The first half was almost over and the championship game was slipping away from Louisville. It was looking like Michigan was headed towards a lopsided victory when the camera switched to Kevin Ware sitting on the sidelines- then I remembered, there is no way Louisville is out of this, they can't let that guy down! Louisville had some thing, some one, to fight for. In the end Michigan didn't stand a chance. Louisville fought back and won the game as if their lives depended on it. I have to believe it had something to do with Kevin Ware sitting there on the sidelines recovering from his horrific injury.
A recent book by Adam Grant, "Give and Take," reveals how we are motivated by helping others. Studies show that we are much more likely to change our behaviors when we see how our actions could benefit others versus when they would only benefit ourselves. I'm sure there are evolutionary reasons for this- parents protecting children, tribe over individual. Regardless, the wiring is deep within us and we should leverage it, not resist it. The important thing is that we have to see, physically, the people that will benefit from our behaviors. It has to be real. Like Kevin Ware sitting on the sidelines, cheering on his team.
So should it be with marketing. The more we market with actual people in mind- not just numbers, personas, etc- the more that marketing will resonate with those same, real human beings. Too often we, marketers, get lost in reports and data. We need to remember to look up from our computers from time to time and look into the eyes of our customers. This way we can never forget who we are fighting for.