There is a difference between listening and hearing. For instance, some of us listen, but we do not truly hear. Empathy, perhaps the most important attribute of the marketer/entrepreneur, is actually a form of listening (not with but) through the whole person. It transcends mere words with actual identification (incarnation). It transcends “doing” with being.
The empathetic marketer identifies with the customer. The relationship between identity and “hearing” is the key to understanding the true nature of empathy itself. One may listen to the voice of another, or one may hear through the ears (or see through the eyes) of another. The first action may invoke sympathy, but the second may invoke (a far more powerful response) empathy.