We gathered marketing leaders in San Francisco to talk about how to scale marketing personalization with special guest, Bryan Kramer. Bryan Kramer is the CEO of Purematter, creator of #H2HChat on Twitter and author of the book “Shareology”, just released on July 14.


After the event, Bryan sat down with us for a Q&A.

You have worked with a lot of companies who want to humanize their marketing. Is there a common catalyst among them that inspires them to do so?

Customers, as humans, are fickle and are so empowered today that they expect extraordinary, over-the-top experiences that rock their world. Nothing less will do. Gone are the days where feedback was kept quiet and experiences were collected around a review form. Today, your customer’s comments are transparent to your competitors, making it easier for them to publicly see your pain points. Comparisons are easier to make and product switching happens faster than ever. Customers are ready to move on unless they have one thing – an undying relationship with a person or people at your brand who made them feel uniquely special.

As marketing gets more sophisticated, we have more access to data about our customers than ever before. How do we personalize without crossing the “creepy” line?

The idea of improving engagement with prospects by personalizing their experience has been at the forefront of the marketing landscape for the last few years.

Don’t take my word for it: try conducting a search for a fairly specific item, like a crib for a newborn baby. After you engage with the search results a bit, browse onto your regular social media networks, favorite media sites, etc. Notice the type of targeted advertisements that you begin to see.

Assuming you are using standard browser settings, you’ve probably been bombarded with ads about buying a baby crib. Looks almost as if the Internet has you or your partner’s pregnancy test results, huh?

Many digital marketing enthusiasts would call this kind of example a great representation of the huge leap forward that the world of marketing has taken. On the other hand, many consumers have expressed some discomfort with targeted ads. Major civic organizations have created petitions to stop Facebook from using browsing history to display targeted ads, and in a recent survey by Ipsos, nearly 70% of smartphone users in the United States say they are uneasy about having their activity tracked for advertising purposes.

You’ve got to focus less on marketing techniques and more on connecting with people by creating a human to human, #H2H connection.

What chapter of your book “Shareology” are you most excited about and why?

In my research for this book, I interviewed over a hundred people to try and figure out what motivates us to share. What I’ve discovered is that behind all the reasons people say we share, whether it’s to help someone, to make them laugh, to alert them of something, there was really only one reason at the core of human sharing.

Self-perception.

Now, before you start ranting “But wait Bryan, that seems too selfish of a reason, there has to be something deeper!”, let me explain.

We care about what we think about ourselves, because that’s our identity as a human. We also care about what others think of us because we need to connect with others and belong to a tribe, and to do this we need to align ourselves with other humans . In the marketing world, this is branding. And as humans, because technology has empowered us to share with our global tribe, it’s never been more important to treat ourselves as a personal brand.

Creating and sharing information is important, but creating and sharing our own personal brand is what shapes the way people perceive us and connects us to the tribes that matter.

In order to help put a little science around this, my team and I spent quite a bit of time pondering the legitimacy of this formula which is in the book.

The Shareology Sharing platform and community is going strong…what’s the number one reason why people should take advantage of free access that comes with the book?

The Shareology Sharing Platform is a community of people who understand the power of sharing great content and experiences. It exists, because through the process of writing my book (sharing the same title, Shareology), I realized that the best way for people to understand this power was to experience it for themselves. Reading is a great start, but I’ve always believed that learning by doing is the best and most sustainable way we learn as humans.

So here's how it works. Our partners have created some pretty awesome content and challenges for you, all shareable to your networks if you like what you read or do. You earn points every time you share, and accumulate more points by sharing more stuff. The more points you earn, the more cool rewards you can redeem them for!

I hope you’ll connect with others inside the platform too, as everyone inside Shareology will discover something together: that sharing is what gives us a unique competitive advantage for building human brands.

What are some companies that come to mind that are really rocking it when it comes to humanizing their marketing?

Word of caution: while there are great tools out there that help us automate the process, too much automation of engagement gets us into trouble. The more complex we get with our automation systems, the harder we have to work at humanizing what we do. Unfortunately, the science of automation has taught your target audiences to un-trust most marketing. For instance, do you ask yourself when you’re doing email triage every morning if a particular email is from a real person or is it an email blast that’s been personalized? Are you suspicious that the ads you see are re-targeted? Do you stop looking at your direct messages on Twitter because all you seem to receive are automated messages? Your audience is just as sick of being bombarded with automation as you are.  Virgin America, IBM, and Ben & Jerry’s are excellent examples of companies that follow this model. Check them out for yourself.

Want to see how data-driven marketing and wealth intelligence can help you personalize your messaging and reach more of the right prospects? Request a demo now.

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