If you like this post, please share:

If you liked this post, please share:


Marketing Guru Seth Godin once said that the essence of modern marketing is empathy. "It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes that might not know what you know or think the way you think," he explained.

When I heard that, a lightbulb went off in my head. I'd been creating messaging that promoted who my clients were and what they did instead of focusing on what mattered to their customers.

Seems like a simple idea, right? But so many of you in the healthcare and design industry are still only talking about yourselves.

I Wanna Talk About Me

There are hundreds of firms that design beautiful or functional innovative healthcare projects. And even more companies that produce beautiful or functional innovative products for healthcare facilities.

Almost all of them show pretty pictures of their projects and products on their websites with copy that talks about their capabilities. Almost none show any empathy for their clients or customers.

It's a little like being with a friend who only talks about themselves without ever asking you how you're doing. You know, like that Toby Keith song, " I Wanna Talk About Me" (which cracks me up every time I hear it).

Empathy in Marketing

If you assume that most people who come to your website already know they want a product like yours or that they want to hire an architect or designer with your type of expertise, then the message changes.

Those with an established reputation and high brand recognition will always stand out. But if you're competing against them or are not as well known, why should customers or clients choose you instead?

The answer is empathy.

To infuse empathy into your marketing messages, you need to ask "What do my customers or clients want that will make their jobs easier, their business prosper, and/or serve their customers better? What matters to them in their work that is meaningful, motivational, and fulfilling?"

When I explain this to clients or prospective clients, they always get it. Just like I'm sure you get it. But crafting empathetic messages for your marketing tools isn't as easy as it sounds.

Finding Answers

First, you have to find the answers to these questions. And while you may think you know the answers, the best way to find out is to ask your customers or clients.

You can do this yourself, but it's better to hire a consultant who can be "neutral" -- one who can dig deeper to give you the most honest, useful information that will inform your messaging.

This type of approach can work with others in your organization as well. Here's how.

A few years ago, I was working with a client who wanted to better engage their sales reps in selling their products to the senior living sector. After giving them the empathy in marketing pitch, I proposed doing 30-minute interviews with 10-12 of their sales reps.

During these interviews, I asked the sales reps questions about who they sold to, how the company was perceived by those customers, and what the company could do to help the sales reps grow their senior living business. Not only did the sales reps feel appreciated and valued by this work, but the results of my findings informed how we communicated what the marketing team was doing and what types of support materials we developed for them.

One More Thing About Empathy

When you think about it, isn't empathy also the essence of modern healthcare design?

It's essential to creating good experiences for patients in healthcare facilities or residents in senior living communities. It's also essential to recruiting and retaining staff and attracting new patients or residents.

So, finding out what matters to them and what they want is as important to good design as it is to good marketing.

P.S. Please do me a favor -- if you liked this post and like this blog, please share it with others by sending them the link or posting it on your LinkedIn, X, or Facebook. Also, don't forget to subscribe, so you'll get emails when new content is posted. Thanks!

Publishing Partner

McMRpt2018_ Logo360_cmjn

Leave a comment

Sara Marberry_013-Retouched-New copy

What's my story? I'm a healthcare and senior living design knowledge expert who writes and speaks frequently about trends and issues affecting these two industries. I'm also a strategic marketing consultant and content creator, working with companies and organizations who want to improve the quality of healthcare and senior living through the design of the physical environment. You can reach me at .

Subscribe to My Blog!


Contact Me

Copyright 2024 © All Rights Reserved | Terms & Conditions