• Transform magazine
  • September 25, 2020


Brands struggle to respond empathically to social change and global issues


While most brands seek to be more empathic to social change and global issues, many have struggled to respond effectively to recent events like Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter, new research shows.

According to the research, conducted by Sapio on behalf of marketing AI company datasine among 250 senior marketing decision makers in the UK, while 81% of brand representatives said they adapted their marketing due to Covid-19 60% found it difficult to display appropriate empathy when doings so.

Although empathy has increased in importance for brands during 2020, with 84% of respondents saying that they need to respond with compassion has increased over the past 6 months, 75% said they were unable to respond quickly enough to rapidly developing situations such as Covid-19, Black Lives Matter and mental health.

“A brand’s ability to respond rapidly and appropriately to external events affecting its audiences and customers has probably never been tested more than it has in the past six months. Truthfully, it’s becoming critical to their success,” says CTO at datasine Chris Loy.

The most widely approved solutions to the barriers stopping brands from responding faster and more effectively -inability to measure sentiment and a lack of knowledge around how to use data to predict the success of future campaigns- is Artificial Intelligence.

There's a need to respond quickly and appropriately to changes in sentiment, which is where AI can help us use data to make the right decisions, and make them fast,” explains Emma Bonar, head of digital at Les Girls Les Boys.