At first blush, the phrase Think Like People™ might sound a bit like reminding you to breathe, but it's much more complex in the business world. If you're reading this, you're definitely a person and likely in marketing, so you know that the marketing part of us often roundly trumps the unique experiences we bring to the table as humans. But, this year at Olson's annual NXMW conference, our own Jurene Fremstad, SVP of Strategy, helped guests attune to our simple but effective ethos.
Here are Jurene's top points:
1. We need to practice real empathy in order to truly Think Like People™.
Empathy should be something you do, not have. Empathy requires a shared experience, something that’s harder to come by.
2. We're currently in the middle of an empathy deficit.
College students today are 40% less empathetic than college students 30 years ago, while narcissism has increased as quickly as obesity since the 1980s. This is according to the Social Psychological And Personality Science journal and the book, Narcissism Epidemic, respectively.
3. We sometimes mistake insights for empathy.
We look at data points and classify all people by them, often pulling those data points out of context. We need to understand the whole person. It’s not enough to look at the data about someone and reflect it back to them. We’re not mirrors—we have to understand the why behind the what.
4. We need to add real value for people.
As marketers, our jobs are no longer about getting people to do what we want, but rather helping people to do what they want.
5. We should remember in our client work that we're not "marketers," we're people who work in marketing.
Perform a good old-fashioned gut check by asking yourself, "Would I do this... really?"
In all, Jurene's talk was an excellent reminder of the importance of finding commonalities. It's not enough to simply put our people hats on anymore—we must face the new realities of marketing to get in touch with the humanity we all share.