Win more business with Empathic Marketing5 min read

Hugh Deraps September 7, 2018
Win more business with Empathic Marketing 1

Business is all about achieving more sales but is it possible that the latest trend is to push the envelope too far? How far are we willing to go as a business, just to add a few more numbers to our total each month? When we treat people as stats, we start to lose the human connection with our customers. In the long run, this will cost us a lot more than falling short of targets in the quarter.

However, it does not have to be an all or none phenomenon. There is a way to market a business that is not aggressive but still effective. What we are referring to is ‘Empathic Marketing’. Empathic marketing is all about giving your data analysis and bots a rest for a while and understanding human psychology a little better.

How can Empathic Marketing and the Psychology of Sales improve marketing?

Empathy means the ability to understand another person’s feelings. When we add this element to marketing, we gain invaluable insights. Marketing is no longer about just pitching a product but also about when to pitch and how.

Put yourself on the other side of the fence for a moment and become your own customer. Imagine that you have just bought a pair of expensive sports shoes from your company. A few days later, all your social media feeds are full of sports shoe ads. You start to receive emails from the company encouraging to buy a new pair of sports shoes, on a weekly basis.

What would you think? You would very likely get sick of all the sport shoe ads that are in your face and never want to buy another pair again. And you would be right in feeling that way. Why exactly would you need another pair of shoes immediately after buying a pair? And, of course, you don’t need to be bombarded with ads at every turn in cyberspace.

Unfortunately, the described scenario happens all too often in the real world. In fully automated systems that are run solely on machine learning algorithms, buying a pair of shoes prompts the system to send you shoe ads. When you add the psychology of sales to the mix, you immediately know that most individual buyers don’t need multiple copies of the same product.

Empathic marketing allows you to still use the data you acquired when a customer bought something from you, but to customise your marketing campaign better. For example, one year after the customer bought the shoes, you can send them a mail asking how the pair is doing. You can then also ask if they would like to look at your latest collection. By doing this, you are more likely to get a positive response.

Alternatively, when a customer has bought a sports accessory from you, you could always ‘gently’ encourage them to purchase other sports apparel and gear. A purchase of sports shoes could invite ads or emails for products like sports socks, tee-shirts, shorts, water bottles and so on. You can do this only if you recognise that your customer enjoys sports and might find your related products useful. That is empathic marketing.

Let’s dive into the Psychology of Sales a little more

A customer visits your website, browses through a few items and leaves without buying anything. You honestly have no idea why they came, they saw but did not buy. Sending them generic emails telling them that they browsed these articles on your site and asking if they would like to buy them, rarely works. What you need to do is understand why a customer might not want to buy something.

Here are a few examples:

Too expensive:
There is a very good chance that the customer did like your product very much but found it too expensive. With the psychology of sales, you could devise a strategy that encourages buying that product despite the cost. You could highlight a payment plan option that you offer or you could inform the customer of a price drop for that item during a sale. The customer found the item too expensive but can now get it for less; there is a high probability of a sale in this case.

Size/colour unavailable:
Many times, people will not buy a product because it is not available in their size or the colour that they want. Bombarding them with ads of more of what they don’t want will not help your business. However, a short survey asking the customer why they did not complete their purchase could help. Make the survey short, easy to complete and relevant. Your customer now knows that you are genuinely reaching out and not just trying to make a sale. A personalised reply to the survey improves the customer experience, making them more likely to come back to your site.

Unsure about the purchase:
Some customers just cannot make up their minds. We’ve all been there where we’ve wondered whether we would really wear that shirt or those chandelier earrings. Here’s where the right timing and/or persuasion could work. The psychology of sales is about determining what would make a customer decide to buy that product. Sometimes, all you need is the right timing like an impending New Year’s Eve or another festival to pitch for a stylish outfit. Other times, promoting the quality or the limited quantity of a product is enough of a psychological trigger to spur the customer into action.

Empathic marketing and the psychology of sales is not about ditching your data analysis altogether. The effectiveness in these strategies lies in the ability to add a human element to data analysis and develop campaigns that are more relevant. No one likes to feel forced or cornered into buying something. Empathic marketing uses gentle persuasion based on an all-round understanding of the human brain when it comes to shopping for products and services

If you would like to know more about Empathic Marketing and how your company can leverage it, get in touch with the team at Liquid Digital.