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Marketing, Human Touch, and Society
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Marketing and advertising are the language of business. We translate what the business community wants to convey to our society. Naturally, then, it is up to our industry to know how and what our society feels, and what they are going through.

Marketing and advertising need that "human touch"; we need to be involved with activities and events that are relatable and bring people together.

Are we getting away from that?

Opinions are mixed. Questions continue to be raised about how the changing marketing landscape will continue to deliver the "human touch" our society has always wanted. With more people online and on social networks for longer periods, and with our activities responding to such changes in behavior, the questions are relevant.

Elaine Fogel, a marketing professional in Scottsdale, AZ, wrote about this very question. She takes it to the step where we think not many people are thinking about, which is how marketing and advertising professionals are integrating the human side of marketing with the digital capacity. In conferences, webinars, and workshops, we hear that "traditional marketing is dead" and "inbound marketing is the future" but there are no real "thought leaders" pursuing the partnership.

At least, not in the mainstream. Jim Sciancalepore of Media Logic wrote about his experience with their "Ultimate Game Changer" promotion they did for a client. To spare the details, they created a contest where finalists were nominated by fans on social networks and platforms, and at the end, the finalists got a chance to have dinner and hang out with the people who nominated them. Not only is that a nice campaign, but it shows that a digitally driven campaign can have an intimate element to it.

Truth is, we are all still trying to figure out how the heck this is going to work. How will people respond based on our offline and online actions? How will consumer responses affect other consumers across the social media space? A topic not too many marketing pros speak of is social neuroscience. Social neuroscience is the culmination of consumer behavior, social psychology, and behavioral economics. It is a field rising in popularity, and a field us communications folks should pay close attention to. Those in social neuroscience are trying to figure out how our interactions with each other affect our behavior. We all probably know from our own experiences that people act differently online versus offline. Why? In AdLand, how can we apply these facts to influence those we target?

Our landscape is still evolving, and it will be interesting to see what answer our industry develops.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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