In today’s digital landscape, the concept of being “trauma-informed” is gaining prominence, especially in the realms of digital marketing and copywriting. This approach goes beyond merely managing symptoms; it’s about fostering strength and skills. However, its implementation requires a delicate balance to prevent the risk of manipulative or harmful marketing strategies.
The Pitfall: Balancing Interest Generation and Empathy
As businesses, we must tread carefully between generating interest in our products and avoiding the potential pitfall of making individuals feel inadequate without them. Recognizing that 1 in 5 people in the U.S. experiences a mental health issue annually, often rooted in childhood trauma, underscores the importance of language and digital assets that are mindful and not harmful.
The Harmful Tactics: Urgency and Not-Enough Campaigns
A common example of harmful tactics is creating a sense of urgency through countdowns, tickers displaying product popularity, or pop-ups pressuring immediate purchases. Additionally, campaigns that perpetuate feelings of inadequacy related to appearance, intelligence, parenting, or attractiveness can have detrimental effects.
The Solution: Strength-Based Marketing
Businesses should adopt strength-based marketing, crafting strategies with the target audience in mind. This approach requires a thoughtful consideration of how digital messages impact the audience emotionally. Empathy becomes paramount, ensuring accessibility, inclusivity, and mindfulness of neurodiversity in website design, colors, and fonts.
Crafting Empathic Content
When creating content for social media or any platform, consider the impact of your words. Represent a diverse range of people, be conscious of potential exclusions or offensiveness, and tailor messages to the targeted audience. Avoid creating unnecessary stress through fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) language, opting for words that evoke security, substantiate product efficacy, and simplify the purchasing process to build trust.
Building Trust with Empathy
Understanding that negative experiences shape powerful neural pathways, companies should reassess marketing strategies. Focus on language, images, and customer journeys that promote security, substantiate product efficacy, and simplify the purchasing process. Trust is built through empathy, especially in times of societal stress like the pandemic, war, and polarized politics.
The Bottom Line: Revenue and Strength-Based Marketing
While some may question the profitability of empathy-centric approaches, research indicates that companies embracing strength-based marketing witness increased revenue. This should reassure even the most skeptical individuals that empathy is not only ethically sound but also financially rewarding.
In adapting to our current challenging times, the imperative is clear—trauma-informed digital marketing not only benefits customers but also contributes positively to our society, reducing stress and fostering an environment where everyone can thrive.