Rethinking Creative During the Empathy Era

There is no doubt that privacy changes will lead to media and technology partners finding new and better ways to reach your consumers. But if we let the change stop there, we’ll be missing our biggest opportunity of all. The shift to first-party data comes at the precise moment when our world is calling for more empathy. By rethinking creative, your brand has the chance to connect with people on a much deeper, more empathetic level. 

When I think back on this past year, the tally of physical and emotional changes is hard to keep track of. Overnight, my whole world seemed to shrink to within the walls of our home. We juggled busy work schedules and three energetic kids who no longer had any schedule. We worried about our parents, neighbors, and local businesses, tried to find a daily rhythm, and then readjusted every time a COVID exposure or new headline threw us for a loop. While my story may sound familiar, we all felt it with a sense of isolation.

It’s no small fact that all of this has been happening at the same time brands prepare for the loss of cookies and work to re-imagine their approach to digital media. It’s important we start to understand how these two narratives intersect with one another. 

After a year of isolation, people have an urgent desire to be seen. And brands have been given the gift of needing to focus on and grow their rich customer data, ultimately helping them see and understand consumers much more clearly and on a much more human level. By infusing these insights into your creative process, you have the opportunity to meet consumers with empathetic experiences that touch both their hearts and minds. 

So many of the changes we’ve talked about have a direct and positive impact on your ability to show empathy toward your consumers. By creating Decision Profiles, you’ll be able to start the creative process knowing what motivates your audience and understanding the challenges they face. Having a solid Experience Journey Map in place will show you how their mind shifts as they continue to interact with your brand and allow your creative to adjust accordingly. More time at home has helped all of us reflect on what really matters in our lives, and it’s vital that your brand reflects these values back to your consumers. Having empathy for the people you’re reaching will be the difference in how your brand message is received. Diving into your first-party data and using this valuable information to brief your strategy and creative teams will lead to better, truer ideas and executions that connect with audiences on a human-to-human level.