What is human-centric marketing?
In a world full of data automation, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, we’re all marketing to people. Yes, we’re mastering technology to accurately market to those people, but are we consistently remembering that they are people?
Most of us have turned to technology to help simplify our marketing methods, but even the most complex MarTech stack can’t naturally account for the quirks and divergences that make us all unique. It’s vital to remember that each buyer is an individual and there’s no one-size-fits-all campaign that will snag every target every time.
But there are ways to make those campaigns more effective if we remember to look at the human side.
Don’t Get Stuck
Most automation systems offer templated journeys that take leads through a series of triggered events. Since its inception, this groundbreaking technology has continued to grow into a pervasive tactic across most industries. While useful, like most technologies, it also has its pitfalls.
Have you ever hopped on social media to find a completely irrelevant ad? It’s likely because a marketing team somewhere in the world punched your demographics or activities into their algorithm and set you on a course based on very general specifications. Our reaction to these ads is usually to laugh (or even get irritated). But laughter and irritation aren’t what we’re going for in the B2B marketing game. We all want to be taken seriously, and we don’t want to waste time or money on the wrong prospects, nor do we want to offend the ideal prospects.
There are limitations to our imaginations, therefore limitations exist within the rules we create in our tech platforms. Standard automation journeys take prospects in and dump them into a pre-set series that leaves data-hungry marketers and their prospects wanting.
While at one time this was the epoch of MarTech innovation, this kind of automation is now falling flat. The reality is that no two prospects are alike; even if their demographics look identical, their interests are unlikely to be a perfect match. Instead of marketing to the ideal, it’s time to start marketing directly to the people and each of their idiosyncrasies.
Artificial intelligence is the key to creating a marketing journey that learns about your prospects as they interact with your content. Instead of using the “spray-and-pray” marketing methods of the past, AI gives you the opportunity to market to the individual at their level, and in the places they interact. It also gives you the chance to continually optimize your marketing, which means higher conversion rates and better shots at win-backs.
To illustrate this point, we’ve taken two anonymous users from our database and placed them side-by-side. From a B2B perspective, their demographic and firmographic information is identical: they work for the same company, in the same department, and have the same job title. However, we’ve also pulled out the topics from content they interact with most, and these two individuals couldn’t be more different.
With this picture painted, it’s easy to see why the same marketing tactics are not likely to work for both of these individuals. Furthermore, it’s important to note that not all of the content they interact with is directly related to their jobs. Limiting people to content that only fits within our idea of their careers is another huge mistake that manually-controlled automation tends to make.
These users need two different paths to the same goal, and each one needs a plentiful variety of content areas to choose from. Those paths also must allow for changes of course; if one of these prospects moves to a different department, for example, their topical interests may change. That’s why we continually assess audience members and optimize their individual marketing journeys.
Keeping your prospects happy and engaged is vital to the marketing process. You wouldn’t grab 100 random people off the street and force them to watch the same movie, then expect them all to love it. Why would you take 100 target prospects and feed them all the same content? Don’t waste valuable marketing dollars by putting all of your target personas in one box. Give them the freedom they deserve, and treat them like the unique individuals they are using AI.