What You Need to Know About Human Spirit Marketing


Walk into any marketing department, in any industry, at any company, and sit down with their manager and ask, “What do you do all day?” The answer will sound something like this: we listen to consumer’s voices to understand their needs and pain points. Once we understand our buyer personas, we craft value propositions and targeted messages in order to reach, educate, and eventually convert our prospects. Thousands of tech companies, agencies, advertisers, and event planners are working from this tried and true model. And, in ten years, it will be completely useless.

Today’s Marketing Strategy is Unsustainable

Marketing is effectively losing its effectiveness. The public’s wish to spend less will mean that in the future, they’ll be much less likely to pay higher prices for top brands – where the quality difference is minimal, leading to a trend shift towards store brands and white label items. As it stands, top brands are overvalued – indicative of a brand bubble ready to burst.

Traditional media like newspapers and TV commercials are a declining advertising medium, and industries are so crowded with competition that heavy price cutting will be unavoidable. So, don’t be surprised when the C-Suite expects sales and marketing to produce more Market Qualified Leads, more conversions, and more money with a very lean budget.

Finding a Solution

As technology continues to make the world feel smaller, global awareness will grow and cultural concerns like poverty and social injustice will become more visible. This is developing a Globalization Paradox; as the world begins to feel more terrible, consumers will manifest anxiety over global problems and a desire to make the world at large a better place to live.

In order to survive, marketers will need to address the public’s anxiety and desire, share in that dream with them, and take measurable action in order to make a difference and affect the public’s spirituality.

Co-Marketing for the Human Spirit

In Daniel Pink’s “The Whole New Mind,” his Social Development in Human Civilization model emphasizes the importance of right-brainers or creative people. It suggests that they are the people that shape the world, seek to improve it, and search for meaning, happiness, and spiritual realization. These people exercise a significant amount of influence in the lifestyle, technology and culture sectors. Human Spirit marketing takes Pink’s theories to the next level, suggesting that their natural inclination towards creativity and spirituality means that they must connect with products and experiences on both functional and spiritual levels. Their influencer status will thrust entire markets and industries towards Marketing’s spiritual rebirth.

Social Media is essentially the public’s coordinated efforts to accumulate experiences within a community. In the future, consumers will play a key role in co-creating a company’s value through a collaborative creation of both products and services. Think about companies like Rotten Tomatoes, Craigslist, and Wikipedia. Nearly all of their content is user-generated, giving it a ring of authenticity that company-created content can’t match.
“Companies should always try to be real and deliver an experience that lives up to what they claim. They should not try to only appear real in the advertising or they will instantly lose credibility. In the horizontal world of consumers, losing credibility means losing the whole network of potential buyers.” –James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II, Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want.

The building blocks of Human Spirit Marketing are collaboration marketing, community marketing, and spiritual marketing. This equation distills down into one message: Word of mouth is the new advertising medium and spiritual meaning is the new value proposition.