Empathy has become a major business buzzword, but it's not just about stronger leadership--it's about becoming a more emotionally intelligent marketer.

Instead of telling your customers what you think they should hear, it's listening to your customer--and yes, some analytics data--and delivering them content that they value based on your understanding of their needs.

The dialogues brands have been sharing with their followers on social media is on the right path to this, but it's less about responding to questions in real time, and more about processing what consumers are saying, using it to assess needs or pain points, and then delivering solutions that provide value.

And I think content marketing is a great way to do this. After all, a whopping 90 percent of consumers are already asking for brands to engage with them through content, so why not connect with your audience in a way they want to hear from you?

These three savvy brands and organizations are listening to what their audiences want and delivering with empathetic content.

National Autistic Society

In a brilliant use of VR, the National Autistic Society both showed empathy and drove empathy with the Autism TMI VR Experience. The campaign came from the learning that while the majority of people surveyed in the UK knew what autism was, very few understood it in a meaningful way. The National Autism Society used that learning to inspire the video campaign, which uses video to mirror what it is like for a child with autism to navigate a busy store.

LinkedIn

More than just a tool for forging professional connections, LinkedIn has become a marketing tool, but one for which many wished they had a handbook. Enter exactly that. LinkedIn released a free ebook "The Secret Sauce: Learn How to Use LinkedIn for Marketing" to help subscribers get the most out of this marketing platform, and even created an  infographic summing it up for all the visual learners out there.

Slack

Slack created an entire business by listening to the workforce's pain points (overflowing email inboxes, anyone?), and creating a product solution. Its marketing followed suit when the brand realized that its growth was largely word of mouth, and that their prospective audience sought out testimonials from people and brands that they trusted to drive trial. The resulting "So Yeah...We Tried Slack" video has garnered over 1 million views on YouTube, and has generated a better understanding about the product and how it can help growing businesses.

Published on: Feb 28, 2018