How to do Business with Heart ❤️

Staying Human in an Overly Analytical Advertising Environment

Removing the human element in day to day business and specifically, in the game of advertising, is the quickest way to lose clients, lose creative power, lose sales… lose money.

In a world where ad agencies and media companies’ goals are to aggregate and automate everything, more and more employees of these organizations are leaning on systems and numbers and ratings to “sell” for them. It’s becoming a crutch.

Old Pattern

This cycle of agencies and media companies starting off with passion and being present, then losing their humanness in an effort to automate everything and turn people into graphs and charts and numbers bums me out. You can watch it happen and you feel powerless to do anything about it.

They struggle to figure out what’s happening to their business as you watch the light go out in their clients’ eyes because they’ve been pushed to the side… again! The agency owner scrambles to take care of their employees while their revenues decline and then they become hard and bitter and start churning clients like crazy, and then make the situation worse by chasing more and more and more instead of taking care of the ones they have.

I’m not saying a business owner is not supposed to look for ways to make their systems more efficient and more profitable I get that, but you can’t sacrifice your clients to do it. The client wants to know that you’ll be there to come up with good ideas and strategy to help them solve problems, whether it’s sales, marketing & advertising, a particular product or piece of equipment or service. They need to know a person, like them, is working on the same issues with them.

Numbers and aggregated data should be used to illuminate and reveal certain information about the audience not define who that audience is.

Numbers Cannot Measure Attitude

No matter how much you want them to, numbers cannot measure behavior changes. Tastes change. Experiences change people. Your audience is constantly undergoing internal and external changes which a formula cannot read (even if an economics professor says they can).

I know the data reveals more and more people are buying more and more of their everyday items online because they “don’t want to deal with a person” but we know that’s not the real reason. We know people want a human experience because of social media. People want to interact, I dare say, on a much deeper level now.

People want to know that another person is on the other end of their experience.

So the notion that turning everything into math will pull in more dollars is very foolish. Every time I go out of my way to meet, in person, with a client that has been just fine with doing all business transactions by email for the last 5 years, I get a big payoff. They spend more money, plain and simple. Why do you think that is?

Realness

Pretty sure we all have heard and have always known deep down that being genuine is the only way we can truly connect with people. Long term and more valuable connections are built and created by coming from a place of real experience and being you. It’s true whether it’s business relationships or family and friends.

The next time you have a client meeting or go to sell anything, give yourself some room to be yourself. You can even fumble around the conversation a bit. Don’t make mistakes on purpose of course, just go a tad out of your comfort zone within the conversation and see how your client responds to you. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Stay Engaged

The best way to stay engaged is to make a genuine connection. The best way to do that is to meet in person, Face to Face. Obviously, you can’t have a face to face for every transaction nor should you have to. If you can accomplish it, it’s much better, but physically reaching out to everyone in a reasonable amount of time is not possible in regards to frequency. It requires utilizing technology.

Technology should be used to enhance human connection and for me, it does. No need to feel guilty. Just don’t cookie cutter and automate everything. You have to continue to inject heart into all you write, say or do.

Pacing

Don’t get greedy. Advertising is a service based business. You start going after too much, too big, too fast, and you’ll lose what you have. A successful businessman and investor told me it’s easier to keep what you have than to go grab something new. Makes complete sense but often times businesses get caught up chasing a shiny object and lose their bread and butter.

It costs less to put energy into keeping what you have, than dropping what you have to go get something new.

Your existing clients must come first. After all, if you can’t take care of what you have, how can you take care of something new anyway? I’ve made the mistake before and lost an account because I was too busy chasing other accounts. I have made a commitment to myself to never let that happen again. I will do everything on my part so if I lose an account, it won’t be because I didn’t take care of them.

I see a business landscape where people are starving for some raw/real openness.. So give it to them. You’ll learn more about yourself along the way and you’ll feel a greater sense of reward because you’ll actually be building something instead of running in circles and losing clients. To make an impact in business, you have to couple your data and algorithms with guts and heart.

-BK