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BLOG - A little empathy goes a long way

12 May 2015

How well do you think you know your potential customer? Do you understand their challenges, their likely mindset and lifestyle?

To be honest if you don’t your marketing is not going to work.

Think about your own reaction to timely marketing literature or ads. Let’s imagine you are a women - a mailshot comes through the door just as the days are getting chillier, it extolls the virtue of a company’s fleeces, their woolly tights and their throws. “How strange” you might think “I was just thinking I need to get something a bit warmer”

Well it’s not strange at all – the mailing company knows that it is highly likely that you will be thinking in that way and that’s why the mailer goes out now and not in the summer…

Of course they still have to overcome a likely objection “I wonder what the quality is like” you might think. Ah no problem, their customer testimonials are brilliant…

Those who market empathetically will always prompt a higher reaction and conversion. I was in a local garden centre last weekend and as I paid and walked towards the entrance I caught sight of a poster with an appealing cat’s face looking straight at me – the caption was “Are you going home – can I come too?

(well done www.farnhamcats.co.uk a branch of the Cats Protection organisation)

So let’s process the thinking behind that poster:
Women are the most likely to initiate getting a pet
Lots of women like to go to garden centres
As they leave the till area they are likely to be going home
They will react to a direct appeal from a cute face

Did it work?

Well guess who then spent the afternoon looking at this cat rescue site and others?

And yes I did pick out some lovely little cats but commonsense ultimately prevailed since our trio of dog and cats lead a very happy life of mutual respect and affection and the disruption of a new pet might just cause complete havoc!

So OK, I didn’t get a cat this time, but I did consider something that hadn’t even been in my mind beforehand and I have made others think about getting a cat themselves by sharing this story.

Also a no is not a no forever… that’s the power of empathetic marketing!

Did anything recently move you to do something you hadn’t planned? I’d love to hear.

P.S. As it's useful to see marketing in action I have also written posts on Ocado, The British Heart Foundation and Costa Coffee

Jane Buswell - Business Fulcrum