Skip to main content

Creating Powerful Human Connections with David Meerman Scott

Are you looking for ways to fire up your marketing efforts in 2020? Then listen to David Meerman Scott, author, public speaker and advisor to emerging companies, talk about how to build a fan base. 

David has written 11 books, selling over 1 million copies in 29 languages, but it’s his latest book, Fanocracy, which he co-authored with his daughter, that he talks about in this interview.

David’s 2007 book, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” (now in its 6th edition having sold over 400,000 copies), was written based on his early experiences with the web, because he says that marketing on the web was (and still remains to this day) all about creating great, publishable content. 

“I was the first person to clearly articulate that if you want to reach people on the web, it’s about creating great content, whether that’s blog posts or YouTube videos or a great website or whatever it might be.”

But the problem, says David, is that over the last few years, the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online, polarised communications, at a time when people are hungry for a true human connection. 

And it’s how companies can create this human connection with their customers, that David talks about with Dom in this episode. 

On today’s podcast:

  • Why content is still king
  • How to write a book with your daughter
  • How entrepreneurs can reach customers
  • The human connection of going to live concerts with loved ones
  • How to use mirror neurons to help build your business
  • The process organisations can go through to create fans
  • Using fans to build an emotional connection with your product
  • What he wishes he knew then that he knows now

Links:

Building Human Connections to Drive Marketing with David Meerman Scott

If you’re looking for ways to up your marketing ante in 2020, then David Meerman Scott, author, public speaker and advisor to emerging companies, is the person you want to listen to. He’s (quite literally) written the book on how to build a fan base. 

He’s actually written 11 books, selling over 1 million copies in 29 languages, but it’s his latest book, Fanocracy, which he co-authored with his daughter, that he talks about on this podcast episode.

David burst onto the marketing scene with his 2007 book, “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” (now in its 6th edition having sold over 400,000 copies), which was written based on his early experiences with the web. He realised back then that marketing on the web was (and still remains to this day) all about creating great, publishable content. 

“I was the first person to clearly articulate that if you want to reach people on the web, it’s about creating great content, whether that’s blog posts or YouTube videos or a great website or whatever it might be.”

But the problem, says David, is that over the last few years, the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online, polarised communications, at a time when people are hungry for a true human connection. 

So how can companies create this human connection with their customers? 

For David, music is a big part of his life. 

“More important is the people who go with me are among my best friends. And it’s this human connection between people who are part of the same tribe, who speak the same lingo and I can go to a Grateful Dead concert, for example, and randomly bump into somebody who I’ve never met and we could be talking like old friends.”

Fanocracy

David and his daughter collaborated on his latest book, Fanocracy, about turning fans into customers. 

“We dug into this idea of fandom and the idea that these human connections, of being part of a tribe, is actually hardwired in our brains. It’s a survival technique. Because our ancient brain says to us, ‘when you’re part of a tribe, when you’re part of a group that supports you, that’s among the most powerful human connections we can have’.”

So how can entrepreneurs turn this ancient desire to be a part of a tribe to their marketing advantage? 

By building a fan base and getting close to those customers who want to be close to the business. By creating actual human connections:

  • Invite your best fans to dinner
  • Hold a conference and meet customers in person
  • Go on a tour and get out there and meet people

Mirror neurons

But what happens if you can’t get out to meet your customers? What if your business is a virtual business with customers all over the world?

David says there’s a concept called ‘mirror neurons’ that are really important for building fans because it’s a way of connecting to people, without physically being with them. 

“By using video and photographs cropped as if you’re within four feet of somebody to have people’s brains fire as if you’re next to them, creating that strong personal connection.”

Creating fans for your business remotely

There’s a number of different ways that organisations can create fans without physically making connections with them: 

  • By giving them ownership of your product
  • Using images of real customers in your marketing
  • Using natural language to talk to customers or potential customers, not business jargon

Book recommendations: 

Want to scale up? Join my newsletter to receive a copy of my book, ‘F**K Plan B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A’.