Digital marketing as an empathetic language

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”We all have something to say, the only difference is whether or not we are privileged to be listened to”

Stefania Andreoli, Italian psychotherapist and writer


Observation room - Data analysis

The vast universe of digital marketing offers us a unique opportunity to connect with users not just as consumers, but as people. Through a holistic approach that integrates active listening, ethics in the use of data, and customer awareness, we can transform digital marketing into a more meaningful and authentic experience for all involved.

The universal language of digital marketing is like a bridge between people and the solutions they need. It should never be a “rip-off” (to sell products they don’t need,) but a language that connects people to products and services that can improve their lives.

Listening as the essence of marketing

Active listening to the customer is where any true and functional marketing strategy blossoms from. Beyond demographics and conversion metrics, there is the unique story of each individual, their desires, fears and aspirations.

Every click, every interaction is a moment of communication. The user has needs, wants and hopes. As marketers, we need to listen and respond with empathy. It’s not just about selling, it’s about making connections that last.

Tracking user behavior: a pathway to knowledge

Tracking user behavior through tools such as Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager is not just about conversion optimization, but a deeper understanding of the target audience. By analyzing users’ touch points and paths, we can capture valuable insights into their changing preferences, interests, and needs.

Ethics in the use of data and respect for consent

Having power over data control also means having great responsibility. Indeed, it is essential that in our journey in the world of digital marketing we maintain a deep respect for user privacy and consent. Cookie bars and privacy policies are not just legal formalities, but a commitment to ethics and respect for the rights of individuals: optimizing advertising should never mean sacrificing the trust and respect of our customers.

To remedy this, Google has recently implemented a new technology, Consent Mode, an open API developed to make Google services (such as Google Analytics, Tag Manager and Ads) work based on the consent status of end users. This tool controls the behavior of Google tags and scripts on your site, respecting users’ consent.

The power of the conscious user

In the digital landscape, the conscious user is embodied by Umberto Eco’s semiotic theory, in which the model reader interprets and attributes meaning to signs in texts. “The model digital user” navigating through the abundance of online content, can recognize the signs of authenticity and truth in the sea of information. Like a critical filter, he chooses to grant his consent only to ads and promotional content that resonate with his perception of authenticity and relevance.

Empathic digital marketing stands as an answer to this need, taking a user-centered approach to creating authentic connections. In this context, empathy becomes the key to winning the trust and attention of an increasingly demanding and informed audience.

Let’s think about advertising, which today is no longer just a series of adverts but a dialogue between the brand and the consumer: imagine writing a letter to a distant friend. What do you do? Know your recipient. You know what he likes, what worries him and what his interests are. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.

AI as a creative assistant

AI analyzes user behavior to create detailed audience segments, such as a friend watching closely. What are they looking for? What pages do they visit? This data is not just numbers, but fragments of their story. It’s like having a creative assistant working behind the scenes.

And what does it do with these segments? Personalize the ads. If you are a cooking enthusiast, you will see ads about recipes and cooking utensils. If you are a fashion lover, the ads will focus on clothing and accessories. It’s like having a friend who knows your tastes and preferences, ready to suggest the best experiences.

This is feasible only through people who “give themselves the privilege” of listening to other people.

Conclusion: empathy as the key to success

Behind every click is a person. Success very often lies behind listening and understanding the needs of the audience. Advertising is not just a series of ads, but a symphony of empathy and intelligence. The notes are the data, words and images, but the melody? It is the active listening, ethics and AI that make this symphony memorable.

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8 April 2024 Cristian Bresciani

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TAG: digital marketing