To be human is to be, well, human. And, as a real life human, it is thrilling to be allowed to waaaaaaay overreact to any perceived slight. Truly. Bursting useless blood vessels when someone drifts carelessly into your lane, has the gall to steal that last outlet at the airport or divides the check wrong is, well, is totally fine. In fact, you deserve to do it and if anyone casts an awkward glance in your direction just shrug and plainly mouth “I’m only human, b#$%h.”
Humans are deliciously fallible. As a human you can, and frequently do, get away with almost anything. The ability to explain away all your problems is underrated. Perfection is unattainable but we go ahead and strive for it anyway. Failure is an option since mediocrity is ever-waiting with arms extended, ready to envelop you in a knowing embrace. Who cares if you piss someone off since the ones who love you do so in spite of your [human] faults. Humans are so lucky.
What is scary that humans can now revert to their baser selves, in true character mask theory, through a new-found voice that social media provides. The ability to blast other humans, and brands, while hiding behind a screen-name mask on platforms like Twitter, Tumblr or any of the multitude of comment boards that exist is truly frightening. Like Batman, fictional human that he is, you can be a force for good but there is always a mask to hide behind. Whether you use
antisocial media to engage, connect or blast, humanity is your driver and emotion your core.
And yet, the future of marketing is, at its buzziest, about being human. Brilliant! From venerable thought leaders like Hubspot‘s Dharmesh Shah and Hill Holliday‘s Ilya Vedrashko, to respected advertising sites like Adage, Adweek and Fast Company, humanity is trending big time. Don’t believe it? Watch the follow smart, human-centric ads from JetBlue, TD Bank and Liberty Mutual to see for yourself.
In a world where being human is encouraged, it is only natural that brands do the same. You are already tweet-blasting Comcast for terrible service, as you should, but isn’t it nice when you get a human response that offers assistance? Or, grammar-nerd that you are, you notice a typo and aggressively attack the brand at fault, thus simultaneously showing how bright you are, and, surprisingly, get an apologetic response from that brand. Boom; world rocked.
It can argued that in 2013 if brands don’t embrace their human side then they will become increasingly obsolete. Mistakes and missteps won’t be humanized while actual humans, and competitors. will pounce. Even worse, social media posts won’t seem authentic and engagement with human consumers will suffer. As wonderfully detailed in Grouped, word-of-mouth is a powerful thing and an inhuman brand will carry the wrong type. “Solving for Humans,” as stated by Shah, is vital to creating authentic and original interaction. Today’s brands are increasingly human so, dear human, let the conversation begin!
For Further Reading:
- How to Sell to Humans; Dharmesh Shah
- Hill Holliday’s Ilya Vedrashko on the Trouble With Social Listening