Ten inspiring examples of Human-Centered Marketing

Mark Schaefer
10 min readFeb 15, 2021

When I wrote Marketing Rebellion, I proposed that in the end, “the most human company wins.” I believe in our hearts we all seek communion with real humans, and to the extent we can do that with our companies, we’ll survive and thrive these perilous times. The book is a call-to-action for human-centered marketing!

Since then, the pandemic has amplified the need for this authentic human connection. People have been isolated, fearful, and anxious for months. Some readers have told me that my book is “coming true” as companies abandon their advertising scripts to roll up their sleeves and connect with people at their point of need.

Today, let’s look at a few diverse examples of how companies demonstrate human-centric marketing.

The heart of human-centered marketing

If you’re wondering what I mean by human-centered marketing, the main idea is building an emotional connection with our consumers that is respectful, helpful, authentic, meaningful, and personal … maybe even vulnerable. We don’t annoy, we don’t interrupt, we don’t manipulate. Come alongside consumers to help them at their point of need.

I went out to my friends on LinkedIn and asked them for human-centric marketing examples. I was looking for case studies that:

  • Feature company leaders and employees in their marketing in an authentic way.
  • Are rolling up their sleeves and truly helping people at their point of need.
  • Are not just “in a community,” but OF a community.

Ironically, the first response I received was the opposite of what I was looking for:

Rooted in our purpose of “serving the greater good of our communities”, our leaders at XYZ have led with humanity, balancing employee need alongside the demands of the business. They’ve approached everything from news coverage to security to mental health with a human-centered lens that has kept employees motivated, audiences informed and clients happy.

This is not “human.” This is a press release!

By the way, if you want a free Human-Centric Marketing Manifesto, I created a colorful, hand-drawn manifesto you can see here and download…

Mark Schaefer

Keynote speaker, marketing strategy consultant, Rutgers U faculty and author of 10 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Belonging to the Brand!