The word ‘marketing’ brings up thoughts about campaigns, creativity, and lead generation. Like most marketers, you run machine-like processes to generate leads and build traction with audiences. You stay on their toes frequently tuning your organisation’s messaging, cultivating and feeding leads into the sales funnel, while also keeping a close watch on market & competition.
One aspect that sets apart great marketing teams from good ones is their storytelling abilities. Across design, content creation, prospect nurturing, event planning & management, internal collaboration – a useful muscle to develop is effective storytelling.
At the heart of storytelling is empathy.
Empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of other people to understand them better. Marketers interface with many stakeholders and they can use empathy to get to know what these stakeholders need to make their lives better. It ranges from mapping customer personas all the way to helping human resources build a strong employer brand.
Being empathetic to the needs of these various groups of people is a superpower. Without getting to know the wants and fears of others, the marketing team will end up with more misses than hits.
So, how does empathy play out in storytelling for marketing teams?
Every marketing strategy starts by obtaining a deep understanding of who the customer is and what their needs are. The typical way marketers go about this stage is by collecting data from the market or from the sales team. But data and analytics are one part of the picture. It’s necessary to understand the psychological and emotional aspects of the audience.
Empathy enables you to know what customers want to achieve, what motivates them, and what fears they deal with.
Messaging and Communication
Empathy plays a huge role in the quality of your marketing communication. A deep understanding of what customers want and adopting storytelling strategies enables you to craft powerful campaigns and promotions.
This also flows seamlessly into designing brand assets, building and showcasing case studies, and the choice of medium to reach your ideal customers. Most marketing campaigns are subplots in the overarching story of the brand. Working with a strong sense of empathy will reflect in every piece of content produced. All your marketing efforts will then build traction with prospects and enable them to choose your brand.
Collaborate With Sales
Many marketers feel working with sales teams is a challenge. Some marketers think that the expectations of sales teams are usually unreasonable. Being empathetic with the needs of the sales team helps in aiding them to customize pitches to prospects. And it also strengthens relationships with sales teams leading to both teams operating as a unified force. When you come across a brand’s campaign and sales pitch telling different stories, it points to a lack of collaborative effort between sales and marketing.
And marketers can easily address that by bringing in an element of empathy into interactions with stakeholders.
Storytelling in Everyday Marketing Work
Marketing teams shoulder the responsibility of finding creative ways to present the brand and its products. Using an empathetic approach results in better storytelling that captures the audience’s attention and influences them to action.