Human matter

We have made marketing a commodity. We have made it about scale, repetition, numbers, algorithms. We have made it a matter of point-to-point measurement and one-way funnel.

And now we worry that a machine can take our job?

AI will replace you if you think that marketing is a “if this then that” statement, if you look at a blog post only in terms of keyword density, if you consider an ICP something to bend at your own need.

For all the others, we still very much need you.

It’s not the rise of the robots that frightens me.

It’s the rise of all those corporatists who have forgotten that humans matter.

George Tannenbaum, Rising. Falling. Choosing.


“Press 1 for contracts, invoices, and any other issue” is not a very useful step in the journey of your customer.

“I am experiencing a small technical issue, let me fix that, and I will call you back in five minutes” is a great step in the journey of your customer.

It sounds silly to still be talking about this in 2023, yet so many company fail at the “care” part in customer care.

What does that mean

If you are looking for a way to align across teams, start with definitions. Particularly, definition of metrics and KPIs.

A meeting is a meeting, right? Think again.

A signup is a signup, right? Think again.

A sequence enrolment is a sequence enrolment, right? Think again.

Going through what things mean, exactly, can be a painful, unnerving, boring process. And nobody ever wants to actually ask the question.

But when it’s done and documented, there’s immediate alignment and clarity.

Choose carefully

Hubspot and Intercom are very successful companies. And on the exact same type of communication to their customer, they choose two completely different approaches.

One is before, the other is after.

One raises awareness, the other raises alarm.

One gives you agency, the other takes it away.

One is about hope (“Your contacts database is growing”), the other is about failure (“You’ve exceeded the usage”).

Also (you can’t say that from the message alone, but I’ll ask you to trust me), one is true, the other is not.

There is no right or wrong way to do stuff.

But the choices you make say a lot about who you are and what you stand for.

Three levels

There’s a great level of customer service. It’s personal, human, helpful, and resourceful.

There’s a basic level of customer service. It’s quick, some times robotic, a bit repetitive, not always helpful.

And then there’s a shitty level of being human. It’s arrogant, pointless, definitive, and unaccountable.

People will only remember the first and the third. Up to you where you want to be.