Empathy in marketing – What are you really selling?

| November 11, 2009

Empathy in marketing strengthens sales messages

Your website sells insurance. But the very thought of insurance sends most of us into a state of paralysed boredom. Luckily, knowing you’ll be compensated if some bugger nicks the contents of your house raises a more positive reaction. Which makes empathy a very important component of great marketing content.

What does this tell the wise marketer?

What does this tell you? That there’s no point trying to sell insurance per se. The clever thing to do is to sell the safety, security and compensation you get if things go wrong. The knowledge that, if things go pear-shaped, things will be put right.

The same goes for tangible goods. For example clothes. Are you selling a velvet pencil skirt? Nope. You’re selling the opportunity to look fabulous. The night of a lifetime. The chance to catch the eye of some gorgeous bloke. Or the triumph of winning a new job.

And are you selling a car? No again. You’re selling freedom and convenience (allegedly), whether it’s something comfortable, stylish, sporty, practical, safe or obscenely expensive.

Identify the positive emotions and feelings behind your product

When you find out your customers’ deepest desires and serve them up on a plate whenever you communicate, you’ll see your conversion rates increase.

A few more examples to get you in the swing of things: Are you selling computers? Nope. Amongst other things, you’re selling access to the wonders of t’internet. Are you selling training courses? Nah. You’re selling new careers, hopes and aspirations. And – last but never least – are you selling hot chocolate? No, you’re selling relaxation and self-indulgence.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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