Marketing ‘Intrapreneur’ Marissa Nance Says Empathy Is The Secret Sauce To Success

One of BLACK ENTERPRISE’s ‘Top Women Executives in Advertising,’ Marissa Nance, is leading one of the first and only female- and minority-certified media agencies to greater heights and deeper levels.

The revolutionary marketing executive and CEO of Native Tongue Communications devoted over 25 years of award-winning service at Omnicom to build the first-to-market MWBE-certified, media-led marketing agency in 2019. With women and people of color in mind, Nance credits empathy as the secret sauce to where success comes from.

According to the Market Insider Group, empathy-based marketing is the way forward. It is built on trust and involves seeing through the eyes of your customers. The Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: In Brands We Trust reported consumers ranked trust as a critical factor in making a purchase decision.

Before leaving Omnicom, Nance was recognized as an entrepreneur, integral for her unique approach to marketing brands and shows like Survivor and Top Chef. She makes it her business to understand consumers at the micro-level and authentically connect brands to diverse and growing populations. Data shows that companies that make this type of effort yield better results.

“People dismiss marketing and advertising; they don’t realize it’s a resource. Marketing helps people grow, helps communities grow,” Nance told Ad Age.

“It touches everyone, and for me to be able to take it and bring it to the communities that it’s been missing and dismissing all these years is an honor, but it is truly the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.”

In 2020, Native Tongue Communications served as an integral contributor to the $1 million investment in Black female entrepreneurs through the annual Essence Magazine and Pine-Sol “Build Your Legacy” program. The agency is also the creator of Clorox-owned Burt’s Bees’ first campaign. She helped launch The Armstrong Project, inspired by Peanuts’ first Black character, a Peanuts Worldwide initiative, and a four-year endowed scholarship to support up-and-coming Black animators’ work.