Human marketing

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This highly informative post from James D. Roumeliotis on Customer Devotion introduces to me the expression “human marketing” which I am much taken with. Not only does it speak to the necessity for everyone within the organisation to think and act like a marketer, it’s also a reminder that, ultimately, people deliver some of our most powerful and memorable consumer experiences – and insights.

People have an instinct for people that simply cannot be duplicated any other way.

In the rush to mechanise and socialise, it’s easy to overlook the need for brands to continue to humanise their offering – to make it easier, more enjoyable, more fun etc for people to interact with.

Powerful brands feel human. There is a real sense of people behind what’s on offer. And that I think is Roumeliotis’ key point: you can’t build and run a great brand if you don’t have a culture that loves people – as staff, as suppliers and as customers.

In that regard, while much is made of the need to monitor and track online interactions, the most powerful listening posts most brands have in the market are their people. The critical point here though is that while most people can listen, it requires people who love people to understand what to truly listen for, and what questions to ask in response.

If a client rings and asks about whether you offer online shopping and they’ve never shopped that way with you before, the traditional marketing response would be to offer them information on how to make a purchase through the internet. The ‘human marketing’ response might be to enquire as to why they are interested in shifting to online shopping at this point.

And that’s the thing isn’t it. Metrics don’t talk to motivations. They only show the results of what the motivations have generated – which is why most marketers spend too much time trying to second guess what often appear to be random shifts in buying patterns.

Human marketing is driven by curiosity not just processes. It is about the search for customer happiness via the application of the Feynman principle to every aspect of customer interaction: question everything, especially those things you think you know, including those things you feel you are not being told.

It takes humanity to do that. But just as importantly, Roumeliotis reminds us, it takes everyone to do that, not just the marketing department.

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