Latshaw Marketing Creates Empathy-driven Experiences with Beautiful.ai
Presentations are a vital communications tool at Latshaw Marketing. We caught up with founder, Marissa Latshaw, to learn more about how she creates empathy-driven experiences with Beautiful.ai.
Marketing is both a science and an art. But with the explosion of marketing automation technology in the last 20 years, the art and human connection often gets lost. This is exactly why boutique agency, Latshaw Marketing, starts every marketing strategy with empathy. Founder, Marissa Latshaw and her team help leaders and marketers activate empathy to create brands, products, and messages that inspire action. Latshaw Marketing combines qualitative research and strategic positioning with tactical planning and execution to build strong customer relationships that yield sustainable business results.
Marissa works with a variety of clients large and small, B2B and B2C, across industries including technology, financial services, manufacturing, nonprofit, and creative. The common thread, and what makes Latshaw Marketing different, is the Empathetic Positioning Process that Marissa developed to help businesses get intentional and systematic about bringing more empathy to their marketing.
Presentations are a vital communications tool at Latshaw Marketing. They use them regularly to communicate with clients. Sometimes, a presentation is one of the final deliverables as Latshaw Marketing has created investor, sales, and partner pitch decks for their clients.
“Before switching to Beautiful.ai, I used Powerpoint and I absolutely dreaded building presentation decks. When time and budget allowed, I worked with designers to make presentations look more beautiful— but nothing replaces thinking about the words and visuals, at the same time.” Beautiful.ai helps her accomplish both empathy-focused communications, and beautiful presentations, for a fraction of the cost and time.
Empathy in presentations
As Marissa shares, “Empathy is our innate ability to feel, understand, and respond to the feelings of others. Our role as marketers is to harness the collective empathy within our organizations to connect with the people we serve.”
“We help our clients get intentional and systematic about harnessing and then activating empathy. When done right, we’re able to tell stories that put people—not the product— at the center. You can certainly direct empathy-driven strategies at any business outcome, to engage customers as well as partners, board members, employees, donors...or really anyone that you serve.”
Marissa shares that presentations are an opportunity to establish a rich, meaningful connection. They act as a platform for communication that immerses the viewer, more than a document would. “A presentation is an opportunity to communicate in a way that makes the viewer really feel like you hear them, see them, and understand them— the core pillars of empathy.” Marissa says, “I see presentations as a platform for connection and conversation.”
“A presentation is an opportunity to communicate in a way that makes the viewer really feel like you hear them, see them, and understand them— the core pillars of empathy.”
Putting viewers at the center of the experience
Presentations are a way for Marissa to reflect back on the goals, needs, and values of her audience in a way that aligns with the values and purpose of their organization. Doing this puts them at the center of the experience. And by putting the viewers at the center, they’re more likely to engage in collaborative ways that lead to positive actions and results.
Marissa uses visual variation for immersive storytelling to reveal pieces of the overarching message in bite-size chunks. For example, she helps make the abstract more concrete through data visualization. Using images, elements, and messages that authentically resonate with the viewer is an example of true empathy in practice.
Marissa leverages Beautiful.ai to inspire action in client proposals, work deliverables, and sales presentations. She says, “I only just recently started doing my new business proposals in the Beautiful.ai platform, but I really think that I was able to secure a recent client, more quickly, because the proposal looked so darn good.” The visual impact is one of Marissa’s favorite things about Beautiful.ai
Running an agency that sits at the center of brand, content, outreach, customer experience, and conversion, Marissa believes it’s critical that her work always demonstrates a visual understanding of the brand. “I've evolved my business to the point where everyone knows— my colleagues and my clients— to expect very on-brand, polished looking presentations, and sometimes they'll even say, ‘oh, she's doing it in Beautiful.ai.’” Marissa says.
Once she’s applied the Empathetic Positioning Process to a brand or product positioning, Marissa and her team will often stay on to help implement strategies across multiple media platforms— presentations being one of her favorites!
Earlier this year, Explorable Places, a SaaS scheduling platform for field trips and experiential learning, hired Latshaw Marketing to help position and launch their product for a new sales channel partner. One of the core deliverables was a presentation deck that Explorable Places founder, Meg Davis, could use to train partners on sharing the Explorable Places platform with their customers. The deck illustrated Explorable Places' brand positioning using a combination of images, messages, iconography, and visualized data to tell a complete story.
Marissa never liked PowerPoint because it was time-consuming and never looked as polished as she would have liked. With Beautiful.ai she’s able to be more dimensional with her ideas, combining thoughtful messaging with integrated, illustrative visuals. “I'm definitely more of a writer than I am a designer, so my ideas start with words, but then being able to go one step deeper and create a multi-sensory experience is so strong,” Marissa says. She adds that Beautiful.ai allows for all of that to happen centrally in one place, and enables both parts of her brain to express themselves at once. “Having your left brain and right brain represented in one place makes the overall end product much stronger. Ultimately, I want the viewer to feel they are at the center of the story.”
With Beautiful.ai’s inspiration gallery, the design informs the idea which helps her structure her story in a more thoughtful way. The ease of use allows Marissa to engage with empathy, instead of tinkering with design, which results in more wins for Latshaw Marketing.