Our new whitepaper with Andrew Tenzer at Reach Solutions launched in July 2019 and is doing great business. The Empathy Delusion is something of a companion piece to the Gut Instinct whitepaper that caused a bit of a stir in 2018. Here are a couple of extracts to give you a flavour:

1. Marketers think they are good at empathy

 In 2018, Reach Solutions adapted ground-breaking frameworks from cognitive and personality psychology to highlight the differences between people working in advertising and the modern mainstream. We discovered that people in ad land unconsciously see, experience and interpret the world differently to large swathes of the UK population. We challenged our industry to think and behave differently. The industry’s response? Empathy – we’re good at it, we simply need to turn it up a notch.

2. But marketers have no special aptitude for understanding others

Marketers are no better at understanding other people’s emotions and perspectives than the mainstream.This represents a major problem for an industry whose very success depends on a detailed and thorough understanding of the people it seeks to influence.

3. Marketers emotions and intuitions get in the way

Adapting the moral foundations framework from Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind, we find that marketers intuitively focus on individualistic values and morality. This causes a disconnect with the mainstream who have more balanced intuitions which place greater weight on binding morality and the ‘ethics of community’. We argue that this has profound consequences for marketers ability to connect with ordinary folk.

You can download The Empathy Delusion and Why We Shouldn’t Trust Our Gut Instinct here