The rise of the…humans

The following is by Clear Hayes Principal Alex Hayes, and was first published as the Executive Summary to the Advertising Week New York Trends Report, which Clear Hayes produced on behalf of Stillwell Partners.  

It’s human nature to be curious.

So it was only natural that for the better part of the last two decades we as an industry have been focused on the possibilities being created by the internet and technology – data, drones and digital in all its glory.

But we got a little preoccupied with the pipes down which we delivered messages, the data points and identifying the best time of day and even optimal temperature at which to serve an ad. Then we got into stalking people across the internet – forcing governments to take out restraining orders.

Fortunately there’s been something of an awakening – a realization human beings are the end consumer here. That was my main takeout from Advertising Week New York.

Audiences are now a top priority for most marketers. That means starting to really understand how people are using media and technology, and the opportunities and limitations this affords advertisers to interact with them as human beings, not just abstract data points.

This shouldn’t be too hard for us to manage as an industry, should it? After all, the one thing we all have in common is we’re all human beings, and consumers to boot. So it shouldn’t require too much of a leap to start to understand what customers actually want from brands.

This report is the distillation of more than 300 sessions from Advertising Week New York into seven sections (and a couple of bonus sections). We’ve captured the heart of some of the most interesting topics and thrown in some practical advice for marketers from leading global experts in each area.

There are nuggets here which will make you better at your job today. It’s designed as a thought starter – you can find links to related articles, reports and even videos of sessions in each section, to take a deeper dive and push your own understanding.

You can access a preview of the AW New York report here.