“Humanizing” in the Value age

This post appeared in Italian on Estrogeni Blog. Thanks again to Francesco for asking me to say something about a so greatly interesting topic as the transformation of Marketing functions in the value age*.

*This concept of Value Age, intended as this post-global crisis era we are living, is definiely something I want to dig more in deep, I’ll tag my related post with a specific “value age” category and tag from now on.

from blog.estrogeni.net:

Understand the world we live in has always been very difficult.

Of course, living in an era of singularity and exponential technological development does not make things easier: everything changes so quickly that it is impossible to predict the more remote consequences of facts, to correlate causes and events. Develop your own strategy has eventually become very difficult.

Getting it right when you promote a product, service, or simply an idea to the market and the society is a matter of talent, luck and, above all, vision (which I would intend as the ability to interpret the remote future).

In this age of transition is fundamental to refer to values staying at the horizon of the new development model facing (and in some ways evoked by) our society.

Few days ago, Umair Haque wrote an extraordinary piece entitled “The shape of the meaning organization” on his blog for Harvard Business Review. In the post he foresees a transition of the old concept of Marketing to a new one called  “humanizing”:

[…] companies are going to have to get lethally serious about having an enduring, meaningful, resonant, multiplying, positive, proliferating set of impacts ? of all types, whether social, human, intellectual, spiritual, creative, or relational.

[…] “humanizing” is about helping people stop mutely, rotely (over)consuming, and start enjoying, improving, bettering; to help them maximize the authentic, long-run value they realize from a product or service

The web, vanguard and guide of modern society, was the first place in which a production always in search for lower costs and increased consumption has transformed into a new production, always looking for pursuing authentic values: to have a real and decisive impact on our lifes, to enable sharing socially and tribally and, eventually, aim to an the ethical and equal treatment of users.

The global digital market is no more, as demonstrated in the novel book by C. Anderson, The Long Tail, than the result of a disruptive democratization phenomenon.

Ranging from the mean of goods production and promotion – first digital goods, think of the transformation of the music industry that came out of myspace, and later on physical ones, with the DIY and makers movement or 3D printing – to  recommendation mechanisms, shared use and the absolute reign of the “word of mouth”: all this revolve around one pivot point, the end user.

If the individual is the new gravity center of the market and, with no doubt, the major actor of products success then perhaps communication will have to abandon the mere application of predetermined strategies and become ability to tell  “real” stories, to transmit shared values and even the value of sharing itself (being this the etymological root of the term communication).

The final aim of the communication will therefore be to give users an increasingly important role in inspiring the production and to allow them to share the very act of producing.

Sure, if the new role imposed to communication is difficult to interpret, the greater change is sought today to industry and market: to merge with the new society that we are going to become.

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About meedabyte

Strategist, Consultant and Collaborative Pathfinder


  1. Is it true? Is it a fast changing world? Are we really getting aware of the fact that we are in times of changes?
    Let’s answer this first.
    Some of the past ideas are turning real nowadays, think about clouds, netbooks and smartphones. I could name their ancestors of 20 years ago.

    While their ante litteram counterparts appeared and remained proud and great attempts of making some technological brand new jewel, their more efficient nowadays counterparts appear as already old, passed.
    We are delivering products that seems already insufficient before reaching shelves.
    The pimped version is coming soon, and the “vision” of mid term upcoming is already shared within large communities.
    Boy, that’s an hard market to get in to.

    A “Value” product should give quality to the time we spend on this.
    Several products are cool, evolved and nice to use but are we sure of the value coming from their impact on our lives?
    Mobile posting while traveling home by train is a usage of valuable stuff?
    What part of my living is going to inspire the next humanized valuable product?
    If I use mobile stuff everytime and everywhere I will inspire a world of everytime and everywhere technology. Thanks to communities.

    Am I a gravity center, or a black hole?

  2. Again, I broadly agree with all this. In this context, you might find the book “Collaborative Consumption” interesting if you’ve not already read it: it’s very much about applying the ideas that lie behind free software – sharing et al. – to the analogue world currently consumed by, er, consumption…

  3. meedabyte

    Another good advice and another book in my wishlist.
    Thanks again for spending your time on this!

  4. Pingback: Talking Today’s Online Communications with Marco Massarotto. «

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