How many times have you read a “personalized” email that gets your name wrong? Are you frustrated that you paid more than your friend for the same coffeemaker on Amazon? Do you wonder why Netflix removes your favorite movie—the day before you wanted to watch it?
Marketing has lost its religion. Our missteps have become so bad, consumers are literally buying their way out with spam filters and ad blockers. Like most of my contemporaries, I once thought the answer to our troubles lay in data: More data. Better data! But over two years of soul searching, I uncovered the real root of marketing’s problem: dehumanization. We’ve forgotten that audiences are made up of people, and it’s slowly killing our profession.
Since then, I’ve been on a mission to restore the human element to marketing. To do so, I consulted a host of professionals outside our field. I learned surprising advice on teaching empathy from Dr. Sherry Chesak of the Mayo Clinic. Best-selling romance author Len Barot revealed her secrets for building audience engagement, while Dr. Gregory King from Harvard educated me on the counterintuitive workings of the Chinese information state (hint: it’s not censorship).
I relate lessons from these luminaries and more in Rehumanizing Marketing, a contrarian business book aimed at saving marketing from itself. Currently in the final editing process, Rehumanizing Marketing gives marketers and communications professionals of all stripes permission to feel vulnerable, ask tough questions, and open their minds—in other words, to be human.
I love my profession, and I believe it’s worth fighting for. I hope you agree that now is the time to unplug the bots, scrap the algorithms, and start Rehumanizing Marketing. Because today’s consumers deserve nothing less.
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