The following post is part of WTWH Media Marketing Lab’s ongoing blog series from MozCon 2018. View the full presentation here.
Ashley Greene, CEO & Founder of Instratify, spoke on at MozCon 2018 about how empathy drives top performance with online marketing efforts. She said there has been a fundamental shift happening in how we approach our day-to-day marketing tasks. Greene illustrated the evolution by taking a look at the following periods in history.
1950s: We were sales driven – think the classic door-to-door salesman physically coming to you.
1960s: This decade was more advertising driven. There was a shift towards a creative medium like billboards and posters for passerbyers to think about.
2000s: During this period of time, marketing was more product driven. Marketers looked for unique ways to get closer to a customer like promoting a product in TV commercials, using catchy slogans and more.
Today: Now we’re more customer driven. We can thank technological advances for that, and historically low barrier entries to markets. We’re curating different experiences to target our customers, like social media advertising.
Despite this crazy shift, businesses and marketing have always been, and will always be human to human, Greene said. Buyers have more power than ever before. Access to information has given them unprecedented power.
So how do we drive more clicks, conversions and currency with empathy today? Greene’s best example was to think about empathy as a muscle. “You have to build it, maintain it and flex it,” she said.
How do you build and maintain that muscle?
- Talk to your customers monthly (in a research capacity)
- Develop an empathy-driven culture
- Create automatic empathy loops
- Walk in the customer’s shoes
Talk to your customers monthly (in a research capacity)
This is the closest you’re going to get to being a mind reader, Greene said. She gave five concrete questions to ask to start building empathy and uncover hidden growth opportunities:
- Walk me through a day in your life…
- Walk me through how you use X…
- What’s the #1 challenge X solves for you?
- Walk me through the decision to try X…
- If you could wave a magic wand and solve Y…
Develop an empathy-driven culture
Make it your individual goal to improve your company culture next week. Get a customer on a call or create a lunch and learn in the office.
Create automatic empathy loops
Create a VIP or incentive program. Greene suggested doing so through a Facebook group. It’ll drive more loyalty, more word of mouth and a group of people willing to talk to you.
Walk in the customer’s shoes
Audit your own flows. Keep track of your own efforts with search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC). Go through your own data as a prospective user.
Empathy can help you target the right audience, write better content and drive conversions. Many people haven’t embraced this technique yet, Greene said, but it’s a career skill made for the 21st century and beyond.
Ashley Greene is the CEO & Founder of Instratify. Instratify is a customer insights company that helps businesses drive growth using evidence-based principles. Follow Ashley on Twitter: @AshleyKGreene.