How to build empathy as a marketer

Aazar Ali Shad
2 min readAug 5, 2021

We have a delusion that we’re good at it.

Here’s how you can master empathy in your marketing campaigns:

1/ Make active listening a priority.

Talk to customers every week.

Observe them every week.

Listen to learn rather than listen to react.

2/ Share their feelings.

What does it mean?

Sign up for your product and marketing campaigns.

Find out their struggles and frustrations.

Then, go fix them.

3/ Evaluate first.

Answer this question before sending any campaign: How would I like to receive this?

Do you enjoy it? Is it boring? Is it too promotional?

This is typical: Putting (oneself) in (someone’s) shoes.

4/ Step out of your comfort zone.

Reach out to support the team and read their tickets.

Listen to your sales team (and their calls).

Go to in-person events to see how customers react in real life.

If possible, become the customer (shadow a customer for a day/week/month)

5/ Actively collect feedback.

Ask your customers & prospects.

How could you improve X?

What’s preventing them from doing their job today (with your services/product)?

6/ Have difficult, respectful conversations.

Talk to a customer who recently churned.

Talk to a customer who was extremely angry with your product/services.

As Bill Gates says, “Your most unhappy customers are the greatest source of learning”.

7/ Join forces for a shared cause

Hang out in the communities where your customers are hanging out.

Be with thought leaders who are inspiring them.

Join the newsletters that they are reading.

8/ Cultivate curiosity.

Studs Terkel: “Don’t be an examiner, be the interested inquirer.”

Cultivating curiosity requires more than just transactional conversation. It’s about going deep.

Set yourself a challenge to have a conversation with one prospect (someone who is not your customer).

9/ Admit your biases.

​​We all have assumptions about others and use collective labels.

Here are 20 biases you should be aware of.

10/ You have to care.

Deeply care about your customers’ problems.

Focus on solving their problems.

Go over and beyond.

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