Over the years, the marketing profession has seen its standing and credibility diminish in the eyes of the public. The average person mostly associates ‘marketing’ with a box of tricks, while marketeers were pushed aside on corporate executive boards. In this age of complexity, marketeers have focused on the emergence of digital technologies and big data, and have reverted to the technological aspect of their role over the last decade. They gradually forgot about the person behind the customer, as the relevance of their profession slowly but gradually declined. The result? Marketing has gotten a bad rep.
“Marketing means invoking and working with existing interpersonal relationships. Marketing means to act human.”
‘Act Human’, a return to an expansive, people-focused marketing approach
We believe in a marketing approach that treats people like holistic individuals and that is mindful of the underlying needs that guide their behaviour. Marketing is not about market-focused thinking; it is about involvement thinking that is tailored to the different target audiences. Be it your end users, your employees or your Board of Directors, by obtaining more insight into people and society at large, and by responding to those insights with your technological and digital solutions, your organisation can increase its relevance and accelerate its future growth.
This type of vision requires us to clearly articulate marketing’s core objective, which involves approaching brands as people who are seeking to forge long-term and meaningful relationships with their customers and stakeholders. This means that we have to acquire insight into what customers want from the relationship with the brand; these are the so-called ‘Human Drivers of Customer Behaviour’.
This ‘Act Human’ vision has the support of multiple experts active across the broad spectrum of marketing who currently operate as Human Activators. This means upgrading the role of marketeers: we are waving goodbye to the traditional marketeers and welcoming the Human Activators. It is their job to ensure that people and society be put back at the heart of decision-making.
People-focused marketing can make the difference. In ‘Act Human’, we outline our vision, explain the conceptual thinking that shaped it, how we put this vision into practice and the consequences this has for the role of marketeers, corporate culture and our collaboration style.