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Webrain Reports Archive

#198 – Era of Empathic Marketing

Marketing exists to convince consumers to take specific actions, and today’s marketing experts make use of a wide array of digital tools to fine-tune exactly how they entice individuals to part with their money. Many of these tools are focused on gathering incredibly detailed data about people, thereby enabling the marketers to craft highly personalized messages and incentives. But have things gone too far? In May 2018, the EU enacted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to better control how companies handle personal consumer data. Meanwhile, technology giants like Facebook – arguably one of the largest digital marketing platforms on the planet – are facing harsh scrutiny over their data-gathering and usage practices.


To understand how things got to this point requires backing up and looking at the marketing mixes (such as “The 4 Ps”) that have been used during the eras of Marketing 1.0 (product-centric); Marketing 2.0 (consumer-centric); Marketing 3.0 (building a relationship between marketer and consumer), and now Marketing 4.0 (where reliance on technology makes a human-to-human touch essential). We see that quantitative big data projects have mostly been unsuccessful, leading to the rise of qualitative Thick Data projects – data reviewed in context of human desire, needs, and sentiment. Additionally, Contextual Intelligence (CI) is providing more relevant knowledge about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of consumer interactions happen. Webrain sees this as the emergence of the Era of Empathic Marketing, a technology-driven interaction that provides common ground between marketer and consumer. Applying digital tools to your marketing efforts is a standard practice for today’s business. But be sure you use them correctly to create the semblance of a personal 1:1 relationship with your customers.

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