The Average Person Does not Exist

A few thoughts from the floor of the #CGSM2014 conference as I am about to take the stage to talk about marketing makes decisions following Michael Senackerib, CMO Campbell Soup.

Scott Stratten opened the day with stories about how people share emotion and often we draw from the most extreme and the most recent experiences. He also made the point about how we should not use technology just for the sake of showing we are using technology.

Case in point: QR Codes.

Marketing is going — needs to go — where consumers are going. Yet, it is doing so halfheartedly, mostly. Marketers are really good at wanting shiny objects and often at trying to skip the whole planning how experiences will come together. 

There's a lot of conversation about "consumer engagement" and yet so little definition of it. I have no idea what it is supposed to mean. As a consumer, what I want is convenience, information, sometimes education, often look for inspiration, and even though I may not say it, I also look for instigation.

So we should stop talking about driving attention and start thinking about how we may direct attention better.

And we should rethink talking about the average consumer. Though many of us may behave differently at various times, yet we are not dissimilar from each other as part of the human race, a person is many things. However, the average person does not exist.

With social we are learning to expect the unexpected — and that is not always a bad thing.


Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.

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