Empathy. A Winning Sales and Marketing Strategy

AUG 21, 2020
Sean Campbell



  1. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Have you ever considered Empathy as a marketing strategy?

Empathy is the winning strategy for so many successful brands. Brands with lots of loyal fans understand this. It’s not just about your product… or how great your brand marketing is. It’s whether people feel like you understand them.

People don’t fall in love with corporations or brands. They fall in love with personalities. - Yo Santosa

Customers fall in love with the connection and relationships they make with a company. Good brands make great connections with their customers by using empathy. Why? Because these successful brands know that everything they do is about people.

If you think about what makes a great relationship, whether it’s friendship, dating, or marriage, it’s the ability to understand and relate with the other person. It’s a real connection based on knowing and understanding the other person.

When someone feels like you understand them, they trust you.


To be able to connect with your customer, you must first understand them. Empathy is a deeper form of understanding. Empathy is knowing how your customers think and process. Empathy is knowing the factors that play into the customer’s decision-making and their point of view.

Empathy is simply the ability to connect with someone else’s needs, motivations, challenges, and pain points. - Chris Do

To have true empathy, you have to “walk in someone else’s shoes.”

What do they think, feel, and say? What goes through their mind? What are the emotions that they have on a regular basis? What kind of language do they use?

Knowing these things about others makes you relatable and likable. It also leads you on a path of having a great marketing plan.

If you’re truly listening to your customer and empathizing with them, they will tell you what they really want and need. They’ll also tell you their problems and objections that keep them from fulfilling their needs.

Whether you’re in sales or marketing, it’s crucial to keep notes on the problems and needs your customers have. And if you don’t know, just ask them! Make your team aware of these things and make these hot topics part of your sales and marketing strategy.

If you can present your product or pitch as the answer to their needs and problems… boom. Sale closed. Customer that are hungry for a solution will buy once they hear the magic words that appeal to their needs.

And for marketing especially, you’ll need to echo these important problems in your messaging to show empathy and understanding to your customers. Don’t be afraid to call out the customer’s problems by name in your product description or services! You’ve got to make it easy for the customer to understand that you can help them solve their pain points.


When you’ve spent the time listening and doing your homework on your customer, the next step is to affirm them with your words and actions. Prove that you understand them.

Think of it like a counseling session. Once you share your feelings, the counselor’s job is to affirm and make you feel heard. THIS IS YOUR JOB AS A MARKETER. Make the customer feel seen and heard!

Make your marketing relatable and use terminology, humor, references, images, feelings, etc. that the customer will relate to! Show them that your marketing nails their concerns and needs.

If they are concerned about price… be open about it.

If they are worried about quality…. show them how much quality is in your product.

If they are worried about functionality and efficiency… show them how you make it easy and save them time!

It may even seem too simple, but sometimes, you can even call out your audience directly to tell them that your product is exactly what solves their needs.

If you’ve seen some cheese informercials you know what I’m talking about… “If you’ve struggled with back pain, this product is for you!” or “Are you tired of dealing with expensive sticky pans when you cook?… this pan is non-stick and affordable!”

Here are a few examples of brands that understand their market and are doing a great job at catering their message and marketing to their audience.

Example 1: Taco Bell.

Taco Bell’s market: Teenagers and Young People.

Taco Bell’s problems they solve: Hunger. Relevancy. Affordability.

Taco Bell’s marketing style: Bold. Attention Grabbing. Bright colors. Fun and playful. Sarcastic. Slang words. They sell convenience and coolness.

Example 2: Old Spice

Old Spice’s market: Young Men

Old Spice’s problems they solve: Body Odor. Sex appeal. Lack of confidence.

Old Spice’s marketing style: Fun. Manliness. Whit. Classiness. Over the Top Sexiness. Humor. They sell confidence and attraction to the ladies.

Example 3: Snickers

Snicker’s market: Anyone who loves chocolate. Slightly to men.

Snicker’s problems they solve: Hunger. Sweet Cravings. Affordability.

Snickers marketing style: Humor. Sports. Chocolate lovers. They sell snack cravings and to sweet-tooth.

Ultimately, you’ve got to speak the language of the customer. Advertising is no good if you’re not considering the audience that you’re addressing. Show them you care by using methods they use to communicate.

SIDE NOTE: You also need to consider the best methods to reach your audience. Where does your audience hang out and spend their free time? Social media. Watching YouTube. Watching sports. Whether it’s billboards, online ads, or video marketing, you’ve got to ask yourself what works best for the type of audience you’re going for.


After you’ve studied your market and made moves to show your audience that you get them, it’s time to measure whether or not your work is effective. Good marketers know that ROI counts for everything. Customers will give several indicators or clues when they feel like you understand or empathize with them.

  • They will say it with their money. Your product or services will be sold if it’s meeting the customer’s needs.
  • They will say it with their mouth. You’ll hear them affirm your product with positive reviews or they’ll say things like “that’s exactly how I feel!”
  • They will tell their friends. If your brand/product/service works great for them, they will share it with others.
  • They will say it with their loyalty. If your brand truly is meeting their needs and resonating with their feelings, they will stay committed to your brand long term with repeat business.

Body language. Purchase habits. If your brand resonates with them, you’ll know right away by these indicators. Your return on investment should be pretty obvious if you’ve done the right things to engage your audience.

The numbers don’t lie. If your customers buy your message they buy your services/product.

PRO TIP: Don’t be over the top. Don’t lie or overpromise. Be believable and trustworthy. If your message and your marketing is not engaging, it probably means people don’t trust it yet. Sometimes you need to reconsider your approach, message, design, and feel if you’re not getting great traction. Remember… people buy who and what they trust.


1. Empathy will help you innovate, find better solutions, and get better at serving your customer base.

2. Empathy will help you use language that your customers use in your messaging, and thus, help you communicate how you can help them.

3. Empathy will help you stay trusted by your customers - people trust who they feel understands them.