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Whiskey (and Why Humanity Is More Important Than Ever)

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The future of marketing will require building trust and embracing humanity more than ever before.

Jay: Hey, it’s Jay, coming to you from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Just finished up the IBM Amplify Conference out here. Really fascinating stuff. A lot about predicting computing, cognitive computing, IBM’s Watson and how that’s going to help marketers be even more relevant in the future, giving customers the perfect message, the perfect opportunity, and the perfect channel at the perfect time, really terrific stuff. But that’s gonna create some challenges, too because that kind of hyper-relevancy, that kind of just-in-time perfect magic marketing, if you will, causes some trust issues because it becomes obvious, in some cases, that we know a lot about our customers, and that frankly freaks people out.
Look, we already have a trust issue between customers and companies. Americans trust each other, human beings, twice as much as they trust companies. And so the way we have to fight against that is to build trust bridges, build bridges of trust between customers and prospective customers and our businesses. And I believe one of the best ways to do that is to use humanity, is to showcase that your company is not just a bunch of robots. It is actual, real human beings that are just like you. The people who work here are just like our customers. And in this future state, really it’s the present state now, where we’re using more and more and more and more and more technology to interact with our customers, emphasizing that human condition becomes even more important.
One of my favorite recent examples of this in practice is from Jack Daniels. Jack Daniels has an incredible campaign called Our Town, which plays out in a series of TV commercials, which showcases to people who live in Lynchburg, Tennessee, where Jack Daniels has been made for more than 150 years. I think it’s an unbelievably good example of humanization of an industry that you wouldn’t necessarily think of. It really gives you a feel for the spirit of the company and the people in the town and the people who work for the companies. It’s produced by Arnold, the ad agency, check it out.
Jack Daniels Ad Narrator: This is Lynchburg, Tennessee. This is how many people were born here. This is how many are fifth generation. This is how many are named Hiawatha Kitty McGee. These people have served their country. This is how many’ll still be in town when the football team plays at Huntland. She’s from Taiwan. He’s German. This guy keeps the town dry. These guys would prefer it a little wet. This many have ejected from an SR-71 Blackbird and lived to tell about it. He can lift a 500 pound barrel of whiskey. These are the descendants of Mr. Jack Daniel himself. This is how many people are proud of what we do here. This is how many’ll go around bragging about it. This is our town. For 150 years, the home of Jack Daniels. If you can’t get here, just look for one of our postcards. We send them all over. They look like this.
Jay: Isn’t that fantastic? Man, I just love, love, love the way they put that together. It really does tell a story, and it really does emphasize the human side of the business and of the town. It’s something we all can do a better job of. In fact, we just rolled out a brand new email program at Convince and Convert. You can go to to see it, where each time we send an email, we actually have a video, not unlike this video, where we talk to our email subscribers about the trends that we think are important. Now, very few emails have a video from a strategist embedded in it to help you understand the news. But that’s the direction we’re going as well. Why? Because trust and humanity are more important than ever, especially in this era of cognitive and big data and lots of computers and lots of predictive and lots of hyper-relevancy. The human side will be more important than ever. I hope you think about that today.
Thanks, as always, to my friends at Emma for underwriting Jay Today. Get more from your email marketing, go to Live from Vegas, I’ll see you soon, thanks.

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