what’s called The Empathy Map. The Empathy Map forces you to kind of go deeper than those surface level questions. Not just what their typical day looks like, but what their life looks like.
What do they see?
Who do they interact with?
What are the things that they think about?
What do they say?
But then also what do they do? Because oftentimes we know that those are two different things when it comes to what we say and what we actually do.
So I recommend that you download the tool. The link is right here. You can download it from Xplane's website. And put it into practice when you're developing your business strategy, when you’re developing your marketing strategy, your SEO strategy, your sales strategy. So you can really start to understand the people who need your products and need your services. And develop ways that actually speak to them in ways that are going to engage with them and allow them to interact more naturally with you.
The first key to really putting empathy into your business strategy and marketing strategy is understanding that we're talking to people—like real human beings. On the other side of that computer screen, on the other side of that ad, that click, that post, is a person— not a lead, not a number. Yes, leads are great, but they are only part of the story. We need to understand the human being behind the message that we're speaking and what are their needs as a person. When we can start to see them like that it starts to really kind of soften our walls that we kind of put up and make it this really, really almost stale business process. It doesn't have to be. We can be very personalized. We have tremendous tools out there that can help us personalize our message even more. But it starts from understanding that we’re talking to human beings.
The next thing we need to realize is we have to be authentic in our messaging. Just because somebody else is doing it one way, doesn't mean you have to do it that way. You need to be true to who you are, and share your message authentically from who you are as a person. Again, people connect with authenticity. And when they see that you’re kind of pushing the line and maybe trying to be something you're not, it really comes across as being manipulative. And that's really going to draw people out of your marketing processes, out of your business, out of your sales process. Because red flags are going to go up and say, I don't know if I can trust this person because they're not being true to who they are. How can I be sure that they’re going to actually deliver on what they say and provide?
The last key to really using empathy in your growth strategy is believing in your products and services. You have to believe in what you’re doing if you're going to be authentic and able to use that and to connect with people. If you don't believe in your solutions, if you don't believe in your product, you don't believe in your business— you can't expect anybody else to. When you’re communicating, you have to have some sort of passion, some sort of emotion behind it that's going to allow people to want to just draw in and be a part of what you're doing. When it comes to communicating, it’s up to the communicator to get the message across. If the audience doesn’t hear the message or take the message in right, that’s not the audience's fault. That's the communicator's fault. And the only way we can create messaging that's going to really connect with the people that we're trying to reach is by understanding truly who they are, how they receive communication the best way, and how we can tell our story. How we can walk them along our business processes. How we can initiate a sales process from the standpoint of empathy.
I hope you guys learned a little bit of something with this video. If you have any more comments or suggestions, please comment and post below. We would love to keep the conversation going. And until we see you next time, happy marketing and good luck out there.
Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.
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