So many “me too” campaigns simply repeat how digital marketers seek to influence people, leaving analyst and anthropologist Brian Solis of Altimeter Group fearing we may have lost sight of the simple fact brands are dealing with people more than apps.
“In a world of machines, humanity is the killer app,” he told Adobe Summit EMEA delegates.
Solis believes the problem with so-called digital innovation is that marketers are developing for specific devices or screens and not thinking of the people they are hoping to interact with. He described this as “Mediumism”, arguing “we concentrate on the medium, rather than the possibility of engagement.”
Marketers forget what Solis terms the “Human API”. Rather than produce ‘me too’ moments which reflect what other brands are doing and may lead to encouraging results, marketers need to make themselves so relevant that they can start to initiate behaviour change.
“Don’t compete for the moment, compete for meaning and relevance,” he advised.
A good way of starting out on this journey is to focus on putting the most human characteristic of all, empathy, at the heart of how they reach out to customers so the interaction will be more long term.
“You can have incredible success but it can be fleeting, it’s better that we turn ROI in to Return On Influence,” Solis said.
“That means you’re not competing against yesterday’s standards but instead can control cause and effect to change behaviour. We’re working on some interesting projects with Google where we seek to control those microsecond engagements to get what we call ART – that’s an Action, Reaction or Transaction that will mean the person will remember us and come back.”
The key to this, and his parting message to delegates, was that digital marketers need to make people feel special by remembering, “Innovation is human, and it begins in the heart”.