Lorraine Twohill, chief marketing officer of Google, says that consumers have more on their minds than her company’s messages, and that marketers need to be aware of what’s happening in people’s lives.
“[It’s about] being very mindful of how people are feeling,” she told Insider. “And to the extent that we run campaigns and we’re asking them to pay attention or learn something or do something, to really do that with a lot of empathy and be very aware of people are at in their lives.
Twohill was interviewed in the Google space at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June.
By the nature of what Google does, it naturally has a keen insight into what’s on people’s minds. Travel is one thing people are searching for, Twohill says. But people are also turning to the search engine to ask questions about whether a
is looming, and what it might mean for them.
Empathy plays out in other ways, Twohill says, pointing to Google’s focus on inclusivity and representation of communities that have sometimes been overlooked. “As we’ve worked with our teams and our agencies on this journey to move to work that is more diverse, just really encouraging the teams to think more broadly about who we put in our work, and how we show up,” she said.
One example is an a script for
, to tout the platform’s sports content. “When you think of a sports fan, a lot of people go to a white male,” she said. “We pushed back and said, why couldn’t it be an Asian grandma? Why couldn’t she be a diehard sports fan?”
Twohill points out that ethnic, gender, and identity inclusion is also just good for business. “There are a billion people with a disability in the world, they represent around $8 trillion in business value, market power,” she said. “Getting your story, your messaging, your products fit for purpose for those audiences, with use cases that are relatable to them, and them seeing themselves in your work, I think it’s a huge opportunity.”