Marketers have to rethink their approach to marketing today. The technology revolution ushered in a dynamic, connective, yet disruptive period where humans rely on technology more than was ever imagined. We have greater access to everything, including the businesses we’re interested in aligning with. The amount of information available at our fingertips is staggering and has caused us to become numb to some of it — and both forced and empowered us to become even more selective in our content consumption. Technology and all that comes with it has also forced businesses to use it to learn how to connect better with clients in a more meaningful way.

Welcome to the Human Era

The Human Era is based on the importance of doing business with empathy and connecting on a personal and emotional level. When we create a more-humanized user experience with our brands, we connect with our clients on a more-personal and human-to-human level. When we build these authentic connections, we will have businesses that succeed in the Human Era.

While technology enables efficiencies, like marketing automation, it doesn’t replace human connections. Technology can inform the needs, wants and characteristics of our target markets and provide the channels for communicating with them, but ultimately, technology doesn’t remove our need for authentic human experiences and interactions.

The tech revolution, which moved us from slogans and selling to stories and self-expression, has forced us to empathize and to humanize our marketing. Not only has technology changed the branding and marketing game — it has improved the game by fostering an emotional connection to audiences and communities. The Human Era has us rethinking and reimagining the use of email, blogs, websites and social media with a “human-first – always” approach.

We need to be more empathetic in our marketing and branding programs because people want to hear from people, connect with people, and collaborate and share with other like-minded people. A Human Era brand makes an emotional connection and is where brand loyalty begins. Regardless of the technology or the platform used to communicate with target markets, no matter which form of technology we use, there is always a person on the other end.

What does it mean to be a Human Era brand?

The businesses that fit the Human Era brand success model are those that spark an emotional connection with their clients. We may focus on statistics and the transactional side of our interactions in business, but 95 percent of the decisions we make are driven by emotion. Take away emotion, and we are paralyzed in making decisions, unable to share our experiences with your brand and ultimately, unable to choose your services. Emotions play a critical role in the Human Era. Understanding how and where emotions fit into business activity is the key to successful client relations and client retention.

Emotional Connection = Brand Loyalty.

Emotional marketing and branding is a phrase used within marketing communications that refers to the practice of building brands that appeal directly to a client’s emotional state. It’s all about knowing what makes your clients happy, frustrated or concerned and understanding what keeps them up at night.

Being a Human Era brand requires establishing — and then living — your brand values, along with nurturing a corporate culture that is client-centric — and becoming fully invested in your client’s well-being.

Qualities of a humanized brand:

  • Personal — Integrating hyper-focused personalized marketing strategies into your marketing says, “I’m listening and I know what you want. I know what you need.”
  • Empathetic — Empathy for your clients is the gateway to client loyalty; understanding your audience well and the problems they face. This is where you get crazy in love with your clients’ problems and work to provide them proactively by providing the guidance they need to succeed.
  • Solutions-oriented — Winning in the Human Era means that you must put human needs first and solve problems at the personal — not the corporate — level. Humans don’t connect with or buy from corporate brands. Humans buy from other humans within a company. Humans build relationships with the individual and not the corporation. That means when you solve human problems, it becomes infectious, and those happy humans will tell other humans. That is the key to winning in the Human Era.

Want to learn more about marketing in the Human Era? Contact me, Terry M. Isner, at tisner@jaffepr.com.