How Humanity Gives Your Marketing an Edge

June 27 2013

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You can humanize your marketing by publishing quality content. But if you’re turning into an automated machine, you’re missing the point. Your marketing needs an edge. And an edge can come from your long-term vision.

But using technology to supplement your vision can often have reverse effects. Especially if that technology isn’t being managed or measured by a human.

And even if your tools or technology is being measured by a human, do you question?

Or do you simply become a cog in the system, trapped inside the systems that you create?

fenced out

are you fenced out of your own systems?

“As much as we are control freaks when it comes to engineering, where this is going toward is loss of control. The more we automate, the more we don’t know what’s going to come out of it.”

—   Emily Monosson – Robot evolution via emergent futures

 

If you’re a human running a business, time is running out to create the technologies and tools you need to gain a competitive edge. And a competitive edge is a must to growing in today’s digital world.

So, how can you use data-driven approach to marketing but still remain human?

You’ve got to focus on the humanities. 

The humanities study human culture, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, and having a significant historical element.

This is important because let’s face it: a lot of software is made directly for the good of an institution – not for the good of humanity.  And there’s a sense of “checking a box” with technology today.

Checking a box maintains the status quo. It’s a gratifying symbol for moving forward. 

But are you really moving forward? Or are you focusing on the bells and whistles for the sake of it?

If you’re not sure, ask yourself these questions:

  • If you tweet a lot, but you automate all of your tweets, how does that create meaningful communication? 
  • If you want to create more content but focus on cheap tactics instead of quality, where will your website (and business) be in a year? (hint: there’s a good chance it won’t be around).
  • If you put out an ad because you want a quick win (or just want to check a box), how are you contributing to the conversation in a way that resonates?
  • Does your ad inspire, uplift, or make your customers think in a different way? Does it really bring in business? If not, why are you still pushing it? No one cares but you…and the checkbox.
  • If you prefer to focus on short-term results, why?

Long-term results requires perseverance. And perseverance is what wins. But it’s a skill that’s often lacking today. Why?

The tools and technology of today are made for instant gratification. They’re cheap. They’re efficient. They’re automated.

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But the proper use of the tools by a human? It’s priceless. Why?

When you’re human, you gain knowledge and bridge gaps. You can use this knowledge to make meaningful media to market your business. You can connect and collaborate.

When you collaborate, you become forward-thinking.

When you’re forward-thinking, you become unconventional.

When you’re unconventional, you break the rules.

And when you break the rules, you gain a competitive edge with your business – with or without checking a box.

Do you use humanity to give your marketing an edge? Please comment below. 

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I run Jessica Ann Media, a New Jersey-based marketing and media company that humanizes businesses through quality content. I can be hired as your personal Creative Director when you’re ready to create meaningful content that tells your story across all major media platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

18 comments
Kato42
Kato42

I love this post! I think people lose sight of the difference between tactics (write lists with an odd number of items! tie your posts to the news! etc) and strategy. Tactics can be good, and useful, and I share lots of them via tweets (some of which, yes, are scheduled). But those tactics need to be used in an overall strategy that needs to be informed by something greater - call it personality, humanity, whatever. And that is the focus. 

Kato42
Kato42

I love this post! I think people lose sight of the difference between tactics (write lists with an odd number of items! tie your posts to the news! etc) and strategy. Tactics can be good, and useful, and I share lots of them via tweets (some of which, yes, are scheduled). But those tactics need to be used in an overall strategy that needs to be informed by something greater - call it personality, humanity, whatever. And that is the focus.

emilykantner
emilykantner

I love this post! It is so hard to educate people on meaningful communication when they just want to check off the boxes and call it a day

emilykantner
emilykantner

I love this post! It is so hard to educate people on meaningful communication when they just want to check off the boxes and call it a day

bowden2bowden
bowden2bowden

Well said Jessica, I see so much "lazy" applied to the efforts cuasing me to wonder if the scam is working sometime. Those that produce are always in charge of spinning the attributes and those listening to the spin need to check the box. Sad, but nothing is easy, new tools bring better insight into need data, but it still taks human hard work!

bowden2bowden
bowden2bowden

Well said Jessica, I see so much "lazy" applied to the efforts cuasing me to wonder if the scam is working sometime. Those that produce are always in charge of spinning the attributes and those listening to the spin need to check the box. Sad, but nothing is easy, new tools bring better insight into need data, but it still taks human hard work!

Erin F.
Erin F.

Oh, this piece ties in perfectly with what MargieClayman and I are doing!

jessica ann
jessica ann moderator

@Kato42 so true! i recently experimented with using ifttt (if this than that) to automate tweets. it's  scary to see what can happen when a human isn't at the helm. ifttt is a great tool. But I worry for our future when people insist on simply "checking a box." Humanity definitely gets lost in the process. thank you for stopping by, Kate! I appreciate your comment. 

itsjessicann
itsjessicann

Kato42 so true! i recently experimented with using ifttt (if this than that) to automate tweets. it's  scary to see what can happen when a human isn't at the helm. ifttt is a great tool. But I worry for our future when people insist on simply "checking a box." Humanity definitely gets lost in the process. thank you for stopping by, Kate! I appreciate your comment.

jessica ann
jessica ann moderator

@emilykantner and i think it's especially hard for institutions who are late adaptors. they see other organizations tweet a lot, and think that shiny objects will get them ahead. this rarely works because they often don't learn the technique of using the tool in the first place! it's bananas. 

thank you so much for your comment, Emily! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts :)  

itsjessicann
itsjessicann

emilykantner and i think it's especially hard for institutions who are late adaptors. they see other organizations tweet a lot, and think that shiny objects will get them ahead. this rarely works because they often don't learn the technique of using the tool in the first place! it's bananas.  thank you so much for your comment, Emily! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts :)

jessica ann
jessica ann moderator

@bowden2bowden it's like a hammer and nail: you can put a nail properly into a wall if you know what you're doing. Or you can make a huge hole in the wall for no reason. there are those who blame the system for a failed technique. and then there are those who adjust, adapt, and learn better techniques. obviously the latter will get ahead. thanks for your sharing your thoughts, Randy! I appreciate you stopping by :)

itsjessicann
itsjessicann

bowden2bowden it's like a hammer and nail: you can put a nail properly into a wall if you know what you're doing. Or you can make a huge hole in the wall for no reason. there are those who blame the system for a failed technique. and then there are those who adjust, adapt, and learn better techniques. obviously the latter will get ahead. thanks for your sharing your thoughts, Randy! I appreciate you stopping by :)

itsjessicann
itsjessicann

Erin F. MargieClayman love it! excited to see how it evolves. and let me know how I can help!

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