Just before the election, we had a garage sale. As anyone who’s ever had a garage sale knows, the point isn’t wholly selling one’s crap (and the relief therein) but also to abandon oneself to all manner of requisite chit chat. And when you live in the lower Hudson Valley, the chit chat runs the gamut, as do the people. We met all kinds:
- The impeccably dressed Korean couple that chose the Herman Miller knock-off over the real thing (we were selling both).
- The Vermont lady with her tiny car and enormous dog who bought all the cracked garden planters, except one.
- The farmer who knew the family who’d previously owned our house and bought the broken lawn mower for his daughter.
- The girl (and her boyfriend who stood vaping near the mailbox) who went for the full-length mirror with the broken frame.
- The woman who tried on the green coat (too small) and asked if my trainer at the local gym was worth thirty bucks a session (totally).
We liked them all. And we didn’t just take their money – we shook their hands, we learned their names. We got to know them, not as just tourists or hipsters or townies or neighbors. But as humans. And they got to know us. And they bought our crap. Ehem, I mean, treasure.
Because, as genuinely interesting, enlightening and sometimes sobering as the chit chat was, I confess to having an ulterior motive: sell, sell, sell! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that exchanging pleasantries, finding common ground, connecting emotionally, tossing in a story about whatever they’re eyeballing… All stuff that makes the sale. And since the invention of marketing, this basic recipe hasn’t changed: Human Interaction + Emotional Value = Sale. It’s that simple.
Segue to the state of modern marketing: an overwhelming mess of tech, tools, psychographics, profiles, journeys, data (good Lord, SO much data) and, frankly, overkill. Paralyzingly so. Relatability, emotional connectivity, togetherness? Unmeasurable and therefore, back-seat.
So while many 2017 MarTech predictions call for more data, better data and still bigger data, we predict 2017 will bring a new emphasis on the opposite of data: shared, imperfect, human experience. Think snail mail. Phone calls. In-store communities. Dining out. Rock concerts. Peaceful protests. Less “together, alone” and more togetherness. Less calculation, more genuine, more off-the-cuff. Amplified humanness. A vibe, not a bot. A feeling.
Yes, a feeling is the trend for 2017. And you can bet we’ll be leveraging the crap out of it.
– Kate Bradley Chernis
Lately Co-founder & CEO