Does Tech Need More Empathy Marketing?

Empathy-Marketing

The lore of Steve Jobs travels much farther than Silicon Valley and Apple storefronts. To some devotees, Jobs was a once in a century visionary akin to Henry Ford and Nicholas Tesla in genius. His predilection for transcending the possible in consumer tech products earned him a place in history textbooks. The world divided before and after Apple launched its products is the world we live in today.

The interesting thing about Jobs is that he was less a technical visionary and much more a brilliant marketer. He had philosophical convictions gleaned from Zen Buddhism and monks infused into the core of Apple. He believed that the personal computer was an extension of the user so much that he termed it a “second self”. “I-Phone”, “I-Pad”- my phone and my pad is technology internalized by the user.

What Is Empathy?

What Jobs intuitively excelled at is incorporating empathy into his marketing. What is empathy? Empathy is the ability of a marketer to share the emotions of the consumer. To feel customer’s emotions as they are feeling them on the buyer’s journey and to connect with and support those emotions at important stages. Much like Jobs prophecy for tech, empathy goes beyond mere understanding between marketers and consumers to the point of a viscerally intimate connection.

Fast Company explores the power of empathy, “Technology used to attract us through specs and features; today it has to enable an experience. Even our perception of what makes a product valuable has shifted, to the point where a brand-new sound system or a dress like the one on the magazine cover is actually less desirable than something with a strong story attached.”

Furthermore, the Content Marketing Institute identified in its research the mistake that B2B tech companies make when marketing to an audience. When 65% of B2B consumers say they get too much marketing content from companies, the issue is not as much the volume of the content as the transactional nature of it.

Whether B2C or B2B tech purchase, at the end of the day the company is selling to people that buy when they are emotionally invested in the product. 

The Power Of Empathy 

Fast Company has found, “This is what’s going to take you from being a seller to a business partner. Empathy creates trust; it creates an experience that is based on more than just a transaction; it moves buyers from being passive and skeptical to engaging with you because they care. And when they care, they are more likely to stand with you, to advocate for you, to create more business, and to be loyal because they have no reason to go anywhere else.”

Jobs knew this too well. For a consumer to adopt to a new product and treat it like a “second self”, the consumer had to trust Apple. Apple developed a level of sophistication in messaging and emotional experiences that created a cult following. A consumer frenzy to experience the Apple brand.

As tech companies grow their marketing departments, the message is clear. Focus less on the volume of sales content and collateral and more on sharing experiences with your consumers that last.

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