“The most human company wins.”~Mark Schaefer, Executive Director of Shaefer Marketing Solutions LLC and Adjunct Marketing Professor at Rutgers University

The quote may seem short, but it’s essentially all you need to know. Our morning workshop with Mark Shaefer, renowned keynote speaker, marketing consultant, author, and executive branding coach, started with a hard-hitting truth: Marketers feel stuck.

But why do so many feel stuck? It’s our customers. 80% of people say they mistrust advertising. Additionally, 87% of customers say they shop around.

The alarming numbers may shock us, but they shouldn’t surprise us. After years of countless deceitful ad strategies, our customers have turned against us. But don’t give up on your marketing efforts just yet, there is hope.

So what’s the key to successful marketing in the 21st century? Be. More. Human.

Customers today want more than ever to feel a personal connection or identify with a brand. We need to stop advertising and start building relationships with our customers.

And how do you build a better digital persona for your brand to deepen relationships with your customers? Easy. Start your company narrative by answering these 6 questions:

  1. Only we ______? Fill in the blank with what makes your brand different.
  2. What is our culture?
  3. Are we conversational, or could we be?
  4. How can we maneuver?
  5. What is our source of rich content?
  6. What does SUCCESS look like?

The last one can be tricky for many. With upper-level management demanding immediate, large-scale ROI, pitching a concept for a company blog or social media strategy can seem dismal.

Instead, look at successes you can measure immediately. The first year may be a focus on social media engagement, but eventually you can graduate to data-driven ROI executives can enjoy. Adjusting the way you measure success as you grow your efforts is the only way to be successful in the human marketing approach.

And for anyone who’s manager is hesitant or is stuck on ROI, Schaefer poses the question, “What is the ROI of bankrupt?”

Learn more on Schaefer’s latest in his new release Marketing Rebellion or subscribe to his blog.

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