A new British study has found that people who work in the advertising and marketing industries often lack empathy, lack the necessary skills to connect with consumers on an emotional level and are “out of touch” with the mainstream.
The controversial study was compiled by UK publisher Reach – owner of newspapers Mirror and the Express – and was carried out to try better understand the polarised political climate caused by Brexit. The results later published on industry site PR Week.
The study’s results involved the answers from over 2000 respondents, 10 per cent of which worked in media and marketing.
Using an empathy scale developed by psychologists, the study found that only 30 per cent of people employed in advertising and marketing displayed high levels of perspective-taking and empathy. That said, the general public only scored 29 per cent.
When respondents were asked to split £50 ($A90) with an unknown person, only 69 per cent of adlanders said they’d go halves, while 77 per cent of the mainstream agreed to an even split.
However, when “remain” voters in the industry were told that their partner was a “leave” voter, willingness to share dropped to 43 per cent.
Andrew Tenzer, director of group insight at Reach Solutions, said of the survey’s results: “It’s no secret that marketers are different from the mainstream, but there’s a persistent belief that we can overcome this with a little empathy and imagination – that as a group we are somehow uniquely poised to put ourselves in other people’s shoes in order to effectively sell to them. However, our research shows that this is a myth.”
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