Skip to content

The Human Marketing Manifesto

2012 January 7
Bookmark and Share

elephant manI am not a lead, I am a person. A human being with human concerns.

I was not ‘generated’ by submitting a lead form. I was generated by my parents many years back after a bottle of wine. I existed long before I clicked ‘submit’ to get what was supposed to be a useful eBook, but turned out to be a ten-page stealth ad for your product.

Is the information you solicit in our marketing conversation solely for the purpose of lead qualification? That’s like pretending to listen to a girl at a party while staring at her chest. It’s also rude to ignore any questions (“can you tell me about your pricing and services”) that I email you after you decide I’m not qualified because I don’t fit your target buyer profile. That’s like turning your back on the girl at the party and walking away as soon as you spot her nearby boyfriend.

You’d at least say “Nice talking to you, I’m going mingle and try to meet some other people now.” Maybe as a marketer you should say “thanks for your interest in our products, but unfortunately we don’t have a product that serves your needs. Try Company X, I hear they have a good product for folks like you.”

I am not traffic. I am not driven by your marketing to your site like a lemming is driven by instinct to a cliff’s edge. I am a person who had a need to know something. I searched for it. You did everything you could to get me to your site. Once there, you think a 60% bounce rate is good. In what other pursuit is it permissible to frantically try to get people’s attention only to disappoint three out of every five?

Side note: a business in which I once worked had a name that led people (and search engines) to think that they were in the green energy business. No doubt a sizable chunk of the visitors who bounced were looking for green energy solutions. What would it have cost to add a “looking for green energy? Click here” link that led to a page of green energy links? Not much, and it would’ve been courteous. I can’t change that now. But I am proud of the fact that a key element of the culture in my current company is “humans, not resources”.

Where am I in your funnel? What a stupid question. Who the hell wants to be in a funnel? Jesus didn’t spam a thousand fishermen (“the research shows that fishermen are our ideal target segment due to their mobile lifestyle and low switching cost”) hoping for a 1.2% conversion rate to obtain twelve Apostles.

The only online marketing term that seems remotely respectful of our humanity is UV. You probably know that stands for “unique visitor.” Because we are all, in fact, unique visitors. Like snowflakes, no two alike, blah blah blah.

(If you don’t recognize the photo, it’s Joseph Merrick. Known as The Elephant Man due to his deformity. In the movie he said “I’m not an animal, I’m a human being.” I’m not feeling subtle today.)

S0 – unique visitor – what marketing terms would you change to make them more human? Let me know in the comments.

(Thanks to @xtinem for the Twitter conversation that sparked this rant)