In January 2014, I shared some of my thoughts about the idea of Human Marketing in this post on Medium and more fully in the guide “Marketing in 2014: that Rigid Approach will Cost you.” This post is a partial excerpt and update from the guide.
In this age of social media mania and information overload, 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 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 your current customers and help acquire new customers in unexpected ways.
We’ve seen this 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, TagWhat. Additional ones: Capsule, Layer, Field Trip, Trover
This is not your grandparent’s version of “Integrated Marketing.” This is a personal, wearable, measurement, messaging, motivation and community connection device. Welcome to the future, today.
Social Media Marketing is not separate and apart from marketing as its own discipline.
Social Media Marketing 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 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 correct flipside, a yin to a yang.
While you seek out ways to develop 360-degree experiences for your customers, be prepared for pushback or backlash. Anticipate the human instinct to recoil from inundation 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.
- 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 ].
- Reboot – The “National Day of Unplugging” happens March 7-8 and stems from movements like the Sabbath Manifesto.
The Reboot movement encourages you to do 10 things during a 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.
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. Take a look at how Wine Sisterhood carved out an intimate space within a much larger wine event.
Don’t underestimate the value of being “THERE,” actually being physically present with your virtual, social fans/customers.
How do you acknowledge and address human behavior in your marketing efforts?
[See the full guide: “Marketing in 2014: that Rigid Approach will Cost you.”]