March 08, 2018
When we talk about modern marketing, the conversation often tends to focus on technology. How can we automate? What should I be investing in? How will AI impact the future?
Technology plays a bigger role in marketing every day. But sometimes, we need to take a step back and consider the other side — the human interactions that connect brands with their customers, and the need to create meaningful experiences.
Conductor CEO Seth Besmertnik touched on this idea during his opening keynote at the C3 Conference at the New World Stages in NYC on Wednesday. Besmertnik asked the audience to think about how we use Google. Sometimes, a simple Google search can help us discover things about ourselves, our histories, or the places we live. But as Besmertnik notes, Google is only a vessel, and at its core, a very human experience.
“It’s not actually Google that gives the answer, it’s people that give the answers. And we have to think about that, because it’s an incredibly powerful thing that we’re doing,” Besmertnik said
Humanizing marketing was at the heart of every conversation during the first day of C3. Purna Virji, sr. manager, global engagement, Microsoft, discussed how successful chatbots are ones “designed to serve with empathy and intelligence,” a gift only engineers can give.
Todd Friesen, director of digital strategy & SEO, Salesforce, stressed the importance of lifting your employees up, and creating a culture of values that unite your brand internally.
“For your digital strategy, it’s not your budgets, technology, org structure, or headcount,” Friesen said. “It’s your people that determine your success.”
— Amy Onorato (@ArtOnorato) March 7, 2018
For Conductor, a SEO and content marketing platform, the topic of humanization is a personal one. A day before the event, the platform announced they were being acquired by WeWork, known primarily for their co-working spaces. At face value, it seems like an unlikely partnership. But at a fireside chat between Besmertnik and WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, the parallels in mission were clear.
“Marketing is an incredible place to be right now,” Neumann said. The CEO also outlined his mission to help “turn businesses into educators,” and help “teach companies a better way to sell their products.”
“At WeWork, we would like to create a world that we love – and we would like to create a life, not a living,” Neumann said. “…WeWork is using desks, and co-working spaces, to enter the larger category of life.”
Modern marketing is more than the shiniest new tech trend. Expansion of the digital landscape allows us to be more connected than ever. Technology can help us chart a more clear and precise path, but without human touch, we are still screaming into the void – or, as the common cliché goes, “throwing things at a wall and seeing if they stick.”
In a way, technology has the power to help make marketing more “human” than it’s ever been.