I recently shared some of my thoughts about the idea of Human Marketing in 2014 in this post on Medium and originally in the guide “Marketing in 2014: that Rigid Approach will Cost you.” Below is an excerpt from the guide with more of my thoughts on the subject.
In 2014, I think companies will find greater long-term success in their digital marketing efforts if they root their strategic plans and tactics in being more human and understanding human nature and behavior. There are two aspects of the current human experience in relation to technology worth examining more closely when planning marketing and outreach.
#1 – Understand that people in 2014 are ultra-connected (for better or worse).
People carry their computer, communications device and community connector all within their portable, mobile, wi-fi and cellular enabled device. The division between online and offline is more permeable.
Knowing this fundamental shift in human behavior leads way to providing 360-degree experiences of value for your customers and potential customers. Bricks and mortar companies keep trying to push foot traffic, but when people arrive at locations, there are few clues or cues of a company’s online presence.
Even for businesses without locations, looking at ways to incorporate online in offline and vice versa will create more integrated experiences for customers and help acquire new customers in unexpected ways.
Look at what is happening with:
- wearable technology, particularly in the fitness space (FitBit, Jawbone Up) with people tracking their own personal data and forming communities around fitness goals and activities. How can you tie wearable tech into your marketing campaign? Look at this blog post from the Wine Sisterhood about fitness tracking technology and their Wine Sisterhood 1 Million Step Challenge as an example that just scratches the surface of integrating customer outreach with the wearable tech trend.
- geo-fencing and mobile advertising tied to location with Bytelight and PlaceAd.
- tagging places with messaging and corresponding images with apps like Foursquare, Foodspotting, Wyst to TagWhat.
This is not your grandparent’s version of “Integrated Marketing.”
Social Media Marketing is not a separate component of marketing at all. It informs and reshapes all types of marketing, both online and off. We have to stop calling it Social Media Marketing. It’s Marketing, plain and simple, yet totally transformed.
# 2 – Understand that people in 2014 are overwhelmed and inundated by the ubiquity of connectivity.
Look for ways to offer relief from the intensity of hyper-connectivity. This may seem like a contradiction to #1, but it’s the flipside, a yin to a yang. So while you seek out ways to develop 360-degree experiences for your customers, be prepared for pushback or backlash. Anticipate the human recoil and be ready for the impact. Bake relief valves right into your strategy.
Look at what is happening with
- Camp Grounded – a camp for adults where you can’t bring your electronics, can’t talk about work and even use nicknames.
- Reboot – The “National Day of Unplugging” happens March 7-8 and stems from movements like the Sabbath Manifesto. You’re encouraged to do 10 things during that 24 hour period:
- Avoid technology.
- Connect with loved ones.
- Nurture your health.
- Get outside.
- Avoid commerce.
- Light candles.
- Drink wine.
- Eat bread.
- Find silence.
- Give back.
- the #Unplug Movement – kickstarted by an article about Baratunde Thurston’s 25 days away from the Internet that turned into a guide to unplugging from Fast Company and an ebook: #Unplug: How to Work Hard and Still Have a Life [Kindle ].
Understand that putting all of your money and efforts into online marketing misses enormous opportunities to be present in physical spaces. For bricks and mortar businesses, this means re-imagining your space. For companies without physical locations, this means infiltrating physical space.
Think pop-up shops; face-to-face meetings and intimate gatherings within larger events. Don’t underestimate the value of being “THERE,” actually being physically present with your virtual, social fans/customers.
How are you acknowledging human behavior and current tech trends in your marketing efforts this year?
Get the full guide: “Marketing in 2014: that Rigid Approach will Cost you.”