Big data is everywhere. And we have more technologies than ever before at our disposal, generating data that makes it easy for us to better understand consumer interactions and engagements, personalize content, and predict future behaviors.

Related Content: A New Approach to the Customer Journey

In order to create a customer-obsessed marketing culture, you need to be able to identify what data gives you, and also go beyond data to grasp the true needs and wants of your customers. We break down why it’s wrong to solely rely on data, how to determine if your marketing has trouble connecting with real people, and the six ways you can fix that problem.

The data dilemma

Armed with the right data, it seems like we would have access to even better customer insights than before, but there is more at play.

Armed with the right data, it seems like we would have access to even better customer insights than before, but there is more at play. The data we gather from technologies can lead us to make assumptions about our customers. And assumptions are often generalizations, which aren’t always accurate and don’t always take into consideration the realities of our customers.

As Jeff Bezos noted in a letter to Amazon shareholders, “Good inventors and designers deeply understand their customer. They spend tremendous energy developing that intuition. They study and understand many anecdotes rather than only the averages you find on surveys.”

Therein lies the data dilemma.

The empathy gap

Yes, data has the ability to deliver insight. But we, as marketers, also need to focus on ways to understand and better empathize with people—real people, not fictional personas.

If you’re a data-driven marketing organization, there’s a good chance you have an empathy gap.

The presence of all this data has led brands to believe they know their customers well. Yet many customers say their favorite brands are not providing relevant and impactful content. The difference between our assumptions and the real feelings and actions of our customers is what we call the empathy gap. If you’re a data-driven marketing organization, there’s a good chance you have one.

6 ways to succeed

So how do you avoid the empathy gap and get the most out of your data? We’ve identified six ways that can help close the gap in order to develop better consumer insights, and some great, cost-effective tools that can also aid your strategy.

  1. Create testable strategies.
  2. Design search-inspired stories.
  3. Learn. Repeat.
  4. Discover the jobs to be done.
  5. Ignore the vocal minority.
  6. Talk to your customers.

Move Over Brands, Consumer Experiences Are the Story

In our ebook, Minding the Empathy Gap, we examine the common causes of the empathy gap, how to spot it in your organization, and the steps needed to close the gap for good. And we provide details for how to incorporate the six steps to help you get an even deeper understanding of the real people behind the personas, making it easier to more effectively target content, streamline offers and ultimately drive sales.

Don’t get stuck in the empathy gap. Download the ebook now.

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