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The power of empathy with Freshworks' Stacey Epstein

Patrick Campbell Feb 22 2022

Winning a war requires attacking and defending on multiple fronts. 

Ground infantry, Air Forces, Navy by sea—and maybe even Space Forces in the next couple of decades all need to be a focus. The fronts depend on what your opponent does, but in modern warfare if you don’t have your bases covered, you’ll never win. 

B2B SaaS definitely isn’t war, but a multi-pronged attack and defense is definitely required in marketing within a competitive market. You can have the coolest events in all of SaaSlandia but if you can’t log and track your leads or set up a proper email campaign you’ll never end up driving the scale required to grow massive. 

No one exemplifies this multi-pronged approach more than Stacey Epstein, CMO of Freshworks. I sat down with her recently and she wasn’t shy about sharing marketing deets on growing at scale through a multi-pronged attack. All that and more in this week's episode.


Listen now 🎧








Here we summarize the main takeaways for you to implement or hand off to your team for implementation.


Key term

What is empathetic marketing?

Empathetic marketing refers to creating marketing initiatives by first putting yourself in the shoes of your audience. It's essentially a customer-centric approach to marketing. It's about letting the customer lead you.

Why is it important?

Empathetic marketing is important because not only does it ensure that your marketing resources and efforts are targeting the correct audience, but that it’s also creating an emotional connection with them. By creating a connection you build trust, both of which will help you convert more customers and also keep them. It goes beyond just marketing your product or service. If you don’t understand your customer’s pain points, actual needs, and even how your messaging will impact them, it’s all for naught. 


Action plan:

What to do today: 
  • Follow Stacey Epstein.
  • Schedule a time to meet with your marketing team to review your marketing strategies and initiatives.

What to do next quarter:

Implement empathy into your marketing strategies. 

We’re living in a world where it’s never been easier for businesses to reach potential customers  through a myriad of channels. Yet, very few do it correctly. Your product or service may just be what a customer needs, but if you don’t understand your customer’s emotional motivators, your messaging is very likely missing the mark. 

Companies and products are now developed with the customer at the core, so it’s logical that our marketing efforts become customer-centric through empathetic marketing. In fact, it’s absolutely crucial for success as more than three quarters of consumers say they’d buy from a brand they feel a connection with over a competitor. 

So, how can you start to implement empathy into your marketing strategies? Below are some tips to help you get started. 


  • Practice empathy  
    • Practice putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, both personally and professionally. Empathy is a powerful tool. When you’re able to develop a deep and emotional understanding of people’s needs, you’re opening up opportunities to connect in multiple ways, as well as better meet their needs.
  • Listen and observe to understand
    • The key is to listen with the intent to learn and understand your customers’ pain points and emotional motivators. Depending on your company, this information is gathered through direct feedback, surveys, complaints, etc.
    • Ask questions to uncover their needs. 
      • What do they feel? Why do they feel that way? Etc.
  • Humanize your brand
    • Part of establishing connection is to sound like an actual human being. Ensure your content, messaging, and even automated communication include a personal touch, as well as your brand’s personality.
    • Take the information you’ve learned and gathered about your customers to create content that addresses your customers’ emotional triggers.
    • Make your marketing campaigns more of an invitation for conversation.
  • Nurture
    • Customers stick around when they feel valued, so take care of them beyond what your product or service provides.
    • Create content and provide assistance that truly helps your customers—whatever the situation—instead of just pushing an agenda. 
What to do within the next year:

Develop and launch your next marketing initiative with customer empathy at its core. Develop the initiative from the get-go, based solely on the customer’s perspective and need. Measure the output (leads, conversions, etc.) as well as how it was received (engagement, feedback, etc.). As always, evaluate and iterate.

Who should own this? 

Your marketing team.


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This is a ProfitWell Recur production—the first media network dedicated entirely to the SaaS and subscription space.




By Patrick Campbell

Founder & CEO of ProfitWell, the software for helping subscription companies with their monetization and retention strategies, as well as providing free turnkey subscription financial metrics for over 20,000 companies. Prior to ProfitWell Patrick led Strategic Initiatives for Boston-based Gemvara and was an Economist at Google and the US Intelligence community.

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