5 min read

Empathy: the Key to a Better Visual Marketing

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
September 12, 2019
May 29, 2024

Your visual marketing performance can be better if you only tried to understand your user better and build relationships with them through empathy. Wondering how that works? Let us guide you through the basics of empathy and visual marketing solutions in our comprehensive guide.

Visual Marketing is not just about a fancy picture and a few selling points that resonate with the customer’s mind. It’s about building an immediate bond with your prospective customer through the visuals.

One of the things that marketers tend to leverage lately is the empathy towards the customer they work with. Basically, it’s all about getting the right feelings out and evoking the right ideas in the minds of your clients. Our today’s post is a short recap of empathy’s role in marketing and where to start while incorporating empathy in your visual marketing plan.

What Is Empathy?

Empathy is a huge deal lately, but why? Millennials turn out to be seeking empathy more than previous generations, but that’s not precisely the problem. It’s not just right for the health of society to have more empathy in our everyday situations, but it also benefits our brands and businesses, cause we can incorporate empathy in our visual marketing to resonate more with our prospective clients. 

While sympathy is compassion that someone may have to you or your situation, empathy is a more deep feeling. Empathy means putting yourself in the shoes of the other person and truly feel the situation he or she is in. This is fundamental when you interact with people and want actually to identify with their situation.

What Can Empathy Do in Visual Marketing?

One of the critical benefits that empathy may bring to your businesses’ marketing efforts is about building a more effective and precise targeting. That’s where the customer personas kick in and help you create a relatively full portrait of the average customer you work with.

You can only be successful in visual marketing and marketing in general if you learn what your customers truly value, not what you want to sell them. 

So basically, when you create visual marketing content that manages to evoke empathy in your clients and prospective customers, you will more likely see them sharing your products, buying more and having a better brand loyalty later.

We live in the times of millennials trying to change the world and change themselves. They seek content that resonates with their life situations and brands that truly understand their struggle. That’s where empathy should kick in and increase your visual marketing effectiveness.

Which Emotions Drive Your Customers Towards Buying Things?

There are many emotions that affect your clients’ decisions and reasons that provoke them to take action. Let’s take a look at the hypothetical situation and learn how empathy can help you interact with your customers better. 

Let’s say Max wants to buy new shoes. This is his remorse shopping after the break-up. He wants to look stylish, stand out, and feel more attractive since he’s going through the tough times.

So instead of creating visual content highlighting the pros and cons of the shoes you sell, you can create visual content that will help Max to validate this purchase with logic. 

You can show Max how these shoes will make him look hip and show him that these are the latest kicks discussed among the hype beasts of his age. You’re putting yourself in his shoes (pardon the pun) and use empathy to develop an emotional side of Max’s shopping story. 

Use visual content and empathy to identify your products with the client’s emotions and desires rather than just put your products on sale and show that they are made of the best materials. 

Develop Empathy Personas Based on Your Target Audience Research

To be able to do that, you will need to create empathy personas. This will help you learn more about the emotional side of your client’s shopping journey. 

There are several names that people tend to use when they talk about empathy personas. You can call it a psychological mapping or emotional mapping, whatever. 

The idea is very basic – you ask yourself questions regarding the personality of your average customer and learning who they are, what emotions affect their final decision on buying the kind of products or services you sell. 

In case you do not have enough research data on that, you can always talk directly to your customers and check back with them on the series of questions for empathy personas development.

Incorporate Empathy Personas in Your Visual Content Strategy

So next time you craft your visual content plan, you’ve got to make sure you keep the clients’ needs and desires in mind. You have already created the empathy personas, and now you just have to stick to it while crafting your visual content. 

You should use empathy personas as the map to the customer’s minds and hearts. This is fundamental, and it’s always important to put your empathy personas before the budgets and the amount of content you plan to create. It’s about quality and consistency.

Why Empathy Still Is a Future of Visual Marketing

The era of soulless sales and discounts is slowly going to an end. When we talk about the big brands, the major part of their current success is built on two things: good visual marketing and empathy with their target audience.

It’s not about the visual marketing definition or other theories that you’ll learn and forget. Empathy will keep its solid positions; cause clients to tend to require it more, not less. You’ve got to understand that you will be able to increase the effectiveness of your visual marketing only by knowing precisely the emotional side of your client’s journey. 

This may require time, effort, and bigger budgets. However, it will pay off in the long run and will change your visual marketing forever.

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