Technology is changing the landscape of marketing. With artificial intelligence and machine learning tools spreading into the sales and customer service world, we’re seeing a shift in what it means to work in marketing. Now, data often replaces the human connections and gut feelings that made up early advertising strategies.

Data is revolutionary. It empowers better decision-making across the board and can help boost a company’s revenues. When it comes to marketing, however, it is important not to get swept up in the potential of data and miss out on the essential human element of the work.

Marketing will always require human understanding and input to truly connect with an audience. In your own data-driven processes, avoid losing the “human factor” to maximize your success. But what exactly do we mean by the human factor, and how does it help?

What is the Human Factor in Data-Driven Marketing?

Your first step in protecting the human factor is to understand what it means. In marketing, this phrase describes the connections that bind our societies and foster a pleasant human experience. The human factor means being approachable, empathetic, and relatable. It means designing solutions and messaging that directly address real-world issues. It means inclusivity and accessibility.

But why are these elements essential in marketing?

Put simply, the human factor is necessary for building any customer experience in a global and digital marketplace. This is because only empathy and human understanding can actually bridge data-driven insights with actionable strategies that sustainably improve business outcomes.

Sustainability, itself a thriving trend in the field of marketing, is composed of three primary elements. These are the environment, the economy, and the social conditions of the people who live within them. In marketing, the human factor makes processes more sustainable by enabling deeper connections with customers and employees.

But many marketing campaigns fail to incorporate the human factor. They focus too much on the data itself and lose out on the human narratives that enlighten real problems and opportunities. As you apply data in your marketing campaigns, you must avoid the same mistakes.

How to Avoid Losing the Human Factor

Fortunately, you can avoid missing out on the human factor in marketing by focusing your campaigns around your customer experiences. The customer is key, and using data to better understand and support them will help you craft even better experiences.

Use the following strategies as you embrace the human element of marketing, even while adopting tech and data analytics:

1.   Start with empathy.

One of the most vital lessons to learn for any kind of marketing venture is to approach your work with empathy. Customers are real people, and their wants, needs, and challenges are what will bring them to you. Use empathy to build a marketing experience around the customer, ensuring that you’re offering them what you might want in their place.

2.   Humanize your brand.

With empathy as a core value of your brand, you can further promote its practice through humanized brand messaging. Humanized branding is a popular trend of modern business. From sassy social media posts to conversational copy, customers want to interact with a brand they might think of like a friend.

3.   Connect on social media.

Part of humanizing your marketing comes with engaging on social media. These are our spaces for sharing and connecting with people, and the wide range of media opportunities makes forming these connections easy.

Instagram, for instance, is a visual platform that has given companies unprecedented ability to reach their audiences and engage with customers through affiliate marketing. Social media tools like this have the power to inspire. By connecting with audiences on social media, businesses expand their potential.

4.   Focus on the value you offer customers.

Customers determine value by what a product does for them versus what it costs. This means to succeed with data-driven marketing, you have to evaluate what products truly mean to customers. By offering value and not just products, you stand to instill a sense of urgency in your customers, improve your reputation, and stand out to potential investors.

5.   Consistently reach out for feedback.

Finally, you’ll need to reach out and engage with your customers consistently to gather feedback and listen to concerns that no quantitative data could uncover. Ongoing feedback should be part of every marketing campaign since it can be instrumental in improving customer experiences.

By practicing these strategies, you can avoid losing out on the valuable human elements of marketing, factors that continue to drive success.

Just look at the power of nostalgia in the marketing of modern franchises. From decades-old superheroes to remakes of 90s movies, nostalgia is a clear factor in sales. Yet, a casual data analysis might miss out on the potential of a human emotion like this.

That’s why an empathetic, humanized, and engaged approach to marketing is a safer bet for making real customer connections. Follow these tips to avoid missing out on this “human factor” when planning your own marketing campaigns.