It's Time For Empathy Marketing
from the marketing-is-not-a-one-way-street dept
While most people think that marketing is about “convincing someone to buy stuff,” that was not its original purpose. Instead, that’s what it’s become for many. But the real purpose for marketing was supposed to be to listen to what the market was saying, and help create products that met their needs. The good news is that, with the economy struggling, some are starting to go back to that definition. David Churbuck, who works in marketing at Lenovo, is predicting that marketing is starting to go through a massive change towards what he calls “empathy marketing.” It gets beyond the old “four Ps” of marketing that we were all taught in marketing class, and gets to actually taking the time to actually talk with (not to) your customer — and some of the time that means having the brand shut up and let everyone else do the talking.
This is one of the benefits that we’ve seen in preaching the message that content is advertising and advertising is content. Traditional advertising (and, increasingly, marketing as well) has been about a one-way street: pushing a message and trying to get it ingrained in people’s heads. It’s had little to do with getting people to interact, embrace and share. But when you actually take the time to recognize that marketing and advertising should be a two way street, where you’re holding a real conversation and everyone is getting value out of it, you start to get beyond “pushing a message” and really get to a place where good things happen. It’s what we’ve been helping plenty of companies do via the Insight Community. Companies like Dell and American Express have tapped into the community to create discussions and generate insights in ways that are useful to everyone.
Users find more of what they’re actually looking for, build up better trust in certain companies, and actually are a part of the ongoing process and discussion. Companies get to better interact with customers or potential customers, and get real advice and feedback in return. Whether it’s called conversational marketing or empathy marketing, it’s a good thing: it’s a return to real marketing, where it wasn’t about convincing people to buy, but really interacting with the market to figure out how to provide what it needs, rather than telling the market what the marketers want to sell.