Saturday, August 23, 2008

Marketers - Discover Your "Sense Of Human"

Remember People Buy Your Stuff, Not Marketing "Terms"

By David Miranda

Imagine going to a dinner party at a friend's house. On arrival, you knock at the door and no one answers. You discover the door is open and you enter the foyer to see a sign that says "Please wait to be seated". You observe the hosts scurrying around the premises arranging this and that while you (and other arriving guests) are massing at the door. They see you, smile, continue their activities and you hear one say to the other "looks like a number of our target audience have arrived." Finally one of the hosts comes over and the first words out of their mouth is "how many in your party?". They seat you in the living room and then ask "can I get you anything from the bar?" and then immediately disappear while you and other guests stare at each other in utter disbelief. Have these people gone mad?

Sounds crazy, but this is the typical reception that people get in restaurants every day. It is an example of the restaurant people losing "their sense of human".

It also happens in marketing where people are seen as "targets", "prospects", "eyeballs", "impressions", "click thoughs", "Gen Xers", etc. Are these the terms that these same marketers use to describe their family, friends, neighbors, colleagues? Of course not. Ever receive a direct mail solicitation addressed to you, but with the caveat "or the existing occupant"? Makes one feel very special. Or how about........

.........."Hello, mom. As a key target audience of our family, I noticed that you did not "click through" on the email I previously forwarded to confirm our call today." or.......... "Honey, our Gen Y neighbors contacted us today in response to our direct mail solicitation for a free home-cooked dinner offer. I reminded them to present the enclosed coupon on their arrival to our home."

Marketing has de-humanized the people that they wish to "engage" to buy their stuff. Simply put, marketers have lost their "sense of human".

If airlines, for example, discovered their sense of human they would be concerned about how people were treated during the typical airport experience - from departure to arrival. Airlines, however, consider people that travel "passengers" - customers that pay various fares to get from Point A to Point B - hopefully with their luggage.

So marketers need to consider this when thinking about getting people to want to buy their stuff.

Think of them as human beings. Discover your "sense of human".