Ad Age & Base Beauty Creative Agency Emphasize the Power of Empathy in New White Paper

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Base Beauty and Ad Age co-sponsored the creation of a white paper that reveals the transformative power of empathy in marketing.
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Ad Age and Base Beauty Creative Agency has released a white paper called “The Empathy Effect: Unlocking Explosive Growth in beauty, wellness, and personal care industries," which reveals the transformative power of empathy in marketing as a catalyst for business growth.

Related: Top Marketing Mindshift Changes for Spa Pros

As part of this six-month-long research project, Ad Age deployed a custom survey with Signet Research Inc. to C-suite leaders at beauty, wellness and personal care companies. The 200+ decision-maker survey respondents shared their experiences with advancing marketing and creative initiatives, their points of view on where agency partners provide value and what role empathetic thinking plays in this work.

The results found that 84% of respondents agreed that their internal teams are stretched too thin to keep up with all of our business goals and priorities. And 64% agree that their marketing teams often lack the expertise to transform these data into strategic insights with two-thirds of respondents confirming that change occurs so frequently in the advertising ecosystem that it is difficult for our marketing team to keep up with them.

Base Beauty integrates empathy into their marketing strategies by starting with tech-enabled quantitative analysis using data from sources like Mintel, Tagger, Brandwatch, and Muck Rack, which is especially important since the report shows that 95% of industry leaders rate “expertise in data analysis” as important when selecting or maintaining an agency.

In the survey, respondents agreed that empathy is critical for the work to be successful. When asked which of eight attributes characterize their ideal agency partner, the two attributes that rose to the top were: “staff who can directly relate to the experiences of my customers” at 54% and “staff whose experiences directly align with those of myself and my team” at 51%. 59% said “caring deeply about how our customers feel when they are making purchase decisions” ranking third in critical importance.

“While many marketers intuitively understand the synergy between empathy and marketing, this concept has never been explored in such depth until partnering with Base Beauty. This research report demonstrates that empathy is essential for fostering meaningful consumer interactions," said John Dioso, editor of Ad Age Studio 30. The findings are backed by extensive research and real-world case studies from agency clients Milani Cosmetics, Face Reality Skincare, and EltaMD, offering actionable insights for businesses seeking to integrate empathy into their marketing and customer service practices.

“Empathy is a fascinating human-powered tool in our tech-enabled marketing toolbox," said Jodi Katz, CEO of Base Beauty Creative Agency. "Our data-driven creativity process is super-powered by our team’s empathy and our report provides compelling evidence that empathy is not just a buzzword but a fundamental driver of business success, and builds lasting client relationships."

Key findings:

  • 76% of the surveyed audience agreed that “Responsiveness” and “working with us as genuine partners that share our needs and concerns” were critically important factors when selecting or maintaining an agency
  • 63% of Beauty/wellness segment respondents have the empathetic desire for agency “staff who can relate to the experiences of my customers”
  • When asked to describe their ideal agency, 44% of respondents agreed with the sentiment: “My ideal creative/media agency is immersed in our business and looks at our business challenges from the consumer’s perspective”
  • When asked to pick the two types of messaging that create the deepest long-term connections to their end users, 55% of the respondents selected messaging that “demonstrates that your products/services truly understand the customer’s needs”
  • Empathy plays a large role in meeting client needs. At the top of clients’ wish lists for their agencies was that all of them are experts in their industries (44%) and doing a better job of stepping into their customer’s shoes (38%).

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