When it comes to the commercial world, we’ve all been exposed to empathic marketing tactics at some point, probably by means of a health insurance ad or a Sarah Mclachlan charity video. However, the B2B landscape is known to be more “professional,” so tugging at your target market’s heartstrings isn’t as simple as showing them a dog or a cat playing with a baby.
That said, remember that we’re all humans who have feelings. As a marketer, this is something you can take advantage of and utilize in your marketing strategies to produce more innovative, relatable, and unique campaigns that can capture your audience's attention.
What is Empathy-Based Marketing?
Empathy-based marketing is about seeing the world through the customer’s lens to understand how they think and feel about your products, services, and business as a whole. Taking this point of view allows you to produce compelling materials that speak to the needs of your market.
Thinking like your clients and understanding what motivates them when they’re on a journey to solve a problem allows you to provide what they need in every step of their journey. This way, your marketing efforts feel more like helping rather than selling.
Even when you’re promoting your products and services to other businesses, know that your audience bases its purchasing decisions—consciously or not—on what they feel. Inject empathy in your B2B lead generation efforts to build connection and trust.
How to Effectively Use Empathy for B2B Lead Generation
Map out buyer motivation
Creating empathy maps help you visualize your customer’s needs and what they want—not what you think they want. This often covers what customers think and feel, say and do, see and hear, and even pains and gains, in an organized layout.
Below is an example template for empathy mapping from Toggl. Try this exercise with your team to help you make marketing decisions based on empathy, not assumptions. Imagine you’re putting yourself in the shoes of your buyer persona. How would you build out an empathy map for yourself?
Create different personas
You need to know your audience to understand better what appeals to them. Creating customer personas can help you see what makes them tick.
There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing campaign that will work for everyone. Gather as much information about these personas to help you create better lead generation assets that tackle each segment’s pain points and needs. For instance, one persona may prefer simplified guides while the other appreciates something more detailed and comprehensive.
This video from Uberflip AI shows why depending on lookalike audiences isn’t always the best way to go.
Identify emotional triggers and address them with the right content
Now that you have a better understanding of your customers, it’s time to create content that is built around their empathy map and persona.
Regardless of what your product or service is, communicating it through storytelling is a great way to humanize your brand while addressing the customers’ concerns. Stories naturally draw people’s attention and invite them to connect with it on a certain level.
Take these JetBlue videos, for instance. They use humor to show that they understand the common problems passengers have with air travel.
Fine-tune your ideas
The next step after jotting down your marketing ideas is to evaluate and refine them. This is important to ensure that the content pieces you’ll roll out are relevant and valuable to your customers. Here are some ways you can refine your plans:
- See which search keywords or questions people are typing on search engines. This helps you produce content that your target audience is asking or searching for.
- Check events calendars. For instance, you can create walking maps for conferences or useful guides for an event your audience is interested in.
- Spy on your competition. See what kind of content other businesses in your industry are producing, then make it better.
Develop conversations, not campaigns
Don’t force your sales agenda on your audience. This will only make prospects and customers feel like you only care about the numbers, not helping them solve their problem. Invite, listen, communicate, and help your prospects. You can utilize your personas and empathy maps to help you shape campaigns that show you’re interested in your customers’ world.
Take this lead generation email form from BrokerNotes, which took the company’s email conversion rate from 11% to 46%. The form is like a fun tool that wants to get to know the user first, which really taps into the human side of content.
Humanize the buyer’s journey
An excellent and effective way you can humanize your marketing strategy is through the content you produce. Draft your message or content pieces around your buyer personas, looking at each segment’s job titles, hobbies and interests, goals and frustrations, and more.
Using this information helps you develop marketing materials that are unique to each persona or potential customers, increasing your chances of building the trust needed to drive a purchase.
It’s all about the customer
Shift away from creating brand-centric content and focus more on your customers; make them the hero of your marketing story. You should serve as the guide in walking customers through a solution with the help of your product or service. Make your customers the focal point of your lead gen material and make it less about you.
Take a look at this Crazy Egg lead form example. The copy focuses on helping the customer find out the reasons why customers leave, showing them the valuable information they’re about to receive.
Connect and Convert More Customers with Empathy!
Empathy-based marketing can motivate your prospects and customers to give their trust (and money) to your brand. If you want to give your brand an edge against your competition, stop and ask yourself:
How would this campaign make our target audience feel?
You’re free to create content pieces or lead magnets that ask users to subscribe to your newsletter or download an eBook. However, it’s best to prioritize content that invites them to converse and build a relationship with your company, making it seamless to move them along the buyer’s journey.
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