Marketing for Humans: A Radical Concept

Let’s talk about the term “logo acquisition.”

As you probably know, it’s a sales euphemism for landing a new client, as opposed to upselling an existing client.

Acquiring a new logo is cause for celebration. It means you’ve broken through to a new organization and can include them in your roster of clients, and potentially be able to sell them more services in the future.

It’s also a weird term of art that takes us further away from what marketers and salespeople should have front-and-center every day: the notion that we are human beings, marketing and selling to other human beings.

Because even if you’re in B2B marketing, your job is to create a connection to a human being. People buy from people (not news!), and establishing an emotional connection that acknowledges the hopes, dreams and fears of your prospective customer is what we’re all here for.

But that reality gets obscured too often by the obsession with building the perfect martech stack.

Look, I’m not some luddite who doesn’t believe in technology. Marketing technology can help us to achieve greater heights than were possible 20 years ago.

We’re way past the era of buying ads in print media and lighting a candle while we pray it works. We can track this stuff now. We can keep score. And we must.

But unfortunately, we’ve zigged really far away from the human element that is central to what our goals should be. There’s an industry-wide obsession with working the machines that has become the game within the game—that’s fine sometimes, but every now and then we need to poke our heads up and view the landscape.

We can’t forget that technology is the enabler, not the goal. Tech should make it easier to scale your marketing brilliance, but if you focus too tightly on the tech stack your marketing will never be brilliant.

The tech hyper-focus turns marketing into an inward-facing exercise, rather than the never-ending effort to create and maintain trust-based relationships that smooth the path for the customer to buy something.

Creating this relationship begins with a deep understanding of our customers. We have to roll up our sleeves and do the work to understand how buying decisions get made, and who influences those decisions.

We need to conduct interviews to gain real understanding of the work lives of these influencers in the buying center. We need to have empathy for their position, and then create marketing materials that demonstrate that we have that empathy, and just be able to help.

It’s hard work, and machines can help, but humans will bring it to life.

To help elevate this idea, we’re putting on the first-ever Marketing for Humans event. It’s a half-day virtual conference set for April 13th. We have some great speakers lined up, including Marketing Insider Group’s Michael Brenner. The cost is $25, with all proceeds going to charities chosen by our speakers.

It’s a chance to have your thoughts provoked, learn from some smart folks, engage in debate and do some good. Hope to see you there!

John Miller is the Founder of Scribewise. He blogs frequently on content marketing trends, the need for brands to build an audience, and general marketing topics. Email him at john@scribewise.com.

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