Marketing With Humanity … and Tech

It was a great year for marketing. Not only did we get access to a lot of new technologies, marketers found ways to use them to connect with customers like never before.
But even with those advances in technology, we also saw many brands embrace marketing in ways that were more human and heartfelt than I ever expected.
In “The Best Marketing of 2017” you’ll see marketing that not only leveraged technology to great effect, but leveraged its humanity to become something more. Whether that meant asking the big questions about equality — like Audi’s celebrated “Daughter” campaign — or capitalizing on the moods and experiences of the audience to make a real connection — like the Snickers “Hangry Index” and “Xfinity’s Bad Weather Trigger,” marketers who used their tools to create an emotional experience for their audiences were the real winners this year.
This is where the future of marketing lies. Not in AI-optimized offers and ever-lower bottom dollars. But in marketing that connects with people and feels even more human, makes the viewer feel even more human, than marketing before we had all of this technology.
So when you sit down to plan your next campaign, next year’s strategy or your next brand launch … take a minute to ask not what can you make them do, but what can you make them feel.
Because your brand value isn’t in your list, it’s in how your target market feels about you. And if you can’t use all of this technology to help grow that connection, then it’s not helping your marketing at all.

Thorin McGee is editor-in-chief and content director of Target Marketing and oversees editorial direction and product development for the magazine, website and other channels.