Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

In 2023, empathy is more important than ever for brands and consumers

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost three years. In 2020, the world’s history took a dramatic turn as the pandemic changed the way we lived our lives. It changed how people wanted to interact with businesses in every industry. That also means that it’s been nearly three years since we began discussing our Return on Empathy™ metric. 

When we first introduced this metric, we predicted that demand for empathetic marketing and communications was here to stay and that brands had to get on board if they wished to remain relevant in their markets. Now, as the threat of Covid 19 has waned, empathy has indeed continued to remain at the forefront of successful business practice. 

A 2020 survey identified that the number one concern of CMOs over the next 12 months included “understanding shifts in consumer behavior and sentiment” and “aligning with the new and changing consumer sentiment. Now in 2022, this same survey of CMOs identified “understanding consumer trends” and “developing the overall customer experience” as top-five concerns over the next 12 months. 

Additionally, Salesforce conducted more market research in 2022, determining how important it is to operate and market empathetically. They learned that 89% of consumers are more likely to make a second purchase after a positive experience, while 63% of consumers (and 76% of B2B buyers) require businesses to know their unique needs and expectations.

 Salesforce also determined that if a company provides great service, 78% of customers will do business with them again even after a mistake. But after just one bad experience, 76% would rather do business with a competitor. 

And that’s not all. The March/April 2022 EcoConsultancy Future of Marketing Report found that 60% of respondents agreed that the ability to navigate changing consumer behaviors and expectations will be very significant to success, which leads to “improving the customer experience and customer journey management” to be a top-three focus for marketers over the next two years. 

The demand for empathy from brands is nothing new. In the mid-2010s, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio used data from around 20 years of research to determine that emotion is critical to the decision-making process. While it took a pandemic to create a flash point, consumers have shown how deeply they value empathy. Brands that are more empathetic retain loyal customers and grow market share, so Return on Empathy™ continues to become increasingly important to a brand’s success.

Now is the time to ask yourself if your brand has remained relevant during these seismic shifts in the marketplace. We would love to discuss how we can infuse some empathy into your marketing and communication and share 5 actionable strategies to ensure your brand is relevant to your target audience. Get in touch with Tim Leon ([email protected])  and he will schedule a quick, 15-minute chat to talk about it.