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Q&A: Is marketing culture driving compliance or vice versa? (Includes interview)

The rise of empathy-centric marketing is associated with Millennials. This generation has a strong moral compass and practices golden rule in their marketing outreach while Boomers, who pioneered email marketing, used more “suspicious” strategies by sending unrequested marketing messages.

However, is the shift in marketing the product of cultural change or is it a result of GDPR, CASL & similar consent-centric regulations? Alyssa Jarrett, Director of Brand & Content Marketing at Iterable, discusses with Digital Journal what came first: culture or compliance.

Digital Journal: What is empathy-centric marketing?

Alyssa Jarrett: True growth marketing contains empathy at its core because it’s a strategy that focuses on the individual customer. Empathy-centric marketing, or humanization as it’s often called, is all about making human connections, because over time those connections build relationships, and relationships generate brand loyalty.

DJ: What is driving empathy-centric marketing?

Jarrett: Technology is ultimately driving empathy-centric marketing, because not until recently were platforms advanced enough to create humanization at scale. Marketers today must embody empathy to maximize customer lifetime value, and you can’t create a 1:1 relationship with millions of customers if you’re not seeing the full picture of their unique profiles, preferences and behaviors.

DJ: To which demographics does this form of marketing appeal to?

Jarrett:Focusing on making a human connection inherently appeals to everyone, and by now we’ve been primed to expect personalization from brands, across all channels and devices. The key to appealing to any demographic is authenticity, because most people can tell when a brand has their best interests in mind vs. just trying to charm you into handing over your wallet.

DJ: How are privacy regulations influencing these new approaches to marketing?

Jarrett:Marketers are already anticipating a cookie-less world in the era of GDPR and CCPA, so there is now an even stronger emphasis on using first-party communication channels, like email, mobile push notifications and SMS, to personalize messages with first-party customer data. A common mantra among marketers is, “Don’t build your house on rented land,” and it’s even more applicable today now that privacy regulations are restricting access to third-party information.

DJ: Which sectors are most likely to use these new marketing approaches?

Jarrett:Companies of all sizes and from all sectors are harnessing the power of empathy and humanization. We’re working with growth marketers that are creating highly sophisticated, personalized campaigns in retail & e-commerce, technology, travel, health & wellness, food & beverage, and entertainment.

DJ: How is digital technology assisting in terms of delivering the message and reaching the target group?

Jarrett:When it comes to delivering empathy-centric marketing, speed and scale are of the utmost importance. Unlike legacy marketing clouds, modern growth marketing platforms like Iterable are built with flexible data infrastructures that can access user, behavioral and event data in real time to trigger cross-channel messages. These solutions are also harnessing the power of AI by enabling message optimization by send time, frequency and channel. Now marketers don’t need to guess the perfect way to communicate with customers—technology learns from consumer behavior and adapts accordingly.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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