Forget digital for a moment. Forget the size of your data, and whether there exists a word to encompass its bigness. Forget screens and mobile devices. Forget Glass before you even know it. Forget customer empowerment and innovative ways to guarantee engagement online. Forget social media and content marketing. Forget networking, sharing and liking. Forget going viral.
Focus instead on the customer. On the human, being. For despite the sophistication of his devices, he is, in the main, ploughing a well-turned furrow.
Beliefs, practices, philosophies, attitudes and affinities may have changed – but it was ever thus. In the complex mechanics of social interaction, change is the only constant. Yet the motivations and behaviours remain primitive and predictable.
Focus on the human, being. For despite the sophistication of his devices, he is, in the main, ploughing a well-turned furrow.
Sure, advanced medical techniques mean babies are born to men and women who once were women and men. But the template remains (for most) 3 humans being: one helpless and vulnerable; two in need of security to offset the fears that vulnerability breeds – and to fuel the hopes they have.
Yes BIG data can tell us all we care to know and more about the human, being. But Socrates and Shakespeare, Sartre, Freud, and Jung all built BIG reputations on their human insight – with not a sensor in sight.
Yes, the device is important. Imagine being chained once again to the desktop. Imagine that desktop was a dumb terminal. But tomorrow’s device-of-choice may yet be on the drawing board, rendering predictions of future device-driven behaviour little more than crystal ballgazing – not quite in-keeping with the measurable practice of direct marketing.
And yes, the customer IS King. The customer ALWAYS WAS.
So hold on to your marketing principles. Respond to the human condition underlying individual predilections. Meet needs and allay fears, guarantee acceptance to the oft-rejected, reward the loyal and inform those who seek clarification to help them along the path to purchase.
Then add the digital plug-in – for enhanced customer value.