In the past ten years, Marketing and Advertising have moved from large-scale messages towards smaller-scale communications, driven by both technology and a desire to be more relevant to the target audience. As an example, Marketing and Advertising has moved from one-size-fits-all media communications (think: mass marketing, market segmentation, etc.) to micro-segments (think: micro-segmentation, targeted marketing, etc.), all the way to contextually-relevant, reactive, and predictive personalization.
To date, personalization is the closest large-scale solution for marketers and advertisers to reach their audience in an efficient manner. But there’s a more powerful, impactful, and meaningful target that Marketers, Advertisers, Technologists, and Brand Strategists must consider. They can – and should – go beyond personalization; and aspire to consistently create both humanized experiences and human connections.
Focusing on human experiences:
Personification, humanization, and emotional connection
There are elements of human-to-human connections alive today. Brands, Marketers, Advertisers, Strategists, and Creatives spend many days meticulously planning, building, and maintaining brand personalities through which they attempt to make their brands, products, and services more relatable and more human. The reason for this is that people tend to connect with what seems to be more human, with brands that reflect their own viewpoints and values. It’s why Branding professionals focus so much on Brand Vision, Voice, Emotion, Identity, Purpose, Values, and Personality.
Humanization goes beyond launching personalized solutions.
humanization is about bringing experiences to life.
All these efforts are attempts to personify and humanize brands, products, or services through marketing and advertising messaging, and to connect with people on a human level. It’s why marketing and advertising leverage emotional storytelling instead of adhering to strictly logical and factual communications. Storytelling is a more human way of communication, and it helps to foster an emotional, personal connection between the brand and the people in its audience.
The best marketing, advertising, creativity, strategy, and technology combine to create a human connection.
This personification of Marketing even expands into the social media space: In today’s marketing world, there’s a consistent focus on ‘having a conversation’ between brands and people, because it involves a back-and-forth interaction in contrast to the previous one-way communication of mass media. All the marketing and advertising buzzwords surrounding modern media – conversations, relationships, and engagement – reflect ways of getting closer and closer to connecting people at a human-to-human level.
The future is humanization
Digital technology, programmatic buying, new media, social networks, big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence promise to deliver better customer experiences with greater confidence. When leveraging marketing personas, segments, targets, and customer profiles, it’s easy to unintentionally distance oneself from the human side of things. In other words, with all the advancements we’ve had in the marketing, advertising, and media spaces, it’s caused us to think about our customers, our consumers, and our audience all wrong.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important factor: People. Human beings. We must never forget that on the other side of technology, digital transformation, marketing and advertising content, messaging, and communications are people – real, living, human beings, craving connections, personal extensions, and reflections of themselves.
experiences based on human-to-human relationships build deeper and stronger connections with their audiences
Marketers, advertisers, creatives, technologists, and strategists who consistently focus on creating a human experience, creating a human connection throughout their experiences will forge deeper, stronger, and more intimate relationships with their audiences. And since people crave these types of experiences, those brands and companies that can deliver them will outperform the competition by earning customer intimacy and loyalty.
Human experiences are what we should constantly strive to cultivate through our marketing, creative, and advertising efforts, regardless of the strategy, technology, or medium.
Humanization, personification, and emotional connection combined with technology, creativity, and strategy — all of these will be key drivers in the next evolution of marketing, advertising, strategy, and customer experiences. And the next evolution come when brands start creating, communicating, and connecting on a human level; when they move beyond getting personal, to focusing on creating meaningful connections with every single person in their audience.
“Good marketers see consumers as complete human beings with all the dimensions real people have.”
– Jonah Sachs