How often have you opened an email or flipped a magazine and seen an ad that is missing something very crucial in marketing: an emotional connection. Such emails or service ads have no heart; they are part of faceless, emotionless machinery. That is the exact feeling that “people-centric” marketing strives eliminate.

The rise of the Internet, big data, and AI-driven platforms have drastically altered the marketing landscape. Today, businesses are increasingly automating certain aspects of their marketing strategy. The question is, should they?

Just because today’s customers are extremely connected to their devices doesn’t mean they have stopped desiring human experiences and interactions. At the end of the day, all marketing efforts are for your customers who are real “people.” This makes it important for us, businesses, to find ways to reconnect with customers on their devices and each social platform they use, but in a way that enables them to feel connected to your brand on a more human level.

Be authentic and honest

Being genuine, authentic, and behaving like a friend to your customers really works wonders in building a “people” to “people” interaction that helps in shaping positive brand perception. When done well, authenticity can become the foundation of your marketing campaigns’ success.

Your marketing efforts can generate an authentic feel by being transparent, which ultimately establishes trust with the audience. Brands also need to engage with target audiences in a way that does not seem like an intrusion—letting them come to you vs. pushing your way into their devices.

Be personal, but empathetic

In today’s noisy marketing landscape, perhaps no characteristic is more refreshing than being empathetic toward your customers’ struggles. For this, the objective of your commercial or your social feeds should be “they get me.” To achieve this, you must begin with understanding your audience and their pain points really well. Before you jump into the tactical nitty-gritty of marketing, it’s really helpful to understand how your clients operate. When undergoing such exercise considering finding answers to the below-mentioned questions:

  •  Who is your target audience? Have you identified your buyer personas?
  • How will your buyers benefit from your products or services?
  • How does your buyer persona think and act towards your products and services?
  • Who is your ideal customer?

Integrate this understanding into your advertising, social media posts, blogs, etc. Integrating personalized messaging into these mediums is your business’ way to say – “I’m listening. And, I know what you want. I know what you need.” The more you show this to your prospects, the more likely they will connect with you and even become your top referrers. Remember, you don’t need to guess at what your customers need; take the time to talk with them and then listen carefully when they share their pain points.

Be conversational

While automation can save costs and improve your short-term ROI, floating auto-generated emails might hurt your brand’s image in the long run. Perhaps that’s why storytelling is still a fundamental piece of the prospect communication puzzle.

Good storytelling puts a more human face on your business. Stories add color, personality, and relevance to what you are trying to sell. A story helps your clients understand how your product/service portfolio fits into their business goals.

One effective way to tell your story is through your existing customers—use short testimonial videos or creative success stories to showcase your partnership with your current customers, highlighting the “people” side of your business.

Final Thought: Without including the “people aspect,” it’s much harder to create compelling content marketing. One key part of being a great marketer is understanding how (and why) people think and act the way they do. In the end, good marketing is about building relationships; it’s always about listening to what customers want and need.