Humanization of Marketing with David Amerland

Ideas are powerful! What a wonderful conversation we had on this #maximpact episode 101! While creating a text transcript for this video (included below), I realized how many incredible gems are included in these 40+ minutes.

I had David Amerland, author and analyst with, on the show once again and it was a blast!

We talked about human-to-human interactions in business-customer relations:

  • Why did we hide human side behind our professional facade?
  • What’s required to be a successful 21st century business?
  • What’s the value of your customer?
  • What cooking risotto can teach you about your business?
  • It doesn’t matter how good you are – you won’t get business if the main piece is missing.

Video Recording:



Text Transcript:


Max Minzer: Hi and welcome back to #maximpact episode 101!

Thank you for listening, watching, reading. I’ll have this recorded on if you would like to read, watch or prefer another format. You can communicate with us with hashtag #maximpact on Twitter or on Google+ event page and we will answer your questions live.

Our topic today is Humanization of Marketing: human to human interaction and we have David Amerland back on #maximpact.

Hi, David!

David Amerland: Max, Hi! I’m delighted to be back. And what a subject so I’m looking forward to it!

Max: David is the author and analyst with exploring digital world as an author, writer and speaker.

Before we begin can you give us a little bit of a background – where you started and how did you get to the point of writing books about marketing?

David: Haha! That is probably the most circuitous route ever. By training I am a chemical engineer and that’s what I, basically, specialized in.

And while I was doing that I had a thing for writing ever since I could basically think about writing. So while I was at the University I was also moonlighting as a journalist doing mostly scientific articles for the newspapers popularizing science.

When I left the university the easiest thing for me was to step into ready made job. Which is what I did.I started making money online on Teach Me! Personal Finance’s LifePoints Review: Legit, Good Paying and Fun Too, was a great way to learn more about this popular panel. Then I became a journalist for The European, at the time it was a UK newspaper, and I traveled all over Europe on an AmEx card. Everything was pretty amazing. It was a fantastic job to have as a young man, really. What I did is I wrote short pieces about culture and science across Europe for the paper and that was my beginning, really.

Which then led to 1993 when price of paper went through the roof. Newspapers got back on on ropean and it closed shortly after.

And then I jumped into business journalism working for a large corporation the UK, called John Lewis Partnership, as a communications adviser and later on as a communications specialist. Throughout all that, through science and journalism at a time, you are actually working with technology at the cutting-edge. I used to file stories stories using the Internet at the time for the NUJ-Net, which is the precurse of the Internet in the UK. It was, sort of, closed-circuit system which journalists had access to. .

So, one thing led to another. You accumulate knowledge and put that knowledge into practice. All this is new, in terms of translating technical stuff into practical stuff, and found itself in the domain of technology in business.

Max: And here we are.

David: Yeah, I find myself working in business at the cutting edge of it – at the interface where technology allows you to do new things in a different way, perhaps, in a better way, and tries to give you a competitive advantage.

I left the John Lewis Partnership in… 2003? Let me think about this…

Max: You are getting old, David 😉

David: I am. Yeah it seems so far, doesn’t it? It wasn’t that long ago… 2002. And then I freelanced for a while. I did my own thing. I was a PR director for a sports organization in the UK. Then I joined Direct Studio doing SEO for them. I was the leader of their SEO team and after that (2010) I wrote my first book and I just made the leap into full-time writing. In a nutshell.

Max: We are going to talk about humanization of marketing. That means we’re going to explore connections businesses have with their audiences – how do you benefit and bring value on the table as a business.

But before we talk about this why do you think you can talk about the subject? What right/authority do you have to talk about it? If you can explore that…

David: Oh, absolutely! That’s a great question and, essentially, I do a lot of things. What I do primarily these days is write books about very specific subjects. In doing that, I have to do a little research that cuts across many different verticals. Not just technology and not just science but it also involves psychology and marketing. A lot of this stuff which I research these days impacts upon the stuff which I was actually implementing in my corporate job. There are also many companies like SearchUp SEO that can make your business website convert better and increase the visibility of your company online.

On top of that, I have the privilege to advise quite large corporations who are active across different domains and different countries. They always very generously share data  they have with me as we discussed problems and the successes. That gives me a bird’s eye view, which is quite unique, really. It’s a privileged position to have because not many have it but it fell into my lap as it were. It was not part of the grand plan.

What I do is I take all the things which I have access to and synthesize them, which is where the analyst part comes in, partners in, really. And from there I, sort of, formulate a picture which gives me a theory, which these days are shared generously, and we see how it actually impacts and how it goes.

Max: Interesting! Humanization of marketing. Coming back to that. Where have we failed?

We come from interactions on the market where people would know each other on the street. And we come to today where we buy from people we don’t know. So I’m trying to explore – where have we failed that we even have to talk about this subject now?

David: I think the more pertinent question here is why have we failed?

We love human interaction and we are at the most comfortable when we’re dealing person to person. It is also the most challenging because we invest the greatest amount of resources in our brain power, in terms of analyzing a new situation, reading a new person and deciding whether to trust them or not. A lot of the work is done on subconscious level and neuroscience gives us that. If we look at studies, the brain works incredibly hard to actually decode a human to human interaction and situation. We’re exceedingly good at this. We are fantastic!

So if we’re so good at this the question is – why have we become so bad and why did we become so bad for the greatest part of the 20th century in what we try to market at an arm’s length and actually went out of our way to hide a human side behind up blonde corporate facade which stood for professionalism?

It comes down to one word – scale.

Scale means everything we do is guided by a gain-loss mechanism, really, a gain-loss algorithm. In order to gain something we need to lose something because we need to invest energy and we are essentially hard-wired to maximize and optimize that process. So really we are really good at trying to find shortcuts. We are really good at trying to scale things. We are really happy when we are doing the least amount of work and getting the greatest among the benefit.

And this isn’t just work – it’s anything. You eat a sandwich, for instance – there are probably 30 different ways you can and if we look at the way you’re actually doing it it’s the most optimized one for the effort and what you get back from it. This applies to business as well.

In the 20th century we discovered that we can scale things. We discovered broadcast mechanisms. We discovered shortcuts which actually created essential trust in our audience. If we could have, for instance, a very expensive shop, the fact that the we invested that amount of money into that shop, created that kind of facade, trained the staff to a certain degree – generated the trust that we need with our audience.

If we could have a skyscraper in one of the expensive cities in the world and a skyscraper cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build and that was our headquarters – that again stood for something. So brand values which meant cost, which meant investment, which meant suddenly had a lot to lose in not doing things right became the shortcut in terms of creating that trust with an audience. In all that we dehumanized things because that became an easy read – something which everybody could understand.

In the process we lost a lot of things obviously. We lost a human connection (which now is important again) and as things happen every time we do something we also take advantage of it to the point of abuse. We did that with scaling things.

So if you are a large corporation and a customer had a problem with you and you had a million customers you thought “OK. I can afford to lose that customer. The best thing I can do here is instead of investing a lot of amounts of time and energy and effort in sorting a particular problem which is going to cost me money and it’s not going to give me a lot back I may as well just cut them off. Cut my losses.”

You can see the logic of it. People think evil corporations are evil people and it’s not. Essentially we fall victims to the hard-wired mechanisms which operate within ourselves and within our societies which are there to help us optimize things – to make the most of the resources available. That comes down to time, and effort, and cognitive energy, and money. If you are a large organization – in manpower.

These are the reasons. And the beauty of it is that today we can actually see that and we can understand the logic. We understand why it happens but we also are at a point where we say “okay, now have the power of one, which can be amplified and magnified.” So, suddenly, we count. So, if you have a million customers and the millionth customer is really having a problem and you cut him off and say “hey, we don’t care about you!” he can basically say “you know what? you should because I can affect your business.”

So this is a disruption in a balance of power which takes us back to the pre-industrial age where we didn’t have scale. And if you didn’t have scale what did we do? Well, you invested as a person a lot – you built personal relationships even with people you didn’t do business with. Because you didn’t know when the day may come when you would do business with them. Or you didn’t know when the day may come when they would bring new business because they were in a position to do that. And in those days we invested in that not surely again because it was the only thing available.

So now we’re in that transition period where we will begin to realize that in some sectors of business that humanization, that approach which doesn’t scale easily is the only one that’s available. And for other business, like Comcast or any virtual monopoly (like we see sometimes with the petroleum industry), it’s business as usual to a large extent. But there’s a ticking time bomb there. We can see what’s happening. It’ll only going come at time when the balance of power will shift and then, unless they evolve and change, they will completely lose our trust in custom.

Max: So what’s at core of fixing that for a corporation or a small business? If we can single out major issues.

David: The answer here is that essentially we’re asking one thing, which is flipped backwards and it comes two things: we ask businesses and corporations to behave like people and people to behave like businesses and corporations.

It seems like an antithesis. It isn’t. Essentially we are asking large businesses to be human – to speak to us like we really matter. By the same token we expect people to not be mercurial and change their minds in the whim of the moment but to have a little bit of degree of consistency. Almost like a brand value.

If you say today that “hey I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like hurting small animals which are killed for meat.” Great! Three months down the line you can’t say “Hey! I love bacon!”

That kind of flip-flopping is very human but it’s not the kind of thing which constitutes trust in who you are and the digital identity you are creating. So it requires a little bit more thought of us as people and then a lot more work as corporations.

It’s hard for both of us.

Max: I feel like what’s missing is the mutual understanding and relationship between the consumer and the business. From your perspective of consulting and working with big businesses on a regular basis, how do we make sure we get a mutual relationship we need in order to connect to the needs of the customer?

David: That’s a great question and I’m glad you brought it up like this because essentially any business that wants to become a successful 21st Century Business needs to align itself completely with a needs its customers and it needs to solve those needs and requirements like they themselves are on the receiving end of that.

To answer your question – what’s required is better communication.

There’s nothing wrong with businesses making a profit. So if you decide to pay $15.29 for something which we could, perhaps, have for $13.99 that small marginal difference shouldn’t be the defining factor. What should be the defining factor is the reason for it and the value you’re getting in what you’re actually contributing to if you’re buying it from somebody who charges a little bit higher as opposed to somebody who does it for a little lower. I also used ira investing to maintain the economy of my business high and save money at the same time.

So if think of the person or the company actually has a little higher has better values, is better for the planet, has better align with their staff, they treat their staff like decent human beings, they treat their customers like decent human beings and they’re prepared to listen – you think “hey! Yeah, that’s a kind of business I’d like to do business with.”

There’s an understandable greater involvement in terms of cost and I’m prepared to pay for it. By the same token, businesses should understand that people are not numbers anymore. We are actually people who matter and when we have a problem, it may be in a totally rationale or totally ridiculous, but to us at that point your time is really important and we really need to be listened to. We need to feel that our opinion really matters. Otherwise, why should our custom matter?

Bridging that gap between business-person and person-business is a degree of communication which needs to happen in a very granular, very detailed way at a very human level. So we’re actually talking very plain language which doesn’t always happen. And the reason it doesn’t happen is because traditional businesses, the legacy models past, are not really geared to communicating like that. They feel very uncomfortable. They feel very vulnerable. They don’t feel like they are in control their brand which makes them very insecure in how they behave and that causes a lot of problems.

So it’s a little maturity which needs to happen at both ends of the scale. Both from us as consumers but also businesses and we are actually beginning to see a shift there which is hugely encouraging. It is incredibly slow. But it is happening.

Max: My last question before we get into the Q&A (if you’re on Twitter or on Google+ event page send us a question – we’ll answer it live)

I work with small businesses. What are some practical steps for them to shift from mentality of just getting customers to do business with them to actually building a connection and relationship, seeing their needs and addressing them.

David: Incredibly interesting question and it actually has a very simple answer or a relatively simple answer. It comes down to the way business is always operated. Rather than just getting customers business always, traditionally, worked out the cost of a customer over X number of months for X number of years.

The moment you talk about your customers like that – they’re really your customers. You have a customer who may not come in today or tomorrow or the week after but you know that in the course of a year they’re going to give you X amount of money rain or shine. And that’s a relationship you can build on and if you can actually build a lot of value in that relationship so that customer becomes an evangelist you get two things: you get a certain degree of security how you do business and, secondly, you begin to find more customers at the lower acquisition cost.

To translate this into plain English for a small business what you have to do? Value customers and make them yours. Don’t make them a customer that simply walked through your doors. Give them a reason to do it again, and again, and again. And actually realize that when they’re doing that, as human connection, it goes beyond a simple monetary value.

It sounds a little bit like an artifice which in a way it is. But at the same time it is very human because the moment we connect like that the degree of satisfaction we gain on both sides of the equation increases incrementally.

Business begins to feel that it’s actually doing a little bit of good as well as earning money. And a customer begins to feel that they are a valued person as well as a commodity which represents X amount of money to the business. When that happens there’s a little bit of magic there because things become a little bit warmer, little bit more flexible and tremendously human.


Zara Altair: I have a comment for David because as I was thinking about what he said about scaling and wanting your customers to come back again and about shortcuts. I was thinking about cooking and I had a little post the other day about standing and making risotto. You make a commitment to stir for about 18 minutes. The moment the rice is perfect you stop.

I keep meeting these people who go “oh, there’s a perfect way of making risotto in the oven.” And I’m like – “nah ah! I’ll you’re missing the whole deal!” It’s the stirring. It’s the thinking about the people that are going to be eating risotto with you. That’s part of the way that small businesses especially need to think about what they do when they’re creating things, when they are cooking things up for their customers – “this is the gift that I am giving to you. I didn’t stick it in the oven because I didn’t have 18 minutes to stand and stir. I made it just right for you!”

I think that people get lost in the creation of content or whatever it is but that human basis is so important.

Or for people who are on Google+ and have a Google business page: I had someone start following my business page today and I wrote back to them and said “what prompted you to follow? was there some question that I can answer for you?”

We need to pay particular attention to our potential customers and give them the best result through what we can make. All of that scaling – it really resonated with me.

This wasn’t a question. I just wanted to follow up :)

David: I love the example you brought, Zara, because, essentially, with cooking we can always tell the flavor. There’s no hiding and the’re no fudging it. There’s no disguising it. And yes, you can get a risotto which you can pop in the microwave and comes out in four minutes. And it may look like risotto which you stirred for 20 minutes but the moment you taste it – yeah know which is which. Which is evidently where they the difference lies.

That’s exactly the same issue we are facing today in terms of how we connect with businesses. We know great businesses treat us like people. If we look at how they do business they do business like everybody else. We can’t really say what the difference is. But if you’re within that business internally – it works differently. Zappos works differently, for instance. The John Lewis Partnership the UK works differently. We can see their impact in the world in terms of how people perceive them and how they appreciate them and what connection to have with them.

Zara: I totally agree and it’s amazing that you mention Zappos. It came to mind as soon as you started speaking because I always remember the conversation when mailman came to my door with this package and he goes: “Zappos! they are just the greatest!” I had conversations with people who work there and they all said the same thing – “I just love it here! We have fun here! We love to help our customers!” That feeling really comes across.

Max: Thank you for mentioning that! One of the important things then is building the culture if you have a team – to communicate that message within your team as well. It’s not just the customer-business interaction anymore but also that feel that you create within the team up the product or service.

Zara: So true. Even in the small business or brick-and-mortar with sales staff that culture comes across. The moment someone walks into your store they feel welcomed.

Max: And not just the sales staff, I’d say. One business comes to mind right now – auto repair shop. Mechanics sometimes can be grumpy. Educating them about not being rude when someone asks them questions and having some empathy to “clueless” people who don’t know anything about cars.

Zara: I’m thinking about a mechanic I had long time ago who was my mechanic for years. He paid a lot of attention to each and every customer and he had a wide range a customers – from people with their Bentleys to people like me. I first met him when I followed my boyfriend to the mechanic, sat in my little blue Toyota Corolla waiting for him and everybody came out, came to the door and stared at my car. They had all these Bentleys and antique cars sitting in a lot and I’m going “come on! give me a break!” Then the mechanic came over and said “the reason we’re all looking at your car is I have the exact same car – it’s easy to fix, it runs, it does what you tell it to do, etc. I was a customer for life. I hadn’t even known before and this was now my mechanic. He was my mechanic for over 10 years. It’s those details…

David: It’s the human connection. You connected with him as a human. Forget the customer, the business, the mechanic or their receive of a service.

Zara: Exactly!

Max: Joel! Thanks for for joining us! Do you have a question or just any thoughts on this so far?

Joel Klettke: Not so much a question but I think something that’s really common, especially in the echo chamber we have which is digital marketing, and specially content marketing – there’s this kind of epidemic where people prefer metrics over the audience.

You and I talked about it just recently – this whole phenomenon of click-baiting where you put out a title that has almost nothing to do with the piece. Or tale that’s deliberately misleading and then open up the conversation with an apology which is basically just saying “you can’t trust me. Now here’s my opinion.”

It’s easy to talk about humanization in the person to person kind of context when we talk about brick and mortar and in-person interactions. I think translating that to digital is when it gets challenging.

As an agency you’re paid to deliver a certain result. You measure that result with the metrics and it’s easy to miss the fact that there’s actual people that generate all those numbers that are supposed to be fueling all the engagement and things that you have going on. There’s an epidemic that I’ve seen where people are trying to follow a formula or follow some kind of checklist to human interaction. When the companies are doing it right are the ones that are actually legitimately interested in meeting the needs and the pain points of the people that they’re trying to address.

So I think it’s strange because a lot of human interaction doesn’t scale. A big company may not necessarily have time to individually thank or talk to every single one of their customers but when you look at somebody like Gary Vaynerchuk who has built this gigantic rabid following – he just does these little things all the time.

Max: If you aren’t following Gary has a YouTube channel and podcast now and people ask questions. Very good stuff that you would want to watch Once a day or when it comes out.

Joel: I think in the end it comes down to us getting passed this worshiping of the metrics and worshipping the numbers and do things that don’t scale, especially for a small businesses.

Get back to the point where it’s customer-focused. But not customer-focused in a sense and how many clicks did we drive this month but in terms of how many problems did we solve for people. That’s all I really have to stay.

David: I think, Joel, you made an important point. Now I need to preface what he said really because first of all, I totally agree with you – we focus too much on the metrics and not enough on the human side. Too much on the things that look great in spreadsheet and not enough on the things that actually matter.

But there’s a reason for that. And the reason is that essentially a lot of the businesses that agencies serve are really geared to understanding the kind of language of metrics and spreadsheets as opposed to soft targets or long-term goals.

Two things have to happen here.

First of all, agencies need to start evolving and speaking a different language and as they do that they also need to educate their customers. And I’m speaking of direct experience here. I’ve seen companies or other agencies which are as big as clients they serve. We’re talking about agencies which in the Asian-Pacific site they can have fifteen-twenty thousand staff themselves. And they serve large conglomerates with multi-million dollar budgets per year. They speak the same language and mirror the hierarchical structure of the companies they serve because that’s how they happened to grow up and there’s a strong symbiosis there.

Until they start morphing and they start seeing that change there’s too much comfort at the moment in that relationship for it to completely breakdown. And its good enough (not good but good enough) at the moment actually stand as it is without many changes, unfortunately.

Things are changing. Companies are evolving. Social media is applying its own pressure to the way they operate and they in turn will begin to communicate a little bit differently in their needs and requirements to the agencies they actually work with, so the use of social media marketing tools such as Agorapulse is really useful in the purpose of improving any site marketing.

Secondly, the agents themselves also have to step forward. And those that do that – change the relationship entirely. I’ve seen a couple of small ones actually have done that very successfully. They managed to jump over the divide of customer and service provider and they are basically embedding themselves, in a sense, with companies they work with bringing in skill sets and experiences and flexibilities which the corporate world doesn’t have.

And that now changes the entire nature of the relationship for a start. It makes the relationship a lot more a sustainable, a lot longer in terms of timeline. It gives a greater sense of security agency because it begins to deliver value on incrementally increasing basis. And at the same time it begins to build confidence in the client that the agency actually has their own interests first and the budget second.

Although you know so it should be – we know well it isn’t. And that is a huge mental shift which benefits both. Again it’s happening way too slowly for my liking but for perfectly understandable reasons. We can’t have disruption happen to such an extent that things begin to break down too rapidly because chaos isn’t useful. So, unfortunately, it’s baby steps all the way.

Max: Time for quick questions and quick answers.

There’s a question on the event page from Paula Allan. She’s asking about brand advocates – if there should be a follow-up for them so they naturally continue to actively promote your content or service.

David: Brand advocates do so for their own reasons primarily. They should certainly feel that they’re valued by the brand but not cozied up to. Because then it changes the entire feel of the relationship and authenticity and realism goes out the window. The brand should say “we are thrilled you think this way, we think this way too. And thanks to you, perhaps, we’re changing the world, changing people’s mind, and the same time it’s work and it’s fun too. If you say that – that’s real and it’s very human. If you do anything else – dynamic changes.

To answer your question, Paula, the brand has to be real, it has to be very human and it has to connect with its brand advocates in a very human, real way.

Farinaz Parsay: I want to share an experience which I had recently. I wanted to write an article about what is powerful and what’s not in human relation. I had to do a lot of research and to my surprise in the definition of humanity and human/humanitarian there are a lot of really good concepts that I learned about. We never talk and think about those things in terms of a concept. I was going to ask David if you think we can have a checklist of what’s powerful in human relations and business-customer relations?

David: This is more a personal thing, I think it is great to keep analyzing all the time, it is great to keep breaking things down because it gives a certain methodology but ultimately relying too much on that takes us eventually back to the other extend where we are ticking boxes without feeling it. It has to be a dialogue. And dialogue is always fluid and is very different and the same dialogue with a different person is a different dialogue anyway.

We need to have that kind of contact in the business world that we have in a personal world which makes it really hard to scale. I understand that and I understand that it’s a problem but there’s no real shortcut to keeping it real.

Max: Great! Thank you!

Tony, I know you joined late by I’m sure you got a taste of what this discussion is about so I’d I appreciate your thoughts too.

Tony Dimmock: Hi guys!

I think first of all, Zara, you mentioned before about what’s cooking and the uniqueness on what you serve up to your clients and I think that was a fantastic comment and I loved it! The fact that you have every meal you make for client is unique and if they can smell that and they can taste that you are on your way to a winner. I loved that analogy. So thanks for that, Zara!

I think what Joel was saying – one of the key parts of how things work is a lot of metrics and numbers. But everyone forgets that at some point the client has a need and they ring up someone they think can help them and the first thing that client looks at, or potential client looks at, is can they get alone with that person they are, first of all, dealing with. So, before we get out metrics and bar charts and graphs and everything else if that person doesn’t relate to the company – doesn’t matter how many metrics, how many reports, what images or what graphics they can provide isn’t not going to happen.

So in every single case in every company that’s ever won any business the first part that you gotta get right is the human element. And that is – that you’re relatable. Because if someone doesn’t get on with you and doesn’t like you or for whatever reason that they’re not attracted to your proposition you know nine times out of ten is because we didn’t listen, we didn’t ask the right questions, we didn’t show we gave a damn, we didn’t this, we didn’t that.

Max: That’s why it’s important for a business to have that value proposition. To think about their goal and what they have to offer that does nobody can.

Tony: Absolutely! And I think too often I’m we don’t have a USP (unique selling proposition) and value we bring.

What I’ll end with is this: I’ve always thought that the value is in the eye of the recipient or the beholder. It doesn’t matter what we think we know, how good we think we are, how much we think we can help unless the client or the potential client understands and gets a taste of what we can bring to that business or two them. Doesn’t matter what we do or how we do it – it’s never going to happen. So we really got to make sure that they understand and that we help them see the value.

And that could mean anything but that value, unless there’s a reason for them to engage with us and get started this, we might have the best car, the nicest reports, the best company, copywriting, brilliant SEO – who gives a whip? Unless we can put it in their head, unless they understand the value or we can help them understand what we can bring to them that’s unique – we are absolutely up the creek without a paddle.

David: What Tony said is brilliant because essentially we’re still talking about communication. You need to be able to communicate well, bridge the gap, make that connection.

The second thing he mentioned – tools anybody can get that’ll make you special. What makes you special is you. You need to understand why you do things. Why do I write books? Not because I can write but because I write specific books for a specific purpose.

Which has to go beyond the fact of making a living as well. I ask myself that all the time – why does someone doing a particular job. Because it’s not unique – the other people are doing that job. So If that person is doing that job they have to be able to do it in a unique way to themselves. They need to be able to imbue it with personality, with their own mission statement, with their own vision. And if they can’t do that then it’s just a job which will, perhaps, make them a living but not for very long they will fail eventually.

So you need to do the hard work beforehand, understand who you really are as a personal or as a business and work to project that across.

Max: A few more questions.

1. If you were to start your career from scratch what do you wish you knew?

David: I wish I knew the amount of time I would have had to spend learning the things which learned the hard way.

2. What would you do differently if you want to start over?

David: I would’ve stayed in chemical engineering and actually practiced there.

Max: So, we would never meet David Amerland 😉

3. What do you enjoy doing most?

David: I love explaining something which really fires me up. And then communicating that to people and seeing them get fired up. Because first of all it’s validation for me and, secondly, sharing with others and them getting fired up gets new ideas and it sparks off. And that’s amazing.

The fact that I can do it through devices from anywhere – that’s magic!

4. David, what’s your idea of happiness?

David: Discovering something new.. which… I just sort of discovered it because I put things together in my head. It just makes me feel amazing!

5. Who is your favorite author/writer?

David: Oh, wow! I’ve got a lot and I read different books so if I were to go from all the books I’ve read, all different things, literature and literary in science fiction – the most defining one for me was Frank Herbert. He was a visionary and in a very deep sense. Although he’s appreciated, the depth of his vision is always under-appreciated because it has so many layers to it.

6. In things that people do what do you hate most?

David: The moment things become methodological to a degree that, suddenly, we work people instead of actually connect them. You can sense that sometimes. Not only that but sometimes I catch my own self doing it. I think it’s ridiculous. But.. we are fallible. So, I hate that.

7. What’s your favorite occupation?

David: Martial arts – I’ve have been doing it for a while.

I did it competitively for number years. I competed for 10 years at the international level. If somebody could pay me enough money to do it as a living without ever slowing down or losing form – I would’ve done it forever.

8. This one is tough – where and how would you prefer to die?

David: I never gave it much thought? Although I hate the very idea that I will. But, ideally, I’d like to it to happen with me doing something I absolutely love doing.

Tony: David, I think the death of SEO will happen sooner 😉

9. Who inspires you most at the moment?

David: I lost my focus on figure heads a long time ago. I get inspired by the fact that I see I’m humbled on a daily basis by ordinary people i connect to sometimes in real life and sometimes across the web whose passion for something overwhelms mine. Whose ideas and honesty and transparency are absolutely amazing! And the fact that we can start conversations and from those people can get fired up.

We never met. We’re just dots on the screens, really. I find that absolutely amazing because behind those screens there are people, their brains, their minds, their ideas. And they’re changing. We are changing. And I think sometimes – why can’t it just happen tomorrow or couldn’t I have been born fifty years later?

I think just been part of the journey and being part of the magic – I totally love that!


Max: Thank you! That was David Amerland.

David, thank you very much for being here!

Thank you, all!

It was a great discussion! I hope we’ll have a lot of takeaways and learn how to understand people we worked with and also help them understand how to get on a human level with their customers. Thank you!

We’ll see you next Thursday 1 PST.



What are your thoughts on humanization of marketing? What ideas this conversation sparked in your mind? Share in the comments below: