Johari Lanng, our Performance Analytics Product Lead, spoke at State of Social in 2022 about how marketers can become more empathetic through data. This post is an adaptation of his presentation.
There are countless business cases to be made for the power of empathy in marketing. From increasing engagement to improving conversions, empathy allows a marketer to better connect with their audience.
The challenge for marketers, however, is that it’s often difficult to identify where they need to be empathetic, which is where data steps in. Data helps uncover the unique needs of your audience in a way that brainstorming and qualitative research might not.
In a digital context, your website and app analytics are a treasure trove of empathetic opportunities as highlighted by the following examples.
Building Empathy for Visually Impaired Users
An estimated 13 million Australians have one or more chronic, long-term eye conditions. Interaction with online experiences can be difficult, if not entirely impossible, for these users. Providing an equitable online experience should therefore be a chief concern for any brand operating online.
Many users with visual impairments rely on screen readers or browser extensions to properly interact with online content. Unfortunately, when lacking the right data, marketers often overlook accessibility considerations like this and fail to properly serve their audience.
To understand the issue, you can reference the zoom levels that users engage when browsing your website.
For some users with visual impairment, their browser’s zoom functionality becomes the best way for them to properly engage with online content. Capturing that information gives you an insight into the needs of your audience on a tangible level.
||No. Of Users
||% of Users
Consider the table above. If your brand discovered that approximately a quarter of users are increasing their zoom level when browsing your website, that would signal an opportunity to deliver a better, more empathetic web experience by increasing font and image sizes.
Building Empathy for Digitally Excluded Users
The disparity in digital experiences isn’t just limited to users living with chronic visual impairment. It also affects those who are excluded from internet usage altogether.
Modern websites contain a significant amount of data. As of 2018, the average size of a webpage on the internet was 2.07 MB. Many developers take fast internet speeds for granted, leading to beautiful websites that can take several minutes to load for users outside of 4G or 5G coverage areas.
Users who experience slower loading times are more likely to bounce and say that they feel less engaged by the content they find online. What should be a positive brand experience becomes negative.
Marketers can counteract the disadvantages of slow internet connectivity by optimising their websites according to Google’s Core Web Vitals. These metrics ensure websites load quickly, present well on mobile and allow users to engage online with less friction.
Tracking Core Web Vitals over time gives you an insight into how your website performs for all users while encouraging optimisation for the users with the slowest internet speeds.
Not only will your search engine rankings benefit from performing well on Core Web Vitals, but your bounce rate will improve and interactions with your website will increase.
Building Empathy for Low-Literacy Users
Compelling content is one of the best ways to engage your audience. When done right, content can be a major driver of brand awareness and engagement.
That said, not all users have the same level of literacy. In fact, in Australia, approximately 13% of adults read at a Year 6 or lower level. For users in this bracket, online content can be difficult to consume, which can lead to your key messages not being understood.
Tracking Content Readability allows you to understand the complexity of your content and make adjustments that lead to better content comprehension and deeper engagement with your brand.
The following are examples of how you can improve the readability of your content:
- Simplifying sentence structure
- Using commonly understood words
- Breaking content into paragraphs or bullet points
Consistently improving content readability not only enhances website engagement, but it also creates a more inclusive experience for all readers.
By tracking the right data, marketers can not only deliver better business outcomes, they can also become more empathetic to their audience.
Whether for accessibility purposes or simply for engaging with your customers on a deeper level, data can be a very humanising tool for appreciating the needs of others.