In marketing, context matters. Over the past few weeks, brands have halted their marketing plans, putting a pause on communications, often across the board. Enter: an increased focus on empathy-first marketing.
Why April is Different
March was marked by uncertainty and confusion over a situation that seemed to change by the minute. While nothing is predictable, April may offer a bit less limbo: we know we will be social distancing through the end of the month.
This is an inflection point for brands: we have a 30-day period, at the least, where people will be continuing to stay close to home and going online for connection — and the higher-than-usual engagement rates reflect this. A departure from the minute-to-minute changes, the latest developments give us a few weeks to update and implement strategies and messages in a way that makes sense, feels right and helps in the best way we can.
We talked about meeting consumers where they are, but what does that mean in the context of empathy-first marketing?
Consumers are craving the kind of sincerity that comes from being human and the notion that we’re all in this together. There is a very real opportunity for brands to tell authentic stories that lead with empathy and emotion. This is everyone’s reality, so how does your brand make a difference in our new normal?
Empathy in Advertising
Here are some of our favorite examples of brands executing empathy-first marketing:
- Budweiser ad dubs crisis workers and teachers as the “warriors and the magic”
- Jack Daniel’s shows intimate social distancing moments of people coming together
- Ryan Reynolds left voicemails for Mint Mobile subscribers + free unlimited data
- The first to explicitly mention COVID-19, Ford’s “Built to Lend a Hand” features a strong, likeable brand story
Make a Move Toward Empathy-First Marketing
Influencer marketing was built for this: it’s real people, telling stories, putting a human face behind a brand they know and love. Their home-grown communities know them and trust them — a notion that extends to the brands influencers choose to include among their carefully curated content.
While the most effective influencer engagement strategies are integrated into a larger marketing mix, this unique moment in time allows it to stand on its own when authenticity and agility are some of the most important priorities.
Let us help you craft an empathy-first marketing plan today.