The Human Touch

Posted by Flux on 

25 July 2022

Fake News

Above: Software that imitates facial expressions and voice.

From dead celebrities resurrected using CGI, to puppet politicians manipulated using advanced facial and voice imitating software, to lifelike Facebook avatars for you and me (which means you could soon star in your own fake news video, without your knowledge), it’s harder than ever for people to trust anything they hear or see online.

Visit to generate your own life-like fake people.

Fake clicks
As marketers, you may not be getting what you pay for. Pixelate’s 2017 research shows 20% of pay per click conversions are fraudulent while FraudLogix estimates 50% of ad impressions served on Internet Explorer were to non-human traffic in 2016.

End result? Nobody trusts anybody.

“People trust advertisers less than politicians.” ~ Dave Trott, Author & Advertising Expert

Big data for micro-targeted marketing
Big data allows brands to make minuscule inferences to sell hyper-targeted products to consumers right at the time and point of need.

For example: Sushi Singularity is a Japanese restaurant that analyses its customers’ urine to create hyper-personalised sushi for each and every client.

However, big data as a strategy can be dangerous – why?

“The privileged will increasingly be processed by people, the masses by machines.” ~ Cathy O’Neil, Data Science Expert

  • Data discrimination. In the future, when it comes to employment opportunities, access to products, privileges and services, an elite will be treated differently to ‘ordinary folk’. They will be handled as individuals by real people, not as a number processed by a machine.
  • Expect a consumer backlash against privacy invasion and discriminatory “price diversity” managed by biased bots and algorithms.
  • In the offing are legal restrictions that limit consumer data collection (e.g. GDPR in the EU or POPPI in South Africa) and proposed legislation that will force companies to financially compensate consumers for collecting and using their data.
  • The perils of the platform economy. By taking advantage of the convenience and connections of big-tech platforms owned by the FAANGs, (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google etc.) and super apps (WeChat and Alipay, which combined, connect 30% of the world’s population) smaller companies need to understand that they no longer own the relationship with their own consumers.
  • Unconscious consumerism. As consumers (and businesses) increasingly outsource their purchase decisions to algorithms and artificially intelligent voice activated personal assistants, brands and businesses will increasingly find themselves selling to machines rather than to humans – and, as such, competing in a zero-sum, lowest-cost game.
  • The trade-off between big brands and big data. A brand requires shared value and community. This is at odds with big data hyper-personalisation strategies that focus on a unique product and offer for each and every individual consumer.

In defence of the human touch
In short, when brands do not own a personal one-on-one human-centric relationship with their customers, they compete on a lowest cost, highest convenience level, rather than a high value, high margin level. Brand value and personal feelings no longer play a role in the consumer’s relationship with the brand or business. It is a purely automated transaction. If you treat your customers as nothing but data output, they will treat your business as nothing but data inputs, rendering your business replaceable by your cheapest, fastest competitor. Brand value (and margin) is to be found in building and developing real, even seemingly irrational, emotion-driven human relationships based on trust, emotion and shared value.

“Most problems don’t require more data. They require more insight, more innovation and better eyes. Information is what we call it when a human being takes data and turns it into a useful truth.”
~ Seth Godin, Digital Marketing Expert & Author

This trend briefing is specifically designed for business leaders, senior managers, retailers, brand managers and anyone in advertising or marketing, specifically those who want to form meaningful and beneficial connections with a 21st century customer.

Presented by Bronwyn Williams
– Trends as Business Strategy –

If you are interested in booking this virtual trend briefing for your management team or clients please contact Bethea Clayton on or +27764539405

Image credit: Killian Cartignies

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