Marketing Mechanics or Human Empathy?

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a really aggressive, old-school, face-to-face sales pitch — the type of conversation that makes you feel less like a human being, and more like an unwilling participant in a sales training exercise?

All the techniques are being used on you. Making you feel…used. Making you feel like an object, a means to an end. Making you feel anything other than actually buying something.

Copywriting and marketing communications techniques, just like their sales counterparts, are too easy to mistake as the core drivers of success. An obsessive focus on hacks reduces the persuasive writing profession to a constant hunt for the next psychological trick, the next piece of the “killer copy” puzzle. What gets lost (if we let it) is the person you’re trying to serve. Without a clear picture of that person (and I don’t mean buyer persona), how can we possibly summon the empathy required to understand what they care about?

Technique is important. We need strong marketing principles to guide the execution of our message. But best practices come later. First and foremost, we need to be humans hoping to connect with other humans.

“The way we make things better is by caring enough about those we serve to imagine the story that they need to hear. We need to be generous enough to share that story, so they can take action that they’ll be proud of.” From Seth Godin’s This is Marketing

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