Marketing with your heart

Did a presentation on this at the recent DM Days Conference at the University of Akron. My advice to marketers is to think with your heart first–think yourself into the heart of your customer.

And now I get to link to this lengthy article that backs me up–I love when that happens. Seems some marketers got involved with a federal agency dealing with the homeless. Listen to this great story:

“…federal agency, used basic marketing research to arrive at a likely solution to homelessness. The agency simply went out and interviewed homeless people and asked them what they wanted. Their answer was that they wanted a room of their own. So they could pursue Happiness, presumably.
That research-driven insight led to a program, called Housing First, that puts homeless people into apartments, which as it turns out is far less expensive than keeping them on the streets. The success rate, with success defined as ‘not returning to the streets for five years’ is pegged at 88% in New York, where some 400 homeless have been given rooms. In Phoenix, the success rate is set at 92% and San Francisco says its homeless rate has dropped 40%.”

That’s a single example–but oh, man, it’s a powerful one. And you might feel like the writer is lecturing–and yeah, he is a bit–but sometimes it’s important to say what you really think, no matter who gets aggravated about it. On the other hand, sometimes (he refers to a survey that says 80+% of Americans agree that our country is “too materialistic”) you could be surprised how many people agree with you. If you’ve got a few minutes, read the whole thing.

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